Mother of boys in Muslim scholar rape case offered $6M to settle

Nezaam Ali

The mother of three of the nine boys allegedly raped by Muslim scholar Nezaam Ali yesterday said attempts are being made to coerce her into accepting a monetary settlement ahead of the commencement of his trial.

Reports were filed with the police at the Brickdam and Turkeyen police stations but to the date a man who approached her last Monday with a $6 million offer is yet to be questioned.

The woman, who is a vendor, is very frustrated and says she has since become fearful for her life.

Speaking to Sunday Stabroek, the woman recounted that a Muslim brother, who she has known for nearly 20 years, approached her at her stall last Monday. After enquiring about her sons, she said that he turned his attention to the court case.

She recalled telling him that the case will be coming up before a judge in the High Court at the end of this month. She said the man in response said that “it might shift.” It was at this point, she said, that he enquired why she would want to jail a Muslim brother, before offering her the money to settle the matter.

After he left, she said she went to the Brickdam Police Station to file a report but a female rank told her that she needed to go to Turkeyen Police Station. The alleged rape of the boys occurred in Sophia, which is located in the Turkeyen station district.

She said that later that day she visited the Turkeyen station, where the officer-in-charge, after making enquiries, directed her back to the Brickdam Police Station. She said the man turned up at her home that very night.

“I was shocked to see the same brother there. I left so shock,” she said, before adding that she indicated to him that she could not entertain him.

The man left his cell phone number and said that he was going to bank in the morning and that he would pass by her stall.

The woman told this newspaper that the second encounter left her very uncomfortable. “I lef feeling threatened and scared… I did not invite him at my home,” she said, before adding that despite their years of acquaintance, it was the first time he came to her home.

She noted that she went back to the Turkeyen station and a report was taken. The next morning, she said, she went to the Brickdam station and a report was taken. She said that she was sent away without being told what was likely to happen next. The woman said that given her uneasiness, she returned later to the station and after meeting with the divisional commander she was directed to the fraud section, where a detective took a statement.

The next morning, she said she accompanied a van load of policemen to the business place of the man who had approached her at her stall. On arrival at the Kitty location, she said that ranks were informed that he had sold the property and that he was not there.

They next went to the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG) on Woolford Avenue in Georgetown, where persons there confirmed that the man worked there. They, however, said that he was not there at the time. A police inspector, she said, left his contact details with instructions that the man report to the station. The woman said based on what she has been told, the man never showed up and a detective at Brickdam informed that when he does she would be contacted.

Last Wednesday night, the woman related, two Muslim women whom she knows contacted her. “They telling me why I don’t sorry for the brother and take a settlement and how if I go to court I will leave with my mouth white,” the woman said, clearly distraught.

The woman reminded that it has been seven years that she and her children have been awaiting the trial. She insisted that nothing but a court trial would suffice in the circumstances.

She called on the police to pursue the man who approached her and to lay the necessary charges against him.

Ali, then of South Turkeyen, was charged in 2012 with raping nine boys. The charges alleged that between December, 2011 and January, 2012, Ali, being a teacher attached to the Turkeyen Masjid, engaged in sexual activity with the children, abusing a position of trust.

Ali was committed to stand trial in 2014 by Magistrate Alex Moore.

It was during a visit to the Supreme Court in January, 2017, that the mother of the three boys and an official from Childcare and Protection Agency discovered that the birth certificates and medical reports for the boys were missing from each of the nine files.

The files were later reconstructed and the case reopened. In February last year, Moore recommitted Ali to stand trial in the High Court.

The matter was scheduled to be heard last October but the trial judge Justice Jo-Ann Barlow could not proceed since she had advised on the case while at the Chambers of the Director of Public Prosecutions.

All nine matters involving Ali are listed on the schedule for the current assizes, which commenced last month. However, Justice Barlow is the judge hearing sexual assault cases. This newspaper was subsequently told that another judge has been assigned to hear the case.

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