Trial of rape accused Muslim scholar set to start today

Nezaam Ali

Seven years after being charged with the rape of nine boys, the High Court trial of Muslim scholar Nezaam Ali is expected to begin today.

Stabroek News understands that the case will be heard by Justice Navindra Singh.

This development follows recent attempts to coerce the mother of three of the boys into accepting a monetary settlement.

The woman told this newspaper that she was approached at her stall last week with an offer of $6 million to drop the matter. She did not accept the offer. She was revisited at her home by the same person on the same night, she said, and also contacted by others who have pleaded with her to accept the money.

Though reports were made at the Brickdam and Turkeyen police stations and ranks visited the man’s business place and later the Central Islamic Organisation of Guyana (CIOG), he is yet to be arrested. The woman says that she is fearful for her life.

Prior to Sunday, there was no indication as to when the trial would start.

Stabroek News was told that Ali’s first trial will centre on the complaint of the eldest of the woman’s three boys.

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.

All nine matters involving Ali are listed on the schedule for the current assizes, which commenced last month. This newspaper was told that the trials will be conducted one after the other.

 

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