The trial of Muslim scholar, Neezam Ali, who has been indicted on nine counts of sexual activity with a child by abusing a position of trust with an alternative count of rape of a child under 16 years, has been further deferred to next Tuesday.
The matter was slated to commence before Justice Navindra Singh at the Georgetown High Court yesterday. It was delayed to facilitate other pressing matters on the Court schedule.
Some seven years ago, Ali, also known as ‘Mufti’, an Imam, whose last known address is said to be South Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, was charged after it was alleged that he raped nine boys, who took Quran and Arabic lessons from him.
The victims alleged that Ali had penetrative anal intercourse with them while they were attending classes at a Masjid on the East Coast of Demerara.
Following a preliminary inquiry before Magistrate Alex Moore, Ali was committed to stand trial for the offences in 2013. Shortly after Ali’s committal in 2013, his lawyer, Nigel Hughes, filed an action in the High Court to have the committal overturned. However, this was rejected by the court.
His application was made on several grounds, including that the Magistrate acted in excess of his jurisdiction when he failed to consider the expert opinion of Dr. Walter Ramsahoye, who testified that it was impossible for Ali to commit the act, since he is impotent.
This statement was the essence of Ali’s defence, one which he claimed was ignored by the prosecution and the Magistrate. But Magistrate Moore in response, noted that police witness, Inspector Hatty David, testified that Dr. Ramsahoye’s opinion was formed from information provided by Ali, and was not one which came as result of doctors treating and attending to a medical condition, which Ali reportedly suffered, over a period of time.
However, in 2017, the matter was sent back to the Magistrates’ Court based on directive from the DPP. Then, it was reported that the medical reports and birth certificates, of the nine boys involved in the case had allegedly disappeared.
In addition to remitting the matter to Magistrate Alex Moore to re-open the paper committals, the DPP also issued a directive to the Guyana Police Force to obtain certified copies of the original documents. Kaieteur News understands that those files have since been reconstructed.
The following year, Magistrate Moore, again, committed Ali to stand trial. Ali is out on $1.3M bail pending the hearing and determination of his trial.
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