Muslim scholar refused bail

Muslim scholar Nezaam Ali

MUSLIM scholar, Nezaam Ali, who was earlier this year sentenced to 45-years imprisonment for raping a 9-year-old boy was, on Friday, August 09, 2019, refused bail, pending the hearing of his appeal.-
The application was made at the Demerara High Court by attorneys-at-law Latchmie Rahamat and Glen Hanoman.

The attorneys in their application for bail were contending that Ali has a medical condition (which cannot be disclosed by this newspaper) and needed to see a doctor regularly.
However, the Chief Justice rejected the application and reminded the attorneys that prison has medical facilities to care for Ali.

On March 14, 2019, a 12-member mixed jury found Ali, age 38, also known as ‘Mufti,’ an Imam of Turkeyen, Greater Georgetown, guilty of rape and he was sentenced by Justice Navindra Singh.

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. He was granted bail in the sum of $1.3M at the time.

Ali had denied raping the victim and he also told the court that he suffered from erectile dysfunction.

Justice Singh, in passing down his ruling, said that he considered the geographic of where the act was committed and that Ali took advantage of an under-privileged child. “There is nothing I can tell you that can mitigate these types of crime,” the judge said to the accused.

The acts were allegedly committed while Ali was in a position of trust, being a religious teacher, and knew, or could reasonably expect to have known, of the trust in relation to the boys. The boys had been attending Arabic and Koran classes at the time.
Ali is still to be tried for eight additional counts of engaging in sexual activity with boys under the age of 12, back in 2012.

Less than two weeks after being sentenced, Ali, with the aid of his attorneys filed an appeal to set aside the verdict and sentence passed down on him.

The attorneys are contending that Justice Singh failed to put Ali’s case adequately to the jury and misdirected the jury as it related to the medical evidence presented in the defence’s case.

Additionally, another ground stated that, there was a possibility that bias from a member of the jury affected the impartiality of the jury, and the fairness of the trial, and the failure of a juror to disclose that he attempted to forcefully shut down the Masjid managed by Ali, shortly after his arrest.