CIOG Imam Nizam Ali remanded to prison on three counts of sexual molestation
Imam remanded to prison on three counts of sexual molestation
After some two hours in the Sparendaam Magistrate’s Court, the Imam at the center of a child sexual
molestation case was remanded to prison.
The Imam, 30 year-old Nizam Ali of Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara made his appearance early yesterday morning before Magistrate Alex Moore, charged with three counts of sexual penetration to a boy under the age of 12.
It is alleged that between December 2011 and January 2012, Ali also called ‘Mufti’, at ‘A’ Field Sophia, allegedly engaged in sexual penetration of a boy under the age of 12.
The acts were allegedly committed while he was in a position of trust, being a religious teacher and knew or could be reasonably expected to have known of the trust in relation to the boys.
The charge was indictable and the Imam was not required to plea. After lengthy back-and-forth arguments between his lawyers, Vic Puran and Latchmi Ranhamat and police Prosecutor Sergeant Brown on the question of bail, the hearing which was called in-camera came to an end. The Imam was remanded to prison until February 9th.
Meanwhile before the matter got underway, the Imam who was on station bail, arrived at the court with his mother, clad in a burgundy t-shit and a pair of grey jeans. Having realized that cameras were around, his mother tried her best to shield him while hurling threats at a reporter.
“Leave my son alone. don’t take he damn picture,” she shouted.
The woman then hid her son’s face under her arm as she ran with him up the court stairs. Once in court the woman gave her son a white rag as he sat as if he was praying.
Two short matters were called before Attorney at law Vic Puran asked to indulge the Magistrate’s attention to the Imam’s matter.
At that point all who had gathered in the courtroom were asked to exit as the matter was being done in-camera. It was only at that point persons were alerted that the man was the Imam they had been reading about for the past two weeks.
The reporters who were previously feeling the brunt of unkind remarks from persons were “cut some slack”.
“Y’all doing a good job. Y’all got to take his picture so everybody can see who this sick man is,” one man lamented.
As the Imam exited the courtroom two hours later, persons hurled distasteful remarks at him as he tried his best to hide his face. Even persons who had gathered along the roadside had tried to enter the courtroom to get a glimpse of him.
Meanwhile, relatives of some of the victims who were also at the court yesterday expressed their satisfaction over the progress that has been made in the matter.
“We don’t know what will come out but at least we are satisfied that he did not get bail.”
The charges have brought an end to widespread speculation that the investigation was compromised by the alleged involvement of the Director of Public Prosecution, Shalimar Ali-Hack.
However, the DPP had withdrawn herself from the process after denying that she had contacted police officials to secure bail for the suspect.
In all, seven boys were confirmed to have been sexually molested and it is very likely that more charges will follow.
The case against Alli had taken an interesting twist last week when, following the intervention of his attorney, investigators were advised to ascertain that the suspect was in Guyana when it is alleged that he committed the acts.
The Child Protection Agency (CPA) had said that it was prepared to work with the boys who claim they had been sexually molested.
The Agency had questioned the delay in instituting charges against the Imam, since the victims had already been examined and were confirmed to have been molested.
But the Guyana Police Force (GPF) said that the delays were aimed at ensuring that a proper investigation was conducted.
The offences were allegedly committed between December 2011 and January 2012 by the Imam at a Turkeyen, East Coast Demerara mosque, where the boys had been attending Arabic and Koran classes.