Reeaz Khan on $100,000 bail
Kaieteur News

June 11, 2004

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CITY businessman Reeaz Khan, who has been embroiled in controversy because of his relationship with a 13-year-old girl, was yesterday placed on $100,000 bail after private abduction charges were filed against him.

The pre-trial liberty was set yesterday by Magistrate Melissa Robertson when Khan appeared before her at the Wales Magistrate’s Court.

Khan pleaded not guilty to the charges of unlawfully taking an unmarried under-aged girl on May 21, last, out of the possession of her mother and against her will.

The incident allegedly occurred at Hamid’s home at Lot 38 South Sections Canal No 2, West Bank Demerara.

In an effort to acquire information on the defendant, Magistrate Robertson enquired as to whether Khan was married.

Before Khan could respond, his attorney Vic Puran, caused much laughter when he jumped to his feet and explained in a loud voice “He’s hoping to get married your worship; that’s what he wants to do; but of course that’s up to the courts, your worship.”

In his submission for bail, Puran noted that the defendant has cooperated fully with the prosecution and as such petitioned for bail to be set at a reasonable amount.

“Your worship, the defendant has come here of his own free will to answer the charges made against him, and I can also assure you that I have spoken to my client and he assures me that he will not commit any action that is adverse to the virtual complainant Bibi Hamid.”

Puran told the Magistrate that he was unwilling to divulge many details about the case since he is still hoping that the matter can be resolved amicably.

Attorney-at-Law for Hamid, Nigel Hughes, confirmed that he had received maximum cooperation from Khan.

Hughes told the court that he has no evidence to indicate that the defendant has intentions of fleeing the jurisdiction.

Hughes related that Khan’s attorney had kept his promise to ensure that the defendant appeared in court yesterday and facilitated a smooth process so that the orders could be served on Khan on Wednesday.

“There is evidence to suggest that the minor involved in the case might have left the jurisdiction, but that is a separate issue; I have no evidence to suggest that Khan is a flight risk,” Hughes reiterated.

He made it clear that there are no plans for settlement in the matter at the moment and reiterated that he has every intention to prosecute.

“The issue of bail is not of major importance; I just want to get on with the trial,” Hughes said.

In granting bail, Magistrate Robertson reminded Khan of his obligation to attend court regularly.

“If you do not attend court regularly, an arrest warrant will be issued for you and I don’t want to have to do that,” she said.

Hughes asked for the matter to be adjourned to June 24, so that statements could be served on Khan.

Meanwhile the hearing to determine the way forward with regards to the minor involved in the case was conducted in camera at the High Court yesterday.

Representatives from the Human Services Ministry, including Minister Bibi Shadick, the teen and her relatives, Commander of ‘A Division’ Paul Slowe and Attorney General Doodnauth Singh, were part of the in camera proceedings.

Kaieteur News understands that Attorney General Doodnauth Singh has been granted leave to intervene in the matter.

This newspaper learnt that during yesterday’s session, Singh recommended two privately run children homes in which the child could be placed. The trial judge is to organise evaluation visits to these institutions. The 13-year-old however remains in the custody of the police.

The matter continues today in the High Court.

Meanwhile the contempt motion filed by Hughes against Khan comes up for hearing in bail court on Monday.

Stabroek News has been upbraided for its inaccurate reporting on the case--this time by an attorney- at- law. Even as the court proceedings were being conducted in chambers, Attorney-at-law Carol Martindale-Howard sought to openly clear the air on what she described as the “inaccurate picture painted by the Stabroek News of what transpired during the last High Court sitting of the case.”

In its edition of June 8, last, Stabroek News reported that the trial judge rejected an attempt by Mrs. Martindale-Howard to present arguments regarding the minor’s petition to marry Khan.

Yesterday, the lawyer reminded a Stabroek News reporter that contrary to the report carried, she was invited by the trial judge to issue a comment on the case.

Mrs. Martindale-Howard advised the reporter to listen carefully to the court proceedings and to report with accuracy.

This very advice was given to the media last week by the trial judge B.S Roy, who objected to sections of an article carried by that very newspaper last Saturday which implied that the court proceedings of June 4 were conducted in an “odd manner.”

Stabroek News has since issued an apology in its editorial yesterday for the article carried last Saturday.