The businessman and the 13-year-old
Khan pleads not guilty to abduction -placed on $100,000 bail
June 11, 2004
Businessman Reeaz Khan, whose sexual exploits with a 13-year-old girl have caused public outrage, was yesterday placed on $100,000 bail after he pleaded not guilty to the charge of abduction before Magistrate Melissa Robertson at the Wales Magistrate's Court.
Khan appeared in court after the child's mother, Bibi Shameeza Hamid, through her lawyer Nigel Hughes, filed private criminal charges against him.
Khan, dressed in a blue shirt and black trousers, arrived in his lawyer's vehicle and ran the gauntlet of a small group of women activists who have condemned his involvement with the minor and are also calling for the age of consent to be raised.
Khan sat in the courtroom, which was packed with mostly curious onlookers, and when his named was called he was informed that he should stand in the prisoner's dock.
The magistrate then told him that it was alleged that on May 21 at Wales, West Bank Demerara, he unlawfully removed an unmarried girl under the age of 16 from her home without the consent of her mother.
Robertson then asked Khan if he wanted the matter to be tried in the lower court or in the High Court. On the advice of his counsel, Vic Puran, Khan said he wanted his case to be heard in the magistrate's court.
He then came out of the dock and pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Hughes informed the magistrate that the child involved is in the protective custody of the High Court and he does not believe she would be required to participate in the criminal matter.
In his application for bail, Puran informed the court that his client is 36 years old and a businessman who owns Reeaz Trading and resides at 37 Camp Street, Georgetown and 51 Eccles, East Bank Demerara.
"He is single and hoping to get married but much is depending on Mrs Hamid [the mother of the 13-year-old]," the lawyer said to snickers from some present in court.
Khan has no children and according to Puran has never been married. Puran said his client appeared voluntarily in court and has cooperated fully with the prosecution.
The lawyer informed the court that he does not wish to get into the facts of the matter since the parties are still hoping to reach an amicable settlement.
However, Hughes said he is not aware of any proposal for settlement as his client plans to fight the matter to the end.
The matter is fixed for June 24 at 11 am when Hughes is expected to serve statements on the defence.