Teen in Reeaz Khan saga
Lawyers seek counselorís report
Kaieteur News
July 15, 2004

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DESPITE the view by the Attorney General that the New Opportunity Corps (NOC) is a jail and not a place to detain an unconvicted teen, the 13-year-old embroiled in the controversial relationship with city businessman, Reeaz Khan, is still at the NOC. Judge B.S. Roy sent her there some weeks ago.

And, according to the latest report from the court, she will be there until Friday, August 6. Legal luminaries, including former High Court judge, Oswell Legall, a former legal draughtsman here, former Attorney General, Mr. Charles Ramson, and Mr. Rex Mc Kay, S.C. all agree with the view of the Attorney General Mr. Doodnauth Singh, S.C.

The Attorney General had approached the court in an effort to correct the perceived judicial error that was allegedly responsible for the girlís temporary confinement at NCO but another court held that the AG did not have the legal authority to undertake the particular motion, since he would be attacking other state agency.

Since then, another move was made by a next friend of the girl to have the matter corrected. That matter is still engaging the attention of the court.

When approached yesterday, the judge referred the writer to Mr. Nigel Hughes - the lawyer representing the mother, who it is said, was given permission by the Court to make certain releases to the press. Mr. Hughes was not available.

Acting on a motion of habeas corpus by the girlís mother, who alleged that businessman, Reeaz Khan, had abducted her 13-year-old daughter, the judge issued an order calling upon Khan to produce the girl in court. Khan obeyed the order.

Consequently, the Judge issued another order granting custody of the girl to her mother and aunt. The Attorney General, who had sought to intervene in the matter, objected to the girl being sent to NOC and had named a number of organisations - about 20 - to which the girl could have been sent until the matter before the Court was fully heard and determined, but his idea was rejected.

Another decision taken by the judge was to appoint someone to counsel the teenaged girl. This suggestion or advice, it is said, came from officials of the Ministry of Human Resources and Social Security who are attending the hearing in Chambers.

The counselor chosen was Miss Lisa Thompson who, it is said, had submitted two reports about conditions at the N.O.C.

The girl, it is said, had secretly sent out reports about conditions in the NOC, which it is alleged differed from the report sent by Thompson. Lawyers concerned with the interest of the girl were yesterday planning to write to the judge seeking a copy of Thompsonís report.

The matter is expected to come up again on August 6, 2004.