October 26th, 2021

Adjournment in human trafficking case


By Delon Shurtz on September 25, 2021.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

Lawyers for two youth charged in connection with human trafficking and sex-related offences in Lethbridge made brief appearances in court Wednesday, but simply adjourned their matters until next month when they hope to have more disclosure.
Calgary lawyer Rabie Ahmed and Lethbridge lawyer Miranda Hlady told court they are waiting to receive more disclosure from the Crown’s office. Although lawyers have received some initial information, Hlady said she requested more disclosure but hasn’t received it.
The Crown pointed out the case, which involves eight adults, as well, was first being handled by Special Prosecutions in Calgary, but was sent back to Lethbridge. That has caused a delay assigning a Crown Prosecutor to the case and providing lawyers with disclosure.
Hlady said she is also planning to give notice of what she believes may be Charter violations, including one involving the arrest of her client.
The 16 and 17-year-old boys, who have been granted bail and can’t be identified because of their age, return to court next month, as do the eight adults. They were also previously released on bail and face numerous charges including trafficking persons under 18, sexual assault, aggravated sexual assault, and sexual interference.
Police reported last month that several individuals had selected and groomed a 15-year-old girl and took her to specific locations where sex offences took place. The same individuals had also engaged in sexual activity with a 13-year-old girl.
Lethbridge police said three additional victims had also come forward in connection with the investigation.
The accused are Khaled Alsaid, Fadi Chtewi, Meriton Krasniqi, Abdullah Mohammad, Mohammad Neirabani, Mahmoud Neirabani, Mohammad Zafari and Calgary doctor Ziyaad Noor. Noor stopped practicing medicine after he was charged, and the College of Physicians and Surgeons of Alberta is conducting its own investigation of its member.

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