June 16th, 2024

Disclosure extensive in human trafficking case

By Delon Shurtz - Lethbridge Herald on February 12, 2022.

LETHBRIDGE HERALDdshurtz@lethbridgeherald.com

After months of waiting and repeated requests for disclosure, lawyers defending two brothers charged in relation to human trafficking may need many more months just to plow through all the information.
Calgary lawyers Jeanine Zahara and Kirsten Lancee said Friday in Lethbridge provincial court that they finally received disclosure from the Crown’s office, but there’s so much information it will take far too long to download.
Zahara, who represents Mahmoud Neirabani, pointed out she has received an “incredible” amount of disclosure, including 96 media files she estimates will take at least 150 hours to download. That doesn’t include, she added, the time it will take to review all of the information.
Lancee, who works in the same law firm and represents Mohammad Neirabani, echoed Zahara’s concerns, and said she hopes the Crown can figure out a better method of sending disclosure.
“Over 100 notifications have been provided to our office, and previously we expressed concern with the nature of disclosure provided via the assigned Crown,” Lancee said.
She told court she will contact the Crown and seek a more “tenable” format for the information.
Both matters are set to return to court March 11.
The Neirabani brothers are two of 10 individuals, including two youth, who were charged last summer in relation to the sexual assaults of several girls.
Following the arrest of all 10 individuals in August, police reported that several men 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, and three additional victims came forward later in connection with the investigation.
Also charged are Ziyaad Noor, Fadi Chtewi, Meriton Krasniqi, Abdullah Mohammad, Mohammad Zafari, Khalid Alsaid, and two youths who cannot be identified.
The charges include sexual interference, sexual assault and aggravated sexual assault, and all of the accused except Alsaid face charges of trafficking persons under the age of 18. All the accused have been released on bail.

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