Sections

Funding issue delays serial rapist’s dangerous offender hearing

Published on May 12, 2017

Sofyan Boalag was back at provincial court in St. John's Friday.

©Rosie Mullaley/The Telegram

There’s been another holdup in scheduling a hearing to determine if a convicted serial rapist will be deemed a dangerous offender.

This time, it has to do with determining which psychiatrist will conduct the assessment on Sofyan Boalag. 

When Boalag’s case was called again in provincial court in St. John’s today (Friday), defence lawyer Jeff Brace told the judge he’s once again run into some delays.

“We wouldn’t want Your Honour to think we are in any way dragging our heels,” Brace told Chief Judge Pamela Goulding. 

Brace said he had hoped to get an out-of-province psychiatrist to conduct Boalag’s evaluation, but he said the Newfoundland and Labrador Legal Aid Commission turned down his request for funding to do that.

As a result, he said, he had no choice but to call on local psychiatrist Dr. Nizar Ladha. 

“It’s not what we wanted,” Brace said. “We thought we could get someone completely independent.”

He said Ladha was out of the province until May 1, at which time Brace said he delivered the substantial amount of documents in the case to him. 

Brace said Ladha told him Wednesday that he’s reviewed some of the disclosure, but would need another week to get through it all.

Brace said because of the circumstance Legal Aid has put him in, he doesn’t know what to do if things “go off the rails” with Ladha, although he said he doesn’t foresee it.

The case will be called again May 30 for a status update. 

Twitter: TelyRosie