Pair elect Supreme Court trial
Third man to be tried in provincial court
STEVE BRUCE firstname.lastname@example.org @Steve_courts
Two of three young men from Bedford accused of sexually assaulting a woman in May have elected to be tried in Nova Scotia Supreme Court by a judge alone. Ahmed Samrah and Khalid Ghazal, both 19, are charged with committing a sexual assault while choking, suffocating or strangling the complainant. Lawyers Jennifer Macdonald and Leora Lawson made the election for the pair last month in Halifax provincial court and returned to court Monday to set a date for a preliminary inquiry on the indictable charge. Judge Ann Marie Simmons scheduled the hearing for June 20, 2024. A preliminary inquiry is held in provincial court and determines if there is sufficient evidence for a case to proceed to trial in Supreme Court. It is also an opportunity for the defence to assess the strength of the Crown’s witnesses. The third man arrested in the case, Angelo Michael Jeha, 20, is being dealt with separately. He was arraigned Monday on a summary charge of sexual assault. Lawyer Stan Macdonald entered a not-guilty plea on behalf of Jeha. Simmons booked his trial for Sept. 4, 2024. Police allege the offences were committed in Halifax on May 19. The trio were arrested the next day and released on undertakings requiring them to have no contact with the complainant, whose identity is protected by a publication ban. The men also must stay away from two restaurants in Bayers Lake Business Park and a fitness club in westend Halifax.