By DARREN BAHAW and CAROL QUASH Express TT
THE State yesterday dropped the nine criminal charges against the man charged with the MovieTowne mayhem and he is now expected to testify against former coup-maker, Jamaat-al-Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr.
The 26-year-old Muslimeen former murder accused, Brent Miller, of Ariapita Road, St Ann’s, and his close family are now in the witness protection programme at an undisclosed location.
Miller, now the State’s principal witness against Bakr, was whisked away by heavily armed members of the protective services after he left the Port of Spain Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Bakr was charged on August 21 with conspiracy to murder and is expected to make his third court appearance on September 29.
Miller made a brief appearance before Chief Magistrate Sherman McNicolls around 11.15 a.m. in the Eighth Court, where he was informed that the charges had been dropped.
“This is your lucky day,” McNicolls told Miller, who stood in the prisoners’ dock.
Miller had been charged with the June 4 murder of Jillia Bowen and the attempted murder of two expelled Jamaat members, Salim “Small Slim” Rasheed and Adel Ghany and six other related charges.
Several young women outside the courtroom hugged each other and clapped after the officer who had charged Miller, Sgt Narine Angatiah, told them that the charges had been dropped.
The charges were ordered to be discontinued by Director of Public Prosecutions Geoffrey Henderson.
On August 21, Bakr, also known as Lennox Phillip, was arrested and charged jointly with his top lieutenant David “Buffy” Millard, 40, also known as Abdulah Mustafa Muhammad, with conspiring to murder Rasheed, and Zaki Aubaidah, Bakr’s son-in-law.
Millard is also wanted by police for questioning for the MovieTowne murder and shooting incident. He fled to neighbouring Guyana on July 3, and is wanted by Guyanese Immigration authorities for overstaying his time in the South American Caricom country.
Bakr appeared in court on August 22 and was initially denied bail. He was subsequently allowed bail by Justice Herbert Volney in the sum of $250,000, despite objections from the State.
The conspiracy, it is alleged, occurred on June 4, when Bakr and other persons conspired, at Citrine Avenue, Diamond Vale, Diego Martin, to murder Rasheed and Aubaidah.
Rasheed, Adel Ghani and Bowen were shot at as they sat on a bench at the MovieTowne cineplex, at Invaders Bay shortly after 11.30 p.m. that same night.
Bowen, 32, of Nelson Street, Port of Spain, a mother of one, was killed instantly after she was shot in the head while Rasheed and Ghani were critically injured after they were shot in their legs and abdomen. They survived the attack.
The attack came days after Rasheed, Aubaidah and another man, Kazim Rasheed, were expelled from the Jamaat and after they denounced the Jamaat publicly on radio programmes and a weekly newspaper for failing to take action against errant members of the organisation who were involved in criminal activity.
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