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Preliminary Inquiry into Abu Bakr's case

Second State witness takes the stand

By Carol Quash

AFTER FIVE days of intense interrogation, the testimony of the first State witness called in the Preliminary Inquiry of the conspiracy to murder charge brought against Jamaat leader, Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, yesterday came to an end at the Port-of-Spain Magistrates' Eighth Court and the second State witness took the stand. Brent "Big Brent" Miller was subjected to his final two hours of questioning on the witness stand, when Bakr's attorney, Pamela Elder, completed her cross-examination and he was re-examined by prosecutor, Carla Brown-Antoine.

Bakr was charged on August 21 with conspiring to murder expelled Jamaat members, Lincoln Alexis, also known as Salim Rashid and Clive "Wolfie" Lewis also known as Adil Ghany. The two men were shot and wounded and the common-law wife of Ghany was fatally shot on the evening of June 4, just outside Movie Towne, Invaders Bay, Audrey Jeffers Highway. The Imam, whose eyes remained closed during most of Miller's testimony, never once looked at the witness. Miller, however, stole quick glances at the accused. Several of the witness' answers to Brown-Antoine's questions apparently amused Elder and a few members of Bakr's entourage present in the court, as they smiled and shook their heads following some of Miller's responses. Immediately following his testimony, Miller was allowed by Chief Magistrate Sherman Nicholls to exit the courtroom through the door used exclusively by court officials and was taken to an undisclosed location.

State witness number two, Acting Cpl Wendell Lucas of the Port-of-Spain Homicide Bureau of Investigation, was questioned by Brown-Antoine for all of ten minutes, followed by the beginning of Elder's cross-examination. A seemingly evasive Lucas was cautioned by McNicolls on a few occasions to answer the questioned posed by the defence attorney, and to desist from asking questions of his own. At approximately 4.45 pm Elder, who claimed she "had a long way to go," requested that the proceeding be brought to an end for the day, to which McNicolls had no objection. The matter was adjourned to October 16.

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