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Bakr charged with sedition *LINK*
In Response To: Business community slams Bakr ()

By FRANCIS JOSEPH, newsday.co.tt

YASIN ABU BAKR, leader of the Jamaat Al Muslimeen, was last night charged with three offences, including sedition, arising out of statements he allegedly made at the Eid celebrations before a large gathering at his mosque last Friday.

The 64-year-old Bakr was also charged with inciting violence and using threatening language during the same incident at the Mucurapo Road mosque. The Jamaat leader will appear before a Port-of-Spain magistrate this morning to answer the charges.

Bakr was charged under Chapter 11:04 Section 3 (1) (C and D) of the Sedition Act.

He was arrested at 12.20 am on Tuesday at the Diego Martin home of his first wife Anisa. Reports revealed that Bakr was informed that Commissioner of Police Trevor Paul wanted to see him at the St James Police Station.

However, the Muslimeen leader was allowed to drive himself to Police Headquarters, where he was put to sit in a chair. He was allowed to keep his cellphone and was seen chatting on the police land line. Last month, when Bakr was "arrested" at Mucurapo for questioning in connection with the St James bombing incident, he was again allowed to drive to the police station and was allowed the use of his cellphone.

Bakr remained at the CID office all of Tuesday. He received several visitors including two of his wives, Anisa and Indrani. Anisa even walked with breakfast for him. Newsday learnt that he was not questioned by the police on Tuesday.

Bakr was allowed to sleep on a special mattress provided for him by his family. Yesterday, the CID officers received orders from the commissioner that Bakr must not be allowed to use his cellphone, and that he must be kept in a cell.

Fatima Abu Bakr joined the other two wives at Police Headquarters yesterday. This time, Bakr was questioned by senior officers before a Justice of the Peace arrived at the station. Newsday learnt that the investigator, acting Insp Christopher Holder, read the charges to Bakr at about 11 am with a promise that the prisoner would have been taken to the city court at 1 pm.

That did not materialise and Bakr became highly annoyed. However, they told Bakr nothing else and, instead, Holder went to the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) where he held talks with acting deputy DPP Roger Gaspard and Dana Seetahal, who was hired to advise the department of the charges in the matter.

Shortly before 4 pm, attorneys Wayne Sturge and Leon Gokool turned up at the CID office to see Bakr. It was there that the attorneys were informed of the charges preferred against the Jamaat leader.

Bakr was informed that the police would begin the process of laying the charges against him at 6 pm in the hope that it would be concluded some time last night.

However, the police could not guarantee that Bakr would have secured bail last night, although his bailor was present and willing to secure his release.

One thing was certain, whether Bakr secured bail or not, he will appear before a Port-of-Spain magistrate this morning.

What is Sedition

Yasin Abu Bakr was charged last night under Section 3 (1) of the Sedition Act. He was not charged with sedition against the Government, but against inhabitants of Trinidad and Tobago.

Section 3 (1) ó A seditious intention is an intention:

(a) to bring into hatred or contempt, or to excite disaffection against Government or the Constitution as by law established or the House of Representatives or the Senate or the administration of justice;

(b) to excite any person to attempt, otherwise than by lawful means, to procure the alteration of any matter in the State by law established;

(c) to raise discontent or disaffection amongst inhabitants of Trinidad and Tobago;

(d) to engender or promote:

(i) feelings of ill-will or hostility between one or more sections of the community on the one hand and any other section or sections of the community on the other hand, or;

(ii) feelings of ill-will towards, hostility to or contempt for any class of inhabitants of Trinidad and Tobago distinguished by race, colour, religion, profession, calling or employment, or;

(e) to advocate or promote, with intent to destroy in whole or in part any identifiable group, the commission of any of the following acts namely;

(i) killing members of the group, or;

(ii) deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction.

Bakr in court to face charges today

Muslimeen leader, Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, will appear in a Port-of-Spain Magistratesí Court this morning to face charges of sedition, using threatening language, and inciting violence.

Bakr was held for questioning on Monday night at the Port-of-Spain CID on St Vincent Street.

Bakrís attorney, Wayne Sturge, told Newsday that Bakr was charged at 6 pm last night, based on instructions from the DPPís office.

"Insp Holder went to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), and he told me that Bakr will be charged, and it will not be processed until 10 pm," he said.

"It is a bailable offence, and he will be charged within the 48 hours after he was held for questioning," he stated.

Sturge said that Bakr would be able to secure bail because, "it is not murder or treason."

Bakr was charged as a result of statements he made during an address he delivered on Eid-Ul-Fitr at the Mucurapo Mosque.

UNC expresses horror over Bakrís statement

The Opposition UNC yesterday expressed horror at the statements made by Jamaat al Muslimeen leader, Imam Yasin Abu Bakr, during his Eid-ul-Fitr message in which, the UNC said, he declared his intention "to extort money from peaceful citizens under the guise of enforcing a religious practice."

However, the UNC said that it was not surprised that Abu Bakr could nonchalantly make such bold assertions, since governmentís lenient handling of his past indiscretions had allowed him to comfortably thumb his nose at the law.

For example, the UNC stated, when the authorities went to the Jamaatís compound to take Abu Bakr in for questioning in relation to the St James bombing last month, he was allowed to use his private transport to go to the police station. He was also allowed to have constant use of his mobile phone, according to the party.

http://www.newsday.co.tt/stories.php?article_id=30524

Messages In This Thread

Business community slams Bakr
Bakr charged with sedition *LINK*
BREAKING NEWS
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Elder: Seetahal must go *LINK*
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Bakr on terrorism charge
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Bakr's only witness testifies
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Trinidad and Tobago News

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