By FRANCIS JOSEPH
YASIN ABU BAKR, the leader of the Jamaat Al Muslimeen, is to stay in prison pending the hearing and determination of the charges laid against him on Thursday and yesterday.
Bakr, 64, lost two bail applications yesterday, the second before Justice Herbert Volney in the Port-of-Spain High Court. In a ruling at 6.08 pm, Volney said the State had satisfied him that he must deny bail to the Jamaat leader.
Volney ordered that Bakr be kept in custody pending the hearing and determination of seven charges. Attorneys for the Jamaat leader cannot make another application for bail in the High Court once there are new circumstances.
On Thursday, Bakr was charged with four offences including sedition. Yesterday, Bakr and two members of the Jamaat were charged with possession of a high-powered sniper rifle; 565 rounds of ammunition, and one hand grenade at the Jamaat’s Mucurapo compound on Thursday.
The charges were preferred after the police and army conducted a massive exercise at Mucurapo Road on Thursday and reportedly found and seized the items.
Two other members of the Jamaat — Tahir Ali, 19, and Olugemi Abdul Basit, of Old Train Line, Cunupia, were also denied bail pending tracing. They will return to the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court on Monday to know their fate on bail. Bakr will return to court on November 17.
The day started when Bakr’s attorneys Wayne Sturge and Leon Gokool went before Volney seeking bail for their client. Sturge asked the court not to take into consideration that a raid was conducted at the Jamaat’s premises on Thursday. He said it was inflammatory and prejudicial to raise that matter. But Douglas Mendes SC, who is leading Dana Seetahal for the State, informed the court that Bakr was going to be charged with three more offences relating to Thursday’s exercise. However, Sturge was not concerned about new charges, he was interested in securing bail after Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls refused the application the previous day.
Volney said he wanted to give the State the opportunity to file the new charges against Bakr, and adjourned further hearing to 3 pm.
bakr was eventually charged and brought back to court, where, for the second time, his bail application was dismissed.
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