Trinidad and Tobago Bulletin Board
Homepage | Weblog | Trinbago Pan | Trinicenter | TriniView | Photo Gallery | Forums

View Trinidad and

Trinidad and Tobago News Forum

Bakr charged with terrorism *LINK*
In Response To: Bakr on terrorism charge ()


YASIN ABU BAKR, leader of the Jamaat Al Muslimeen, yesterday became the first person to be charged under the new Anti-Terrorism Act.

If convicted under the Act, Bakr could face up to 25 years in prison. The Anti-Terrorism Act was assented to by President George Maxwell Richards on September 13.

When Bakr was taken to court yesterday to face seven charges of sedition, incitement, and possession of arms and ammunition, Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls greeted him with the additional charge. This charge arose out of statements made by Bakr at the Eid celebrations at the Mucurapo Mosque.

It read: "Yasin Abu Bakr, also called Lennox Phillips, of La Puerta Road, Diego Martin, on November 4, 2005, at Mucurapo Road, did knowingly promote the commission of a terrorist act likely to cause the loss of life or serious bodily harm, to wit, a war in which lives may be lost, intended to intimidate a section of the public, to wit, members of the Muslim community who are not members of the Jamaat Al Muslimeen, for the purpose of advancing a religious or ideological cause, contrary to Section 14 of the Anti-Terrorism Act number 26 of 2005."

The charge, which was laid by Insp Christopher Holder of the Port-of-Spain CID, was laid indictably so Bakr was not called on to plead.

After that was out of the way, Douglas Mendes SC, lead prosecutor, responded to submissions which Bakr's lead attorney Pamela Elder SC made on Monday. Elder had asked that junior prosecutor Dana Seetahal withdraw from the case because of things she said in Parliament and what she had written in her newspaper column about the Jamaat.

Mendes said that Seetahal, an Independent Senator, should be free to express her views without these views becoming subject to court proceedings. In an article dated July 17, Mendes said Seetahal was referring to the 1990 attempted coup. He said Seetahal wrote that the bombing on Frederick Street evoked memories of July, 1990.

In another article dated November 6, Mendes said Seetahal wrote about members of the Jamaat being involved in kidnappings. "This is someone who is not afraid to call a spade a spade. If the Government is falling, she says it. If members of an organisation are involved in criminal activity, she says it. She is one of the few independent persons in the country. She speaks her mind, no matter whose toes she steps on.

"It is surprising that the defence does not appreciate what Miss Seetahal has done," Mendes said. He said the defence believes that Seetahal had formed a view against Bakr. "The prosecution will have the evidence before anybody else has it. If the prosecution is of the view that the evidence does not support the charge, we would take steps to withdraw the charges. It is impossible for the prosecution to come to court with no view at all," Mendes said. Mendes reiterated that Mc Nicolls had no basis to interfere with the composition of the prosecution team.

"It will be absolutely inappropriate to stop this prosecution in the absence of any real request for remedies by the defence. Mrs Elder has suggested none," Mendes added.

In her response, Elder said the bias on Seetahal's part was real. She pointed out that the law provides that the issue of bias be taken at the earliest opportunity. "A bias, prejudiced mind is a diseased mind. You lose your objectivity, you are not dispassionate."

Elder said Seetahal was not just a member of the prosecution's team. "Here we have a biased attorney, bringing the evidence before the court. Although she is a junior attorney, she is there for making disclosures and briefing the witnesses. That is where the danger lies." Elder said. She asked, "Can a tainted tree bear good fruit?' Mc Nicolls, sitting in a packed Port-of-Spain Eighth Magistrates' Court, said there were substantive issues of law in the submissions. He said he needed time to consider the legal authorities. He said he would give his decision on December 1.

Hearing ended at 5 pm and Bakr was then remanded in custody.

Messages In This Thread

Business community slams Bakr
Bakr charged with sedition *LINK*
Crackdown on the Jamaat, No need to panic - CoP
Top cop urges public to be calm *LINK*
Cops seize grenade, gun, ammo at Jamaat
Jamaat leader slapped with arms charge
Muslimeen count losses
Cops clash outside Jamaat *LINK*
Bakr stays in jail *LINK*
Elder: Seetahal must go *LINK*
Forces maintain alert at Muslimeen site
Bakr on terrorism charge
Lawyers want quick start to Bakr inquiry
Bakr charged with terrorism *LINK*
Judge to view tape of Bakr's Eid speech
Judge blanks Bakr again
5 more witnesses to testify against Bakr
Defence grills cop in Bakr inquiry
State closes terror case against Bakr
Re: State closes terror case against Bakr
Zakat bacchanal a trick by Indian Muslims *LINK*
Case made out against Bakr *LINK*
Bakr's only witness testifies
It could happen to you too. *LINK*
DPP drops arms, ammo charges
Trinidad and Tobago News

NOTE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 this material is distributed without profit or payment to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving this information for non-profit research and educational purposes only. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond fair use you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Copyright ©