Charges against Jamaat leader
5 more witnesses to testify against Bakr
By FRANCIS JOSEPH
THE CASE against Jamaat al Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr on charges of sedition, incitement and terrorism, is coming to an end.
There are only five more witnesses to give evidence for the prosecution, lead prosecutor Douglas Mendes SC told Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls in the Port-of-Spain Eighth Magistrates’ Court yesterday.
Those five witnesses, including the investigator, Insp Christopher Holder, will give evidence when the preliminary inquiry resumes next Tuesday. Of the five, just Holder was present in court yesterday. Mendes told the court that the others were not summoned to attend court yesterday. But Mc Nicolls asked that the witnesses be present on the next occasion as the accused remains in prison without bail. He said he did not want the case to stretch out with the Jamaat leader in custody. Mendes also indicated yesterday that the case could be completed by the end of next week.
The lead prosecutor said after the inquiry is completed, the State would want to start the case against Bakr and two teenagers, Tahir Ali, 19, and Olugemia Abdul Basit, 18, on charges of possession of arms and ammunition at the Jamaat’s Mucurapo compound on November 7. At the inquiry yesterday, CNC3 cameraman Mano Ragbir was cross-examined by Theodore Guerra SC, who is leading the defence team. Ragbir gave his evidence-in-chief on Monday.
When Ragbir was finished, CNC3 senior reporter and producer Sampson Nanton was called to the witness stand by junior prosecutor Dana Seetahal.
Nanton, who previously worked with Newsday and CCN TV 6, was on duty at the television station on November 4 when Bakr made statements at Eid celebrations to almost 400 followers at the Jamaat’s mosque.
Arising out of the statements made in his sermon, Bakr was charged with sedition, incitement, and terrorism.
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