Charges of terrorism, sedition -
Case made out against Bakr
By CAROL QUASH
CHIEF MAGISTRATE Sherman Mc Nicolls yesterday ruled that the State had satisfied all the requirements for Jamaat-al-Muslimeen leader Imam Yasin Abu Bakr to be tried for the five charges laid against him arising out of his sermon during Eid celebrations at the Jamaat Mosque in Mucurapo on November 4, 2005. The Imam, however, has opted to exercise his right to call witnesses in his defence prior to being committed.
Mc Nicolls, sitting in the Port-of-Spain Eighth Magistrates’ Court, in his ruling threw out the no-case submission made by defence attorney Pamela Elder SC, and upheld the State’s response to it. Bakr will have his day in court on January 12.
Bakr, also called Lennox Phillips, of La Puerta Road, Diego Martin, is before the court charged with sedition, terrorism, endeavouring to provoke the breach of peace and two counts of incitement to demand property with force. The charges were laid by Insp Christopher Holder of the Port-of-Spain CID.
Based on the evidence that was led during the inquiry, Mc Nicolls said, he was satisfied that the prosecution team, which comprised attorneys Douglas Mendes SC and Dana Seetahal, had produced the "ingredients necessary" to prove its case in all five charges.
Mendes had submitted that the accused had made a statement which is alleged to have seditious intent by engendering hostility and ill will between sections of the Muslim community and encouraging acts of larceny. The State attorney had also argued that Bakr had incited his listeners to demand property with force, had provoked his listeners to breach the peace, and had promoted a terrorist act by intimidating a section of the Muslim community and advancing an ideological religious cause.
As Mc Nicolls read the alibi notice, the Imam, with pursed lips, stood erect with his hands behind his back and stared the magistrate in the face.
Elder, who said she was not in a position to call defence witnesses yesterday, indicated that she was not sure how many witnesses would be called when the matter resumed.
The Imam was remanded in custody.
Attorney Owen Hinds Jnr appeared with Elder for Bakr.
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