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TRINIDAD'S JAMAAT al Muslimeen leader Imam Yasin Abu Bakr wants compensation

JAMAAT al Muslimeen leader Imam Yasin Abu Bakr is seeking compensation from the State for damage to his character and reputation after he was slapped with four charges of firearm and ammunition possession in 2005.

The charges against Bakr were eventually dropped, but in his lawsuit filed against the Attorney General and Commissioner of Police, Bakr says he was greatly injured “in his credit, character and reputation and suffered mental anguish and pain and incurred expense in defending himself.”

He also noted that he had spent $4 million in legal fees and is claiming damages for false imprisonment, assault and battery, malicious prosecution, damages, other reliefs the court deems fit and costs.

Yesterday, Bakr’s matter came up for hearing before Justice Maureen Rajnauth-Lee at the Port-of-Spain Assizes in courtroom POS 21.

Bakr’s attorneys, Theodore Guerra, SC, Angelique S Olowe and Richard Thomas — were given until March 1, to file submissions. The State represented by Gilbert Peterson, SC and Fitzgerald Hinds were given until March 15 to respond and further submissions in reply are to be filed by Bakr’s legal team by March 31. The case’s next hearing was set for May 11.

The genesis of Bakr’s lawsuit against the State begins in November 2005, after charges of firearm and ammunition possession were levelled against him.

He was charged following a raid at the Jamaat’s compound at Mucurapo Road, on November 10, 2005, during which police, armed with search warrants and metal detectors, allegedly found a sniper rifle with telescope, a hand grenade, and 569 rounds of ammunition.

Bakr was, at the time of the raid, in a cell at the Port-of-Spain CID awaiting his court appearance on four charges arising out of statements allegedly made during Eid-ul-Fitr celebrations at the Jamaat compound, earlier that month.

The firearm and ammunition were allegedly found in a wayfarer’s dormitory and according to his lawsuit, there was no evidence linking the Jamaat’s leader with the alleged articles.

The Imam’s lawsuit also stated that the alleged offences were “successfully utilised as a ground to deny the claimant bail on his application” before a judge in Chambers.

On January 20, 2006, then Director of Public Prosecutions Geoffrey Henderson discontinued proceedings against Bakr for the firearm and ammunition offences, giving no reason for doing so.

It was not until July 2006, that Bakr was released on bail after spending eight months incarcerated at the Maximum Security Prison awaiting trial for sedition.

He was granted bail in the sum of $400,000 by former Justice Herbert Volney, and then went on to face trial for conspiracy to murder of which he was eventually freed after the collapse of the prosecution’s case at his second trial in 2006.

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Comment by nesha london on February 10, 2011 at 2:52pm
All I van say is fight for your rights

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