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Bro Khan on stand again
Former Inter-Religious Organisation president, Bro Noble Khan, is expected to take the witness stand today, for a sixth time. In the ongoing sedition trial of Jamaat-al-Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr. Khan, the last State witness in the trial, is expected to be cross-examined by Bakr’s defence attorney Wayne Sturge.
During previous days of cross-examination Khan was asked about his knowledge of the Qur’an and the principle of zakaat. Zakaat, which was the main theme of Bakr’s speech, requires that Muslims give two-and-a-half per cent of their wealth to charity. Khan’s cross-examination was put on pause two weeks ago because of legal arguments between Sturge and special prosecutor Dana Seetahal, SC, which concluded yesterday.
While addressing the nine-member jury hearing the trial in the Port-of-Spain Third Criminal Court, Justice Mark Mohammed assured them it would finish by mid-August. The trial, which was scheduled to begin earlier this year, started last month because of an injury to Bakr’s ankle. On his doctor’s recommendation, Bakr, a diabetic, has been allowed to rest his injured leg on a cushion during hearings.
He is facing four criminal charges in relation to his 2005 Eid-ul-Fitr sermon to about 200 supporters at the Jamaat’s headquarters, Mucurapo Road, St James. The charges are communicating a statement with a seditious intent, endeavouring to provoke a breach of the peace and two charges of inciting others to demand money by menace. Khan was brought as a State witness in the matter because Bakr allegedly referred directly to him during the speech.
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