All property owned by the Yasin Abu Bakr-led Jamaat al Muslimeen, which attempted to overthrow the elected National Alliance for Reconstruction Government on July 27, 1990, are to be sold on Tuesday–the 20th anniversary of the bloody insurrection.
The attempted coup claimed more than 22 lives and caused millions of dollars in damage to state property, including Police Headquarters on St Vincent Street, Port-of-Spain. Attorney General Anand Ramlogan made the disclosure during a public meeting of the People's Partnership at Caura Junction, El Dorado, on Wednesday night.
Almost 20 years ago, during a regular sitting of the Parliament on Friday, July 27, Abu Bakr and members of the Muslimeen stormed the Parliament Building and held then prime minister ANR Robinson and other MPs hostage. Many buildings were destroyed during the six-day siege. The insurgents were subsequently freed by the court after securing an amnesty signed by then acting President Emmanuel Carter.
After prolonged legal battles, the Muslimeen were ordered to pay millions of dollars in damages to the State. The sale would be done by public auction by the Port-of-Spain City Corporation, Ramlogan said. "On July 27, 2010, the first advertisement in all three daily newspapers to put up for sale every single property owned by the Jamaat al Muslimeen... every single property owned by the Jamaat al Muslimeen is being put up for sale to compensate the State for the loss and damage suffered to the property of the State, during the 1990 attempted coup," he said.
"If those properties are not purchased by anyone, rest assured, the State has use for them." Ramlogan said the Prime Minister was not only a magnet of unity in T&T, but " a healing power" and a positive inspiration for him to get the job done. "We will not betray you," he told supporters. Contacted yesterday for comment on the proposed sale of the Muslimeen's property, Abu Bakr said citizens will know what action he intends to take to prevent the sale of the organisation's properties in T&T in due course. "When the time comes, we will see what will happen, we will see," he said. He also denied that any police officer had questioned him on any threat to the life of Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar.