Abu Bakr Sedition Trial: Police ‘unequal’ in treatment of Islamic group leader – defence

Abu Bakr, who once led a bloody, aborted coup against the Trinidadian government 22 years ago, faces four charges in the Trinidad and Tobago High Court, including sedition and communicating a statement with seditious intent or promoting hostility and ill-will, stemming from a sermon he delivered in 2005.

Attorney Wayne Sturge said that although Abu Bakr has been charged for sedition, among other things, politicians and calypsonians who make hostile statements all the time do not attract police attention.

“Anybody could say anything except Abu Bakr. That’s not equality before the law,” Sturge told the court.

He made the contention as a police constable became the first witness for the prosecution in the trial’s first full day here on Wednesday before High Court Justice Mark Mohammed and a nine-member, all-female jury.

In Abu Bakr’s sermon, made during the Islamic feast of Eid Al-Fitr, which was filmed and broadcast on television, said “blood will flow” if rich Muslims did not pay zakat, a form of Islamic charity in which money is given to the poor.

Eid is celebrated at the end of the Ramadan month of fasting, and Muslims usually give charity on the occasion.

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