On Monday, Justice Mark Mohammed rejected an application from Bakr’s attorney Wayne Sturge that the trial be adjourned on the grounds of pre-trial publicity.
But special prosecutor Dana Seetahal argued that charges against the 68-year-old Muslim leader had been filed more than six years and wondered whether there will ever be an atmosphere sufficient to try the case.
Bakr his right foot wrapped in a bandage, limped into court with the aid of a cane, surrounded by his bodyguards. He is facing two counts of inciting a riot, demanding money by menace and inciting others to breach the peace. He is also charged with promoting a terrorist act, sedition and four other offences relating to an Eid-ul-Fitr sermon he delivered in November 2005.
Bakr who has been diagnosed with diabetes sustained an injury on his ankle and was unable to attend court on five occasions as a result of his ill health.
When the matter resumes on Tuesday, Justice Mohammed will continue hearing applications from potential jurors seeking exemption. Close to 70 jurors were exempted on Monday.