Bakr Loses Lawsuit Against Magistrate


Ordered to Pay Cost

TRINIDAD & TOBAGO — Jamaat al Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr has lost his claim for compensation in his malicious prosecution lawsuit against a magistrate who, as coroner, ordered that he be charged for a 1998 murder, the Trinidad Newsday has reported.

Bakr, the newspaper said, had alleged that coroner Nalini Singh acted maliciously when she charged him and his former follower Brent “Big Brent” Miller with murder after the conclusion of a coroner’s inquest into the death of 22-year-old mechanic Israel Sammy in September 2010.

Sammy, also a former member of Bakr’s organisation, was shot dead behind his Valot Street, Boissiere Village, Maraval, home on May 20, 1998. Singh’s decision was eventually overturned one month later when Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Roger Gaspard said there was insufficient evidence to sustain the charge, according to the Newsday report.

In his ruling at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain on Tuesday, Justice Frank Seepersad, according to Newsday, held the evidence in Bakr’s claim established the rules of natural justice were adhered to and, observed during the inquest, there was nothing to suggest Singh’s procedure was flawed or that Bakr’s rights were compromised.

He also said there was no evidence Singh acted with malice or improper motive, adding that in arriving at her decision she properly discharged her statutory obligations under the Coroner’s Act.

In dismissing Bakr’s lawsuit, according to the newspaper, Seepersad found the malicious prosecution claim could not be sustained against the coroner since she did not prosecute Bakr.
Noting that Bakr’s lawsuit was “not properly structured,” Seepersad was reported as saying the lawsuit against the Attorney General could not be sustained since there was no allegation that the DPP went on to prosecute Bakr.

Bakr, having lost his lawsuit, was ordered to pay costs.