FORMER president of the Inter Religious Organisation, Noble Khan, admitted yesterday that he did not, of his own volition, go to the police to make a report after hearing his name being called by Jamaat-al-Muslimeen leader Yasin Abu Bakr, during a television newscast, five years ago.
During his testimony in the trial, in which Bakr is charged with communicating a statement having seditious intention, Khan said the police came looking for him and he gave them a statement on December 8, 2005. This was one month after sedition charges were already laid against Bakr by Inspector Christopher Holder on November 9, 2005 after instructions were received from then Director of Public Prosecutions Geoffrey Henderson.
Bakr, 70, of La Puerta Avenue, Diego Martin, is also charged with two counts of inciting to demand with menaces with intent to steal and endeavouring to provoke a breach of the peace.
The charges arose out of comments he made during an Eid-ul-Fitr sermon delivered at the Jamaat's Mucurapo Road, St James mosque on November 4, 2005. Portions of the sermon about the collection of Zakaat were aired later that day during CNC 3's 7 p.m. newscast which Khan said he saw.
Khan testified last week that he felt "very shocked and traumatised" when he heard his name being called by Bakr.
"He said they (the Jamaat) was coming by me (to collect Zakaat),” Khan said.
However, under cross-examination by Bakr's attorney Wayne Sturge for a third day, Khan said he "overlooked" telling the police in the statement that he was fearful and traumatised.
Sturge suggested to Khan that he (Khan) was lying when he testified about feeling fearful and traumatised.
"You, as a Muslim, would know that what you heard (during the sermon given by Bakr) would not cause you fear or trauma," Sturge said.
Khan said he did not agree with Sturge.
"I am suggesting that you are telling lies. I suggest that you came here to say that you were fearful and traumatised to help the State make out a case," Sturge said.
Again, Khan disagreed.
The trial, which is being heard before Justice Mark Mohammed and a nine-member jury with three alternates in the High Court in Port of Spain, is expected to continue today.