The state is today victorious following an almost year long court battle with 1990 insurrectionist, Yasin Abu Bakr. The Imam had commenced proceedings against the State in a claim filed on September 19th 2014 seeking a declaration that his constitutional rights had been infringed.
Bakr This claim arose out of the inquest into the death of Mr. Israel Sammy. In September 2010, Ms. Nalini Singh sitting as the coroner for the County of St George West, ordered that Bakr be charged for the murder of Mr. Sammy at the conclusion of the inquest into his death. Sammy was shot and killed at the back of his home on May 20th, 1998. Bakr and Mr Brent Miller were subsequently charged with Mr. Sammy’s murder on the September 29th, 2010. The DPP subsequently discontinued the charge against Bakr.
Bakr sought a declaration that the actions of Coroner Singh were unconstitutional, an order quashing the decision of the Coroner and damages for breach of his constitutional rights. The Attorney General filed an application to strike out Bakr’s claim on the basis that it amounted to an abuse of the process of the court.
In ruling for the Attorney General, the Court found that the decision of the Coroner was made within the confines of due process and that any decision of the Coroner ought properly to have been challenged by way of judicial review. Justice Seepersad held that Bakr had an effective and appropriate alternative remedy. The Court found that the action brought by Bakr was inappropriate and amounted to an abuse of the Courts process and as such Bakr was ordered to pay the Attorney General’s costs.