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Imam Pleads Not Guilty To Incitement Charges

SUVA – A trial for an imam at the Toorak mosque began at the Suva Magistrate Court. Faiyaz Ali Khan is charged with one count of incitement and pleaded not guilty. The trial was presided by Chief Magistrate Usaia Ratuvili.

Khan is alleged to have urged one Michael Abdullah Rahman between January 1 to 31 last year to unlawfully wound one Mohammed Kannukarathi. State witness Kannukarathi told the court the accused followed him and hit him with a stick while he walked to his shop from the mosque.

Kannukarathi said he then ran back to the mosque to save himself and told Mr Rahman about Khan’s actions. When cross-examined by defence lawyer Mehboob Raza, he said he did not report the matter to the police because he did not understand what had happened though Rahman did.

The court also heard Kannukarathi was paying Khan’s electricity upon his request.

The rift started after he did not keep his promise and stopped paying his bills for five consecutive months. Kannukarathi is a Suva businessman and runs a supermarket.

He said he had a good relationship with the accused until he learnt that he had a plot against him. Raza told the court that the mosque committee had made an allegation against his client to the high priest, which Kannukarathi denied.

Second witness Rahman told the court he was approached by the accused to apprehend Kannukarathi but he did not because it was against his religious belief. However, he said he had a follow-up visitation from the accused on the progress of their plot over the period of one month.

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