(Trinidad Guardian) A man accused of inciting acts of racial violence via social media has been sent to the St Ann’s Hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.
Chief Magistrate Maria Busby Earle-Caddle ordered that Jonathan Anthony Mohammed be sent to St Ann’s for two weeks after he appeared before her in the Port-of-Spain Seventh Magistrate’s Court yesterday.
Mohammed, also known as Johnny, 22, was not called upon to enter a plea as the charges were laid indictably. He was charged with sedition and inciting the commission of a terrorist act to cause the loss of life or severe bodily harm and or the endangerment of persons of the African race for purpose of advancing an ideological or religious cause contrary to Section 14 of the Anti-Terrorism Act. The act was alleged to have been committed on Facebook on October 28.
After reading the charges to Mohammed, Busby Earle-Caddle was prompted to ask him if he understood her, as he initially only responded through nods and other body movements, and only appeared to respond to the magistrate upon prompting from his attorneys Ravi Rajcoomar and John Heath.
Mohammed told the magistrate he had difficulty hearing her statements and again nodded when asked if she should speak louder and again had to be prompted by Heath to respond.
Rajcoomar requested the bail hearing be deferred so his client could be given a mental assessment at St Ann’s. The prosecution did not object.
The Chief Magistrate said she would place a note on his recommendation to the hospital concerning his behaviour in court stating he was non-communicative.
Rajcoomar said Mohammed had previously seen a private practitioner, Dr Claudius Samaroo, for assessments in 2014 and 2017.
The matter was adjourned to November 26. Prosecutor Cpl Nurse told the court he expected the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to have their file ready for the case on that date. He said the state already had a witness ready and present for the matter.
Mohammed was arrested last Wednesday after a video recording of Facebook posts was shared on social media. One of the posts was a video which depicts a vehicle in a motorcade suddenly exploding, while other posts in the video appeared to be verbal calls for racial violence.
Mohammed was charged last Friday (November 9).