The hearing of detained Muslim scholar and peace activist, Abdul Karim Ali, has been adjourned to April 17, 2023, after being heard for the first time by the Yaounde Military Court, defence lawyer Barrister Amungwa Tanyi has told MMI.
They left the court at about 6pm on Monday, April 10, where Karim was officially charged for hostilities against the fatherland, secession, failure to report and rebellion.
“They began interrogating him today. We cannot get into the depth of the questions, but, you know, Abdul as a peace crusader, as a Muslim scholar, he was within the range of his activities and, most importantly, he focused on the part of non-violence as a way forward in solving the war in the Northwest and the Southwest Regions,” said Barrister Amungwa Tanyi.
The Barrister was satisfied that at least the case has been heard by the court less than six months since he was remanded in pretrial detention at Kondengui prison in Yaounde on February 2.
Despite the charges brought against him, Barrister Amungwa Tanyi said Karim is still presumed innocent until when proven guilty.
The Muslim scholar is answering the same charges like two other people arrested and detained with him last year. However, only Abdul Karim was heard in court today.
This was the first time the peace activist was being heard in court since he was arrest in Bamenda in August last year.
He was detained for six months before being remanded in pretrial detention where he has been charged.
Based on the law, he must appear in court within six months of pretrial detention, a rule Barrister Amungwa Tanyi says has been respected.
Upon Abdul Karim’s arrest last year, lawyers and human rights groups argued that his arrest and detention were illegal and did not go through due process.
By Tata Mbunwe