May 12, 2021

Trinidad attorney’s murder sends shockwaves across the Caribbean

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Dana-SeethalFrom Caribbean360

BRIDGETOWN, Barbados, Monday May 5, 2014, CMC – The murder of prominent Trinidadian attorney Dana Seetahal has sent shockwaves across the region.

In Guyana, President, Donald Ramotar was alarmed at the news of the execution-style killing of the attorney.

Seetahal was well known in Guyana’s legal fraternity and also sat on the Linden Commission of Inquiry in Guyana.

In 2012, the Government of Guyana retained the services of Seetahal to the Commission to investigate the circumstances leading up to and surrounding the unrest in the mining town of Linden, the shooting deaths of three protesters and the damage to state and private properties.

Jamaican attorney and former Minister of National Security and Justice, K.D. Knight, expressed shock at Seetahal’s death.

Knight, who also sat on the Linden Commission of Inquiry in Guyana, said he knew her for more than 20 years.

dd“I really am distraught, I knew Dana Seetahal very well, from I was Minister of National Security and Justice, we arranged training for judiciary and others in the justice system. We served together in Guyana and we were in contact from time to time. Really it has hit hard.

Another organization has also reacted to news of the attorney’s death: the Trinidad-based Movement for Social Justice, in a release on Sunday, said the murder of Seetahal is “a further reflection of the abyss into which the country has descended and is not a random act of violence, but a targeted assassination of a very visible public figure.”

The organization has expressed concern that assassinations are not new in the country and pointed to the murder of another prominent member of the legal fraternity Attorney Dr Wesley Debideen nine months ago

danascene1“For the most part no one has been brought to justice for these targeted assassinations……there is little comfort in the fact that this matter remains unresolved.

The Movement of Social Justice said the state has not lived up to its responsibilities for addressing many of the ills in the society.

“The state has abandoned its responsibility for the development of many depressed communities in Trinidad and Tobago and left them to the law of the jungle,” the release said.

Gunmen shot and killed Dana Seetahal, prominent senior counsel attorney and former independent legislator early Sunday morning just on the outskirts of the capital, Port of Spain.

For more on this story go to: http://www.caribbean360.com/news/trinidad-attorneys-murder-sends-shockwaves-across-the-caribbean#ixzz30rnwAfot

Related story:

Attorney Dana Seetahal murdered

From 103FM

Police are investigating the murder of former Independent Senator, Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal.

Reports are that around midnight, Ms. Seetahal left the Ma Pau Casino and was on the way to her One Woodbrook Place home when the incident occurred.

Police say upon reaching the vicinity of the Woodbrook Youth Facility along Hamilton-Holder Street, a Wingroad and a panel van pulled alongside her Volkswagen SUV, causing her to stop.

Occupants of the van opened fire on Ms. Seetahal’s vehicle hitting her several times about her upper body.

The two vehicles then sped off and made good their escape.

Residents of the area, on hearing the gunshots contacted the police and emergency health services, however, despite their swift response, when they arrived the senior counsel was dead — slumped along the driver’s seat.

She was not robbed and investigators are working with a theory that the killing may be linked to her involvement in a high profile court matter.

Ms. Seetahal was a prosecutor in the currently ongoing Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder case.

The first responders notified their seniors and a party of officers including ACP Wayne Dick, Senior Superintendent Ishmael David, Acting ASP Williams, Inspector Thomas, Inspector Veronique,

Inspector Lawrence, and Inspector Rampersad, among others, visited the scene.

For more on this story go to:

http://www.103fm.net/attorney-dana-seetahal-murdered/

$1 million reward in Dana Seetahal murder

By Alexander Bruzual From Trinidad Express Newspapers

A $1 million reward is being offered by Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved in the murder of attorney Dana Seetahal. At about 12:05 a.m. senior counsel Dana Seetahal was in her Volkswagen SUV proceeding north along Hamilton-Holder street, Woodbrook when upon reaching the vicinity of the Woodbrook Youth Facility two vehicles pulled alongside her causing her to come to a stop. One of the vehicles, a Nissan Wingroad, then drove ahead a short distance and pulled across the road, blocking it.

The other vehicle which was described as a panel van pulled alongside and the occupants of that vehicle pulled out their firearms and opened fire on the SUV. The two vehicles then sped off and made good their escape. Residents of the area, on hearing the gunshots contacted the police and emergency health services.

However, despite their swift response, when they arrived the senior counsel and Express columnist was dead — slumped along her driver’s seat.

The first responders notified their seniors and a party of officers including ACP Wayne Dick, Senior Superintendent Ishmael David, Acting ASP Williams, Inspector Thomas, Inspector Veronique, Inspector Lawrence, and Inspector Rampersad, among others, visited the scene. Crime scene investigators recovered several 5.62 shells at the scene. Police suspect that because of the nature of the incident it was a “hit” arising out of the Senior Counsel’s involvement in the Vindra Naipaul-Coolman case.

Ag Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams said: “It’s shocking. Crime is a concern especially violent crime. It’s a shocking incident, one you least expect. “I had a conversation with her at around 12.45 pm on Saturday and everything was fine. “We need to work as a country together”, Williams said. Williams said he had been apprised of the killing, and head of Homicide ACP Wayne Dick has been in constant communication with him. Williams assured there will be a thorough investigation, and that his officers are on the scene doing a basic investigation.

For more on this story go to: http://www.trinidadexpress.com/news/BREAKING-NEWS—Dana-Seetahal-murdered-257834591.html

Related story:

Beef up security for prosecutors

By Anand Beharrylal London, UK From Trinidad Express

When I opened the Express newspaper website on the Internet yesterday I was met with the shocking headline “BREAKING NEWS – Dana Seetahal murdered”.

When I went on to the read the article that followed, shock gave way to anger that so distinguished a lawyer — a “Silk”, former parliamentarian and newspaper columnist, was taken from us in such a brutal way. In my own limited professional dealings with her she demonstrated to me a love for the rule of law in T&T and I would place her in the category of a patriot.

Her published book, Commonwealth Caribbean Criminal Practice and Procedure, was yet another distinction, starting a process of serious academic works from Caribbean jurists. This too has been stolen from the people of the Caribbean with her murder.

Whilst I can readily understand that murder most horrid is nothing new in T&T, the obviously planned killing of such a leading citizen raises questions that strike at the very heart of the criminal justice system in T&T. I for one would like to know what security she had bearing in mind the risks associated with prosecuting the high profile case she was involved in. Indeed, I recall the late Karl Hudson-Phillips QC explained to me that the reason he had security in 2007 was because he was prosecuting a similarly high profile case involving the infamous Robocop, along with Messrs “Skelly” and “Sneeze”. Similarly, Sir Timothy Cassell QC had security provided to him when he was retained to prosecute Dole Chadee.

I have long advocated that the criminal justice system in T&T needs root and branch changes. And with the murder of a Silk who was engaged in prosecuting a major criminal case there must be added to that list of required changes the need to assign robust and effective round-the-clock security for prosecutors engaged in such serious and high profile matters. The need for this has been categorically demonstrated with the killing of Dana Seetahal. No lengthy review is required before action is taken.

The need for it has been proved beyond reasonable doubt. The Director of Public Prosecutions Roger Gaspard must take the lead on this now. If these steps are not immediately taken the consequences include that trials will be derailed, lawyers will refuse to prosecute certain cases and ultimately judges and juries may become too fearful to sit to hear these kinds of cases. This must be avoided at all costs.

And when it comes to money, no amount is too great to ensure the criminal system works. This is the kind of commitment the T&T taxpayer not only expects, but demands. The criminal elements in T&T have long dictated the pace of criminal justice in T&T. As for the state of emergency called by the Government, if anyone was in doubt about its necessity, they should be in no doubt now. Indeed, to ensure that these murderers are caught I would favour a similar lockdown to allow the police and the army the advantage in hunting down those responsible.

For more on this story go to: http://www.trinidadexpress.com/letters/Beef-up-security-for-prosecutors-257884221.html?m=y&smobile=y

 

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