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Dana’s murder must not be a ‘cold case’

By DARCEL CHOY Wednesday, July 9 2014

click on pic to zoom in
DANA'S PHOTO: A photo of Dana Seetahal SC at the new Law Association Building on Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain....
DANA'S PHOTO: A photo of Dana Seetahal SC at the new Law Association Building on Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain....

The murder of Senior Counsel, Dana Seetahal must not be a cold case, says her sister, Director of the Finance Intelligence Unit, Susan Francois.

Francois was speaking yesterday to reporters at the office of the Law Association, on Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain after a ceremony to mark Seetahal’s 59th birthday, which she would have celebrated yesterday.

Seetahal was killed during an ambush at Hamilton Holder Street, Woodbrook, on her way home at One Woodbrook Place from Ma Pau casino, early on the morning of May 4.

Noting that it has been more than two months since her sister was brutally assassinated and no one has been arrested, she said the perpetrators have not been caught and it concerns her.

“There is a direct correlation between inordinate delay and unsuccessful conclusion. It would lead to the impression that criminals can operate with impunity in this country. Inordinate delay in my view leads to the perception that murder is a form of entertainment in this land of ours.

So Trinidad and Tobago leaders and law enforcement authorities must I think, move expeditiously to solve this crime. This crime must not be a cold case,” she said.

When asked if she was confident that the police will solve the crime she said, “We have to look at the detection rate of crime in this country, and there must be as clear a drastic improvement in the detection rate of crime for people to have confidence that our law enforcement authorities are serious about solving crime.”

Chief Justice Ivor Archie said he understood that people were anxious for resolution, but there was no point in having a hurried investigation if at the end of the day, the quality of the evidence was inadequate.

“I would hope and expect that what is happening is that extreme care is being taken in the gathering of evidence and ensuring that if any arrests are to be made then they will be based on solid evidence.

“I continue to look forward and hope that the police are doing the job that they are mandated to do, and like everyone else in this country anxious that Dana’s killers be brought to justice,” he said. The ceremony was also to launch the fourth edition of Seetahal’s book, Commonwealth Caribbean Criminal Practice and Procedure. Attorney David West, who worked with her at her firm, El Dorado Chambers, said she was as passionate about law as she was about sharing her wealth of knowledge. He said she spared no efforts in commanding the quality of information that went into the revisions of the book, as she got everyone involved.

“She put an absolute great volume of her personal time and energy into ensuring the most precise details went into this fourth edition. Students and attorneys alike would agree that the Commonwealth Caribbean, Criminal Practice and Procedure would be comparable to the Archbold of the UK,” he said.

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