Categorized | Local, News, Regional

TRINIDAD – Relatives urge that murder of prominent attorney not become a cold case

Dana Seetahal who was murdered on May 4

Dana Seetahal who was murdered on May 4

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,  CMC – Sixty-eight days after she was murdered while returning home from a casino, the family of prominent senior counsel Dana Seetahal said her death must not be a cold case.

“It is well known that the chance of a successful conclusion in homicide case diminishes in direct proportion to the passage of crime. Inordinate delay in bringing her murderers to justice denies her contribution to the country, the Caribbean region and internationally,” said Susan Francois,  the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

Francois, the sister of the murdered former president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago and law lecturer, said that “the leadership role she played in the dispensation of law and justice demands that the authorities act without delay in bringing her murderers to justice”.

Seetahal would have celebrated her 59th birthday on Tuesday and at a ceremony to mark the occasion,  Francois said the murder of her sister “brings to the fore, more than ever before, the issues of crime, the detection of crime and indeed the effectiveness of our entire criminal justice system.

“ If her death can be the catalyst for making this nation a safer place for the average person her life’s work would have not have been in vain. Trinidad and Tobago’s leaders and those in law enforcement must ensure that her murderers are brought to justice. This cannot be another cold case,” she said.

Chief Justice Ivor Archie said while he understood that people were anxious for resolution, 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.

Last month, a senior United States official said  Seetahal, who was gunned down on May 4, was the victim of a  “well planned and orchestrated hit” by an international “player” with a crime organization presence in Trinidad and Tobago.

“It was not a crime of opportunity where someone felt they should steal her handbag and then found they had to shoot her. This was a well planned and orchestrated hit. This is not something you plan easily,” said United States Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield during a teleconference with Caribbean journalists.

Brownfield, who is responsible for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in the US Department of State, said that Seetahal had been murdered two days after he paid a visit to Trinidad and Tobago.

“Those in Trinidad would know that I visited your country two months ago and two days after I left there was the brutal murder of Ms Dana Seetahal. She was murdered by a trans-national drug organization,” he said, adding the murder was committed by “organised crime with an international player that has a crime organisation with presence in Trinidad and Tobago”.

“I stand by what I say, this was quite clearly not a crime of passion, this was not a crime of opportunity,” he added.

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Dana Seetahal who was murdered on May 4

Dana Seetahal who was murdered on May 4

PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad,  CMC – Sixty-eight days after she was murdered while returning home from a casino, the family of prominent senior counsel Dana Seetahal said her death must not be a cold case.

“It is well known that the chance of a successful conclusion in homicide case diminishes in direct proportion to the passage of crime. Inordinate delay in bringing her murderers to justice denies her contribution to the country, the Caribbean region and internationally,” said Susan Francois,  the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU).

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Francois, the sister of the murdered former president of the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago and law lecturer, said that “the leadership role she played in the dispensation of law and justice demands that the authorities act without delay in bringing her murderers to justice”.

Seetahal would have celebrated her 59th birthday on Tuesday and at a ceremony to mark the occasion,  Francois said the murder of her sister “brings to the fore, more than ever before, the issues of crime, the detection of crime and indeed the effectiveness of our entire criminal justice system.

“ If her death can be the catalyst for making this nation a safer place for the average person her life’s work would have not have been in vain. Trinidad and Tobago’s leaders and those in law enforcement must ensure that her murderers are brought to justice. This cannot be another cold case,” she said.

Chief Justice Ivor Archie said while he understood that people were anxious for resolution, 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.

Last month, a senior United States official said  Seetahal, who was gunned down on May 4, was the victim of a  “well planned and orchestrated hit” by an international “player” with a crime organization presence in Trinidad and Tobago.

“It was not a crime of opportunity where someone felt they should steal her handbag and then found they had to shoot her. This was a well planned and orchestrated hit. This is not something you plan easily,” said United States Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield during a teleconference with Caribbean journalists.

Brownfield, who is responsible for International Narcotics and Law Enforcement Affairs in the US Department of State, said that Seetahal had been murdered two days after he paid a visit to Trinidad and Tobago.

“Those in Trinidad would know that I visited your country two months ago and two days after I left there was the brutal murder of Ms Dana Seetahal. She was murdered by a trans-national drug organization,” he said, adding the murder was committed by “organised crime with an international player that has a crime organisation with presence in Trinidad and Tobago”.

“I stand by what I say, this was quite clearly not a crime of passion, this was not a crime of opportunity,” he added.