Sunday, February 18, 2018

Case gets going again

THE case against 12 men accused of murdering Chaguanas businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman continued at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain yesterday following a week of in-camera legal arguments that eventually resulted in one of the jurors being discharged on Wednesday.

Police draftsman Sgt Gregory Hood was called to the witness stand yesterday and led into giving his evidence-in-chief by Senior State attorney Joy Balkaran before Justice Malcolm Holdip in the Second Criminal Court.

Four drawings of areas at La Puerta, Diego Martin and Radix Road, Lange Park, Chaguanas, were tendered into evidence during the hearing.

Hood said on May 15, 2007, he went to La Puerta Avenue in the company of another officer who pointed out a small, one-storey, red brick structure after which he (Hood) took measurements of the structure and the areas surrounding it.

He said the officer also pointed out to him another area at a different location where there was a hole in the ground.

Hood said at this area he also took measurements before going to Radix Road where Naipaul-Coolman lived.

After taking the measurements, Hood said he returned to his Port of Spain office where he proceeded to make the drawings of the areas.

Hood is the 11th of 73 State witnesses to give evidence in the trial since it started on March 24.

Following his testimony, none of the defence attorneys cross-examined the witness as there was an early adjournment.

On Tuesday when the matter resumes, attorneys representing the 12 men accused of murdering Naipaul-Coolman will begin their questioning of Hood.

On the night of December 19, 2006, Naipaul-Coolman was kidnapped from the driveway of her Radix Road home. The following day a $122,000 ransom was paid for her release but she was never freed nor was her body ever found.