Saturday, February 24, 2018

Coolman returns to witness box today

AFTER a week of the Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder trial not being heard, the trial will resume this morning at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain.

With the resumption of the case before Justice Malcolm Holdip, Naipaul-Coolman’s husband, Rennie Coolman, will again be made to enter the witness box for his continued cross-examination by attorneys representing the 12 men accused of murdering the woman.

It will be his fifth day on the witness stand since first giving evidence in the matter on April 3. He is the sixth of 74 State witnesses who are expected to testify during the trial. Coolman’s cross-examination is expected to conclude this week, and will be followed by the evidence-in-chief of two officers of the Special Anti-Crime Unit of Trinidad and Tobago (SAUTT) who formed part of the investigation into Naipaul-Coolman's December 19, 2006, kidnapping and subsequent murder.

So far, three police officers who went to Naipaul-Coolman’s Radix Road, Lange Park home, after her kidnapping have testified. Also giving evidence in the trial was her daughter Risha Ali and the family’s live-in housekeeper Rasheedan Yacoob. 

Coolman’s cross-examination revolved around several issues including his failure the leave the safety of his home and attempt to assist his wife after seeing she had been approached by abductors.

He was also questioned at length over the paying of a $75,000 bribe to a woman who claimed to be from the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for him to not be charged with the murder.

Coolman maintained throughout his cross-examination that he had no role to play in his wife’s murder, but paid the money to the woman after being told he could be innocently prosecuted.

On trial for Naipaul-Coolman’s murder are Allan Martin, Shervon Peters, Keida Garcia, brothers Marlon and Earl Trimmingham, Ronald Armstrong, Antonio Charles, Joel Fraser, Lyndon James, Devon Peters, Anthony Dwayne Gloster and Jamille Garcia.

Some of their attorneys include Wayne Sturge, Ulric Skerritt, Mario Merritt, Ian Brooks and Selwyn Mohammed.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Counsel Israel Khan, Gilbert Peterson and Dana Seetahal together with senior State attorneys Joy Balkaran and Kelly Thompson.




Malcolm Holdip


State attorneys:

• Israel Khan, SC

• Gilbert Peter-



• Dana Seetahal, 


• Joy Balkaran

• Kelly Thompson




• Wayne Sturge

• Ulric Skerritt

• Mario Merritt

• Selwyn 


• Colin Selvon

• Ian Brooks

• Joseph Pantor

• Lennox 


• Richard Valere

• Kwesi Bekoe

• Christian 


• Vince Charles

• Delicia Helwig

• Alexia Romero

• Nicholas Ali

• Stacy 


• Lana Lakhan



• Allan Martin

• Shervon Peters

• Keida Garcia

• Marlon Trim-


• Earl 


• Ronald 


• Antonio Charles

• Joel Fraser

• Lyndon James

• Devon Peters

• Anthony 

  Dwayne Gloster

• Jamille Garcia