Senior officials in the Police Service and the Ministry of National Security yesterday denied media reports that suspects had been arrested on Saturday night in connection with the death of senior counsel Dana Seetahal.
It was widely reported yesterday that four people had been arrested in Diego Martin and Arima during a series of police exercises on Saturday night, in connection with the senior attorney’s killing eight days ago.
However, while sources have confirmed that four persons were indeed detained during exercises, senior officials, including Minister of National Security Gary Griffith, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams and Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Wayne Dick, have all firmly denied that they were held in relation to police enquiries into the senior counsel’s death.
This therefore means that even though today marks eight days since Seetahal was brutally killed along O’Connor Street, Woodbrook, her killers are still at large.
“Contrary to any reports, as of this time, no one has been held, detained, arrested, and certainly not charged in relation to the investigation into the death of the senior counsel. I have been in communication with the investigators on a daily basis, and I can assure you with full confidence and accuracy, that at no time has anyone been held by the police. What I can tell you is that the investigation is still ongoing and at this point it has reached a crucial, but sensitive stage,” explained Griffith.
The acting Commissioner chastised the media, saying that due to the incorrectness, the reports were only causing more “trauma” to an already traumatised public.
“Right now my head is busy with thoughts on the media for the misinformation which has been sent out into the public domain. The information I heard and read yesterday is false, and all it is doing is inflaming the public. The country is already going through a traumatic moment with the death of a prominent member of society, and with the misinformation which was circulated, this trauma is only worsening,” Williams said.
ACP Dick, in a brief interview with Express, said he was not aware of the developments as reported throughout the media. However, he reiterated previous calls from the police for the public and the media to exercise patience, saying that as soon as he was aware of any significant developments, he would personally call the various media houses and inform their representatives himself.
The senior policeman did reveal that “progress was being made” and that enquiries were being conducted, even up to late yesterday, for a fruitful outcome.
Griffith also told the Express he has been liaising with international policing organisations regarding potential assistance into the enquiries.
“As of this time, I don’t think our Police Service needs foreign assistance yet, as I believe they are on top of their game. That said, should it become necessary, I have already been liaising with the relevant international organisations, and they have indicated their willingness to assist,” Griffith said.
Around 12.05 a.m. on May 4, Seetahal was gunned down along O’Connor Street, Woodbook, in her Volkswagen SUV. Less than 15 minutes prior, the senior counsel had left the Ma Pau casino, made her way on to French Street, then on to Wrightson Road, before turning on to Hamilton Holder Street. Upon reaching the vicinity of the Woodbrook Youth Facility, Seetahal was attacked by unknown gunmen.
It is believed that one of the vehicles pulled in front of her blocking her path, while another pulled alongside her and its occupants opened fire on the senior attorney, before they both fled the scene.
During the course of these incidents, her vehicle slowly made its way about 20 feet north on to O’Connor Street.
Seetahal has since been cremated following a ceremony on Thursday at the Aramalaya Presbyterian Church in Tunapuna which saw an overflowing of mourners headed by President Anthony Carmona, and included Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar and Chief Justice Ivor Archie, among several politicians, judges, magistrates, and members of the public, who all came out to say their final farewell to the vibrant and outspoken senior counsel.