Friday, February 23, 2018

‘Cops failed’ in attorney’s killing

Relative: It wasn’t taken seriously

THE murder of attorney Dr Wesley Debideen, who was shot dead inside his vehicle at Grand Bazaar shopping mall in Valsayn last August, was not properly investigated and will likely never be solved now, his relatives said yesterday.

Family members, who asked not to be named out of fear, said they were disappointed in the police investigation into his killing.

Debideen, 68, was the attorney of former Hindu Credit Union president Harry Harnarine, who told the Express that if the State had treated Debideen’s killing with the same level of seriousness as the murder of senior counsel Dana Seetahal, she may have been alive today.

Debideen was shot seven times in the upper body and five times on his hand, as he sat inside his car, eating an ice cream.

His killing was witnessed by several persons, who told police that around 4.30 p.m. a slim short man in a black cap, walked up to the driver’s side window, and shot him to death. Several people witnessed the killing.

The gunman sped off in a red Mazda 323.

A female relative of Debideen said no reward was ever offered for information into his death. She said information gathered by relatives and delivered to senior police officers, was never investigated.

“He did not tell us everything that was going on in his life. But we understand that he was killed because of a case he was working on. We got certain information and reported that information to all the commissioners and they never did anything. We don’t want our names to be used in the article because this murder was never solved. The killer is still out there, so we don’t want to be identified,” she said.

The relative said Debideen’s shooting death had similarities to the assassination of Seetahal, who was shot dead in her vehicle on Sunday morning.

“Both were assassinations. We understand that the suspects in both killings had similarities. These are contract killers. We still have not come to terms with his death. His family is still grieving. It is really sad,” she said.

Debideen’s relative said she was not angry at the Government for offering a $2.5 million reward to anyone who can help by providing information leading to the arrest, prosecution and conviction of the killers in Seetahal’s death. A $1 million reward is also being offered by CrimeStoppers for information leading to the arrest and prosecution of those involved in the murder.

Harnarine said, “I extend my condolences to the Seetahal family. I knew her well. She always greeted me when she saw me. But I believe that if the Government had treated with Dr Debideen’s assassination like the way they treated Ms Seetahal’s, then it (Seetahal’s killing) might have been avoided today. They should have treated it with the same level of seriousness, and offered a reward and sparing no efforts”. 

“From my own knowledge they (police) had overwhelming evidence to do with Dr Debideen’s case and yet nothing happened. They also had camera footage. Being an attorney at law as well, I feel that if the Government had put the same effort now that they are putting into Ms Seetahal’s death, probably she might have been alive. 

“The criminals would have been more reluctant,” said Harnarine. 

“It sends a message that you have to be in the bosom of the Government in order for them to act or pay any attention. That should not be so. The Government should treat all citizens with an equal eye,” said Harnarine.

It is suspected that Debideen’s killing was connected to a land dispute, the Express was told. Prior to his killing he had reported to police officers of the Caroni Police Station that he had been receiving death threats. 

Homicide detectives told the Express yesterday the case was not closed, and investigations were ongoing.