Saturday, December 16, 2017

‘Distinguished service to T&T’

DANA SEETAHAL attended the Tunapuna Presbyterian Primary School and at the age of 11 passed for her first choice Bishop Anstey High School.

At Bishop’s, Seetahal represented the school in debating and chess. She also held a purple belt in karate.

After leaving secondary school Seetahal worked for 15 months at the Ministry of Health to earn money to assist in furthering her education.

Seetahal attained a Bachelor of Law degree from The University of the West Indies (UWI) and in October 1979 was admitted to the Bar.

Seetahal eventually joined the chambers of Senior Counsel Dr Aeneas Wills alongside former classmate Israel Khan.

After leaving Wills’ law firm Seetahal joined the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) where she rose to the post of acting State Counsel III.

In 1994 she was awarded a scholarship to do her Master’s degree in Criminology from the Florida State University and is a Fulbright scholar.

Apart from serving as a State prosecutor, she was also an Assistant Solicitor General and a magistrate.

Seetahal was a former lecturer at the Hugh Wooding Law School and held the position of course director in Criminal Practice and Procedure.

In 2002 she first entered Parliament as an Independent Senator.

In 2006 Seetahal was made a senior counsel and in 2008 she opened her own private chambers “El Dorado Chambers” located in Port of Spain.

Seetahal also served as a president for the Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago.

She authored a book called The Commonwealth Caribbean on Criminal Procedure.

In February Seetahal was among 25 distinguished UWI graduates to be honoured at The UWI Alumni Association Trinidad and Tobago Chapter (UWIAATT) Distinguished Awards.

She has featured in numerous high-profile cases in this country including soca artiste Machel Montano’s assault matter.

In 2010 when the State sought to recover a multi-million-dollar debt owed by the Jamaat-al-Muslimeen Seetahal was hired as a special prosecutor.

At the time of her death, Seetahal was assisting the State as a special prosecutor in the trial of murdered Chaguanas businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman.

Seetahal was a columnist with the Express since August 2010.