Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Fraser: I’m ready to fight this case


CO-ACCUSED: Joel Fraser

Mark Fraser

THE contents of two statements given to police by one of the men accused of murdering Chaguanas businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman were revealed at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain yesterday when the trial resumed before Justice Malcolm Holdip and a 12-member jury.

In one of the statements given to homicide detective Sgt Eric Park on May 9, 2007, Joel Fraser was asked a series of questions by Park inclusive of his family life, job, religion, his friends and his relationship with the 11 other men charged alongside him with Naipaul-Coolman’s death.

Fraser told police he worked “month in, month off” as a lorry loader at Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) in St Joseph and knew several of his co-accused, but not on a personal basis.

He said he was familiar with Keida Garcia, Anthony Gloster and brothers Devon and Shervon Peters and also Raphael Williams, who died in prison from complications of sickle cell anaemia while awaiting trial in the matter.

The jurors heard that Fraser was also familiar with Allan “Scanny” Martin, but was unaware of where he lived or worked.

The statements were revealed during the testimony of Sgt Park, who said he interviewed Fraser at the Arouca Police Station.

Park, who was led into evidence by special State prosecutor Israel Khan SC, said on May 9, he had a conversation with Supt Nadir Khan, who was leading the investigation into Naipaul-Coolman’s kidnapping from her Lange Park home on December 19, 2006.

Following that conversation, Park said he along with PC Nanhoo went to a room at the homicide office where he met with Fraser before informing him he was assisting in the investigation into Naipaul-Coolman’s abduction and was aware that Fraser had information that could assist the investigation.

Fraser he said agreed to being interviewed. Park said PC Nanhoo was the officer who recorded the questions asked and answers given.

After Fraser gave the statement and it was read to him by Nanhoo. Park said Fraser did not wish to make any changes to what he had said before placing his signature on the documents.

Park further testified that, on May 12, he again spoke with Supt Khan resulting in him interviewing Fraser a second time at the station.

The officer said, on that occasion, he informed Fraser he was not just assisting with the investigation into Naipaul-Coolman’s kidnapping, but also her murder.

Under cross-examination by Fraser’s attorney Ulric Skerritt, Park said after the first interview was conducted, he did not consider Fraser to be a suspect and the reason for him being kept in custody was not his decision to make but that of Supt Khan. 

The State is alleging that Fraser and his co-accused kept Naipaul-Coolman in a small red-brick house at La Puerta, Diego Martin, before she was shot and killed on December 28, 2006.

The case resumes this morning. Following is the content of the second statement given by accused Joel Fraser to Sgt Park on May 12, 2007.

Park: We know your nickname was Ninja and you didn’t tell us that in the first interview, what do you have to say?

Fraser: Yes but most people does call me Ford.

Park: You said a long time ago you have not been in the red-brick house, is that the truth?

Fraser: Yes.

Park: We know that you have been liming in that house recently between December 2006 and January 2007, what do you have to say?

Fraser: Nah, what ah go do dey?

Park: You said before you don’t lime with Akil (Gloster) (Fraser’s cousin but not an accused in the trial), is that true?

Fraser: Nah, I doh lime with he.

Park: We know you does lime with Akil, what do you have to say about that?

Fraser: We does just congregate in the gallery home, I doh mingle with them fellas.

Park: We also know you does lime with Keon Gloster, what do you have to say?

Fraser: No, he not even self my age group, what I doing liming with them, I ready to fight this case, that is the point I reach right now.

Park: We have information that you were in the red-brick house when Vindra Naipaul-Coolman was there, what do you have to say?

Fraser: Nah, me eh saying nothing again.