Monday, January 22, 2018

...‘I screamed for the loss of Dana, for our country’

The murder of Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal yesterday sent shockwaves throughout the judiciary and the legal profession. Following are some of the tributes that flowed yesterday:

Senior Counsel Israel Khan, director and chairman of the Legal Aid and Advisory Board:

“I am saddened and in a state of shock and I’m not really in a mental state to make comments, or try to figure out what happened. All I know is she is a colleague of 34 years standing, we were very, very close, we graduated (law school) together and she was in chambers with me in my chambers for about nine years. I am just flabbergasted and I’m not prepared to say too much until the police get a handle on exactly what is taking place.

She was passionate about the law and she contributed to this country immensely as a senator, as a columnist and as a commentator. She was a very humble person, unassuming and she was a dear colleague and the whole of the legal profession will now that we go back a long way. We graduated together, we were admitted together and we were called to the Bar together”.

Senior Counsel Pamela Elder, president of the Criminal Bar Association:

“There were just three female Senior Counsel at the criminal bar, Dana, Sophia Chote and myself, so you can imagine the void. I felt so proud sitting at the front desk with Dana and Sophia next to me.

“This is bad, I must confess because there is no pride in grief and pain, so when I heard the news all I could do was put a pillow over my head and scream. Scream not only for the loss of Dana, but scream for our country, scream, just scream.

“This is ineffable pain, it is grief, we have lost a formidable advocate, a person who worked so hard, who worked tirelessly for the criminal justice system.”

Senior Magistrate Lucina Cardenas-Ragoonanan:

“I will be very honest with you, I said to my husband (yesterday) morning I do not feel to go to work (this) morning. I do not feel to go. I feel

that......maybe it is me next. I am scared, I am scared and I do not know if it is that this particular incident is something isolated but it is not you know it has hit the heart of justice and administration in this country.”