Thursday, December 14, 2017

‘No DNA evidence in dirt samples’

NO DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) evi­dence relating to murdered busi­­nesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Cool­man was found in samples of dirt collec­ted from a hole in Diego Martin in which the State said she was temporarily buried after being killed.

This was revealed yesterday du­ring the testimony of police fingerprint expert Sgt Heeraman Singh, at the Hall of Justice in Port of Spain, during the resumption of the murder trial.

A certificate of analysis collected by the officer on Wednesday from the Forensic Science Centre conclu­ded Naipaul-Coolman’s blood was not found in the dirt sample, Singh testified.

Singh said on May 12, 2007, he, along with other officers, went to a hilly and forested area in Upper La Puerta, Diego Martin, where he was shown the hole before he collected the samples and packaged it in a police evidence bag.

Also found and packaged at the scene were a metal blade, a boot, piece of cloth and, also, a piece of vinyl. The items were later taken to the Forensic Science Centre for testing, Singh said.

During cross-examina­tion by defence attorney Mario Merritt, who is representing three of the 12 accused men, Singh said he only collected the certificate of analysis on Wednesday after being informed on Tuesday afternoon he was required to give evidence at the trial yesterday.

The State is contending that Nai­paul-Coolman, who was chief executive officer of Xtra Foods Supermarket in Grand Bazaar, Valsayn, was murdered and her body dismembered in a small, red-brick house in La Puerta before being temporarily buried in the hole.

She was kidnapped from the driveway of her Lange Park, Chaguanas, home on the night of December 19, 2006. The day after the abduction, her family paid a $122,000 ransom for her release but Naipaul-Coolman was never freed nor was her body ever found.

The trial, which is being heard before Justice Malcolm Holdip and a 12-member jury at the Second Criminal Court, will resume this morning when other police officers are expected to give evidence.