Friday, February 23, 2018

No one officially arrested for Dana’s murder

Today marks 56 days since Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal was killed while driving her Volkswagen SUV towards her One Woodbrook Place home. 

Since then, despite several media reports that people had been identified and even questioned as suspects in the killing, top officials in the Police Service (TTPS) have maintained that no one has officially been arrested for her murder.

A $3.5 million reward is being offered.

Seetahal was shot dead outside the Woodbrook Youth Facility on Hamilton Holder and O’Connor streets, as she was on her way to her apartment after leaving the Ma Pau casino on Ariapita Avenue, Woodbrook on May 4. 

Residents reported hearing several gunshots followed by the sound of screeching tyres. By the time they contacted police and ran outside to check, they found Seetahal slumped over the steering wheel of her Volkswagen Touareg.

She was pronounced dead at the scene. 

On Thursday last, acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams told reporters the Police Service was still actively pursuing investigations into this matter and that suspects were “in mind”.

Williams, at the weekly press briefing at the Police Administration Building, Port of Spain said: “The Director of  Public Prosecutions (DPP) has been engaged very early in this investigation so the DPP continues to be regularly briefed by the investigators on this case.”

He added, “The TTPS has suspects in mind. I will not furnish you with that and I will not furnish you the names of the suspects but we have sought the assistance of international bodies and we are receiving assistance from international bodies in the investigation.”

The investigation continues to be the number one priority investigation for the TTPS, he said.

“We will, in fact, continue to do everything possible to solve that crime,” Williams added.

Just a few days before the press conference, US Assistant Secretary of State William Brownfield during a media teleconference, pointed to a direct co-relation between street crime and transnational drug trafficking, and he addressed the killing of Seetahal SC, calling it an organised hit. 

“I stand by what I say, this was quite clearly not a crime of passion, this was not a crime of opportunity. People did not just happen by and believe that they could steal her pocket book and then find that they had to open fire in order to accomplish this. This was a carefully planned operation,” Brownfield said. 

“And there is only one kind of entity that does contract murders of this sort of degree of sensitivity and that is organised crime,” Brownfield added.

But he emphasised that he was not suggesting that it was an international player who ordered the killing. 

“I am saying that it was a criminal organisation that clearly had a presence in Trinidad and Tobago which decided to perform this repulsive and repugnant act,” Brownfield said.