Saturday, February 24, 2018

Tears for Dana, as Vindra murder trial adjourned

... "Miss Seetahal is no longer with us"

THE Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder trial was today adjourned to next week, after a member of the prosecution team broke down and cried, and the judge decided it would be too difficult to immediately continue in light of the murder of senior counsel Dana Seetahal.

Senior State attorney Joy Balkaran sobbed as she rose to announce the name of the attorneys comprising the prosecution team involving in the trial. "Miss Seetahal is no longer with us" she said.

Defence attorneys were also emotional during this morning's hearing in the Hall of Justice, Port of Spain, where 12 men are on trial for teh December 2006 murder of Naipaul-Coolman.

The trial began in March and was expected to continue today with testimony from two members of the Police Anti-Kidnapping Unit.

However, Justice Malcolm Holdip told the jury of twelve and six alternates that the matter would not be able to continue, given the incident that took place. He was referring to yesterday's murder of Seetahal, who was a member of the prosecution team, along with Balkaran, Kelly Thompson and senior counsels Israel Khan and Gilbert Peterson.

Justice Holdip said the prosecution would need to time reconstitute its position and strategy "legally and otherwise".

The judge said he didn't think anyone in the matter had the "Spartan attitude" of continuing today, in light of what had happened.

Justice Holdip said he had heard that Seetahal's funeral may be held on Thursday and as a result, he would adjourned the matter to next Monday.