Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Williams: Finding her killers our number one priority


VIGOROUS PURSUIT: Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams, left, and Deputy Commissioner Glenn Hackett address the media at a press conference at the Police Administration Building in Port of Spain, yesterday following the murder of Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal. —Photo: ISHMAEL SALANDY

Mark Fraser

Finding the persons responsible for the death of Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal is the number one priority for the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service (TTPS), according to Acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams.

Williams was speaking at a special news briefing at the TTPS’s Port of Spain Headquarters held to officially update the public on Seetahal’s death. Also present in the meeting were Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Glenn Hackett, Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP) Wayne Dick, and acting Supt Joan Archie.

A preliminary report done yesterday at the Forensic Science Centre by pathologist Hughvon DesVignes revealed that Seetahal died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds, Williams said.

“We want to give the country the assurance that the Trinidad and Tobago Police Service is using all its resources, internal and external, to ensure that we treat with this investigation as a number one priority investigation for the organisation and with the clear intention of pursuing it so vigorously that we can bring the perpetrators to justice within the shortest period of time,” Williams said.

To this end, the acting Commissioner explained that an investigative team, comprised of several police officers from various departments in the TTPS had been established, and this team was being led by ACP Dick under the general supervision of DCP Hackett.

Williams then explained that scientific and technological evidence such as video footage from closed-circuit television (CCTV) will be heavily utilised in the investigations, however, he did call on citizens who may have witnesses the incident, or who may have information which could assist the police to step forward.

“We are hoping that citizens who have information do not sit back on their knowledge and refrain from sharing what they know. It is critical as citizens in this country to stand up to the criminal elements. A small group of violent criminals tend to put fear throughout the entire society preventing all of us from acting the way we would like. So persons who are out there with information to provide, who can assist with the investigations, we are reaching out there for them to assist us please. They can call the Homicide Bureau at 625-8234, a police officer will be available 24/7 to take any information. We also have available to us 555 and 800 TIPS with support from CrimeStoppers,” Williams noted.

When asked if the police had an official motive for the killing, ACP Dick explained that as of late yesterday the police were still looking at all leads.

“No motive has been crossed off as yet. We are still doing a very open investigation at this time and all possible motives and various possibilities, we are still perusing,” Dick said.

Williams explained that contrary to reports he was hearing in the media, police investigators have not officially declared the Senior Counsel’s murder as a hit.

“We have not shared with you that there was a hit. There was a murder, but a murder is a big difference to a hit. When you use the term hit, there are particular connotations that come with that term, connotations that we have not established yet. There was in fact a killing and Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal was in fact killed by the use of a firearm. We have not even made any official pronouncements on the number of vehicles involved, whether there were one or two or three vehicles, and this is because the matter is being investigated in an open way,” Williams said.

Williams also reassured law abiding citizens that they should not be afraid, as there will be an increased police presence throughout the country.

“The TTPS will continue to provide high levels of visible active police presence across this entire nation with the clear intention of maintaining the safety and security of our citizens,” Williams said.

He said he will be furnishing the media, and by extension the public, with details as it became available.