Former senior counsel Dana Seetahal. (FP)
PORT OF SPAIN – Fourteen months after Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal was assassinated in Woodbrook, 11 men have been charged for her murder.
This was confirmed yesterday afternoon in a press conference at the Police Administration Building along Edward Street, Port of Spain.
The briefing was overseen by acting Commissioner of Police Stephen Williams and Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) Glenn Hackett.
However, it was DCP Hackett, who was the lead investigator into the Senior Counsel's murder, who disclosed the 11 murder accused.
The 11 men charged are:
• Rajaee Ali, 29, of Carapo, Arima.
• Davough Cummings, 29, of Malabar, Arima
• Ishmael Ali, 30, of Carapo, Arima
• Ricardo Stewart, 30, of Carapo, Arima
• Earl Richards, 48, of Waterhole, Cocorite
• Stephan Cummings, 33, of Carapo, Arima
• Gareth Wiseman, 33, of Lange Park, Chaguanas
• Hamid Ali, 24, of Malabar, Arima
• Kevin Parkinson, 28, of Waterhole, Cocorite,
• Leston Gonzales, 25, of Malabar, Arima
• Roget Boucher, 29, of Carapo Arima
All 11 have also been charged with offences under the Anti Gang Act.
Rajaee Ali has been charged with being a gang leader, while the ten other murder accused have been charged with being members of a gang.
The 11 will appear before the Port of Spain Magistrates' Eighth Court tomorrow morning.
As a result, security initiatives have already been put in place to ensure that the 11 will be brought to court and leave the precincts of the court incident free.
“We have made the requisite arrangements for security and so on with respect to the appearance of these men on that day. So members of the public minded to arrive in droves at the court will be met by a stringent security barricade, and this is especially for persons coming in to court for no apparent reasons,” DCP Hackett noted.
These 11 men are the only people to be charged with the murder of Seetahal based on evidence procured by the investigative team in this matter. However, in responding to questions posed by reporters, Hackett assured the media that the case will be reopened if needed.
Additionally, DCP Hackett confirmed that in relation to this case, three other people were charged for being members of a gang under the Anti-Gang legislation.
They are: Dion Peters, 35, of Malabar, Arima; David Hector, 35, of Arouca and Stacy Griffith, 29, of Carapo, Arima. Griffith, who is the second wife of Rajaee Ali, is facing an additional charge of committing an act for the benefit of a gang.
They will also appear tomorrow before the Eighth Court.
DCP Hackett said Jamaat al Muslimeen Leader Yasin Abu Bakr, Imam Hassan Ali of Malabar, Arima, Keston Seales, Kedon Forde and Keston Modeste were questioned and released without charge, following investigations.
He told reporters this was the most challenging case of his career.
Seetahal was killed at about 12:05 a.m. on May 4 while driving her Volkswagen SUV towards her One Woodbrook Place home.
Police reported that the incident took place in the vicinity of the Woodbrook Youth Facility on Hamilton Holder/O'Connor streets, as she was on her way to her apartment after leaving the Ma Pau casino.
Residents reported hearing several gunshots followed by the sound of screeching tyres. By the time they contacted police and ran outside, they found Seetahal slumped over the steering wheel of her Volkswagen Touareg.
She had been shot five times and was pronounced dead at the scene.
It is believed that her attackers followed her from the casino and ambushed her along Hamilton Holder and O'Connor streets. (Express/SAT)