At 12:05 am on May 4 th 2014 attorney Dana Seetahal was shot 5 times and killed while driving home in Woodbrook, Trinidad and Tobago.
Dana Saroop Seetahal, Senior Counsel, was born on July 8, 1955 in Trinidad and Tobago. On July 24, 2015, 11 men were arrested and charged with her murder.
Ms. Seetahal was a distinguished lawyer and a former Senator in the Trinidad and Tobago parliament. She was a United Nations Fellow, Commonwealth Foundation Fellow, Fulbright Fellow, author of a well regarded criminal law text and had several publications in international legal journals.
Ms. Seetahal was known as a fierce and uncompromising attorney and at the time of her death she had been investigating allegations of government corruption, including the infamous Life Sport program which it was alleged had made millions in dubious payments.
The line minister for the program was forced to resign by the then Prime Minister Kamla Persad-Bissessar shortly after Ms. Seetahal’s killing.
The leader of the group charged with Ms. Seetahal’s murder is Rajaee Ali, the former Life Sport Coordinator. Some of the other men charged with Ms. Seetahal were also major beneficiaries of the Life Sport program.
Explosive new information has now come to light that may provide the motive and intent behind the distinguished attorney’s brutal murder.
What has surfaced from friendly foreign intelligence services are intercepted messages and phone conversations, including a secret unknown recording made from cellphones in Trinidad and Florida, USA.
They include recent intercepts of conversations between the chief accused Rajaee Ali and a journalist in which Rajaee Ali threatened to reveal those responsible for ordering and financing Ms. Seetahal’s murder.
With the new evidence that has come to light and the testimony of some of the murder accused who may now become state witnesses, it is likely that additional arrests may soon be made in the case.
An additional factor is that Trinidad and Tobago has a two party system with elections due on August 10 th . The fact that the accused were closely associated with the current opposition party adds a political dimension to this criminal case.
The International Community, in particular the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association has urged the Government of Trinidad and Tobago to speed up investigations and bring the Conspirators and all those involved to justice.
Author: Majeet Vishwandati
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