Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : October 9th 2014 Contents A7
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The pooltable on which business-
woman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman was
allegedly murdered and dismembered
was sold shortly after several of the
12 accused were arrested and released
in January 2007.
Five months later, homicide detec-
tives began searching for the table after
they learned of its alleged use and
realised it was missing from the Diego
Martin home of three brothers, where
the businesswoman was reportedly held
captive before her death.
Investigators first found out the
pooltable had been sold by the three
brothers to a businessman in the area
while questioning their co-accused and
neighbour Jamille Garcia.
Retired Assistant Commissioner of
Police (ACP) John Travajo, who obtained
the information during an interview
with Garcia shortly after the suspects
were rearrested in May that year,
revealed that while testifying in the
ongoing murder trial yesterday.
Travajo said while questioning the
former Water and Sewerage Authority
(WASA) employee, he was told the pool
table had been sold days after his co-
accused was questioned by police, less
than a month after Naipaul-Coolman
was abducted from her Chaguanas
home in December 2006.
Asked the reason for the quick
sale, Garcia did not tell Travajo
that Dwayne Gloster and his two
half-brothers---Devon and Shervon
Peters---sold it to conceal evidence
but that they did it for money.
Travajo, the most senior police
officer investigating the crime, said
almost immediately after the short
interview ended he went to the
home of the new owner of the
"I could not run the risk of leav-
ing the table there and not finding
it when I reached three hours later,"
He said the new owner, Curtis
Smith, corroborated Garcia s story
and provided a witness statement
before the table was loaded onto
a police truck.
Saying it had been handed over
to foreign crime scene investigators
(CSI) from the now defunct Special
Anti-Crime Unit of T&T (Sautt)
for testing, Travajo could not reveal
its current location or the results
of the forensic tests.
After completing his evidence
before trial judge Malcolm Holdip
and the 12-member jury, Travajo
was put on the spot by defence
attorneys, who asked whether
proper police procedure had been
followed in seizing the table with-
out a warrant.
Travajo said: "I did not seize it.
I ask a man (Smith) for it and he
gave it to me."
Although he said he could not
assemble a CSI team for the exer-
cise he claimed he took steps to
preserve the potential evidence on
the table s felt surface.
Defence attorney Mario Merritt,
who is representing Shervon
Peters, Garcia s brother Keida and
a third man, Ronald Armstrong,
then asked a series of questions
related to claims by prosecutors
that Naipaul-Coolman was dis-
membered on the table.
"Did it appear that it was used
as a meat board?" Merritt asked.
"No, sir," Travajo said, saying
he did not do a detailed inspection
of the table. Travajo also admitted
the table did not smell of either
decay or disinfectants when he
The line of questioning appeared
to have struck a chord with lead
prosecutor Israel Khan, SC, who
intervened to clarify the State s
position on the evidential value of
the pool table.
"We are saying that something
happened on a pool table. We are
not saying that this was the pool
table," Khan said.
Travajo s cross-examination
continues in the Port-of-Spain
Second Criminal Court this
Court hears of pooltable's sale
Pupils inspect one of
the solar lanterns
distributed by the T&T
Red Cross Society
launch of the Gift of
Illumination, a Solar
Lantern Project at
Naparima Boys' High
School, San Fernando.
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