Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 3rd 2015 Contents A11
May 3, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
Shedding tears as she recalled the gaping
hole Seetahal s death created in her soul, attor-
ney Joy Balkaran had nothing but good things
to say as she reflected on the times they spent
The two, along with Senior Counsel Gilbert
Peterson formed the powerhouse prosecution
team in the Vindra Naipaul-Coolman trial
now before the High Court. The trial began
in March 2014, and the three had grown quite
close during that time.
During an interview at the Hall of Justice
last week, Balkaran, who has been in active
practice for the past 24 years, dabbed at her
tears with her fingers and said softly, "She
was a guiding beacon light, we were always
able to speak openly with each other."
She smiled as she recalled, "Even when we
had differences of opinions, we would be able
to thrash them out...no big deal between us."
Never one to hold a grudge, Seetahal was
described as a workaholic with a tough exterior,
one who often masked the hurt caused by the
personal barbs deliberately fired from the
"This was usually the only way to get at
her," Balkaran explained, as she said no one
could question Seetahal s knowledge of the
law regarding criminal practice and proce-
Recalling when she first learnt of Seetahal s
death, Balkaran said she began screaming "why
they had to do her that?"
Asked how she was coping one year later,
Balkaran composed herself then answered, "I
don t think a day or night has gone by that
I have been able to rest properly or didn t
think about Dana, not a day."
Unwilling to speculate as to the reason why
Seetahal was killed, Balkaran said, "That is
something the police would have to assess."
However, she sought to remind the wider
population, "Each attorney has a job to do
and you do that to the best of your ability.
This is what we do and whatever Dana was
working on or doing, it was simply her job.
That is not a reason to kill somebody...that s
what attorneys do, that s our oath, to do our
job to the best of our ability. We simply present
the evidence as it unfolds.
"She will always be known as a giant in
Echoing the loss expressed by Balkaran,
Peterson admitted that her killing was a shock
to him and his family, as they shared a very
close bond with Seetahal.
Having fought on opposite sides and along-
side each other throughout her career, Peterson
said Seetahal s legal opinion was respected
and highly valued by peers throughout the
legal fraternity, the Police Service, and further
Pressed to speak about the police investi-
gation which remains active, both Peterson
and Balkaran agreed that answers were need-
ed.However, Peterson cautioned, "One may be
tempted to become angry that no one has
been arrested or charged with her killing. I
know investigations take time and although
I am anxious that her perpetrators be caught
and charged, and tried and possibly convicted,
I will not want the
investigators to rush to judgment.
"Notwithstanding my anxiety, I would prefer
they take their time, cross all their T s and
dot all their I s, because although we may be
anxious to have persons arrested and charged,
we will not want it to be just for a show but
to know the best possible investigation was
Peterson said as a member of the bar and
as a citizen, "I have to trust the system and
the Police Service to be doing their best."
Pointing out that they needed specially
trained officers to thoroughly investigate a
homicide, Peterson said, "We have a problem
with respect to the volume of murders and
the availability of trained homicide investi-
Acknowledging that the lingering uncertainty
over why Seetahal was killed had led to a
'Bring killers to justice'
The country owes this to Seetahal says her sister
From Page A10
This is a personal tragedy not just for me,
but my entire family as well as friends and
colleagues who knew her. It is very difficult to
carry on normally knowing that the people
responsible, her killers, are still out there and
they are probably doing the same thing to
other people. It would certainly give some
closure and some reassurance to know that
these murderers are behind bars.
Continues on Page A19
Seetahal's sister Susan Francois describes
Dana as a brave and daring soul who charted
new territory. PHOTO: ANDRE ALEXANDER
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