Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 3rd 2015 Contents DEREK ACHONG
The trial of 12 men accused of murdering busi-
nesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman was
adjourned abruptly yesterday after a defence attor-
ney had an argument with a State witness.
The argument began as Mario Merritt, who is
representing three of the accused, was questioning
homicide detective Insp Suzette Martin on her
interviews with the State s main witness in the case
While at an advanced stage of his cross-exam-
ination Merritt apparently made a snide comment
over her alleged failure to disclose her relationship
with a fellow investigator Supt Ancil Corbette.
"I would not answer that question. I don t appre-
ciate this," Martin stated.
The comment was not heard by the entire court
but was recognised by presiding Judge Malcolm
Holdip, who immediately called upon him to desist
from the line questioning.
"These personal remarks do not assist us. I have
been through this before and you have abided with
my ruling up to three minutes ago," Holdip said.
"I don t trust anything she is saying," Merritt
said as he appealed to Holdip to reconsider his pre-
After several minutes of intense legal arguments
with Merritt, Holdip maintained his position.
"I lose. I lose," Holdip said as he shook his head
in frustration and adjourned the case an hour before
its scheduled end.
Martin is one of two police officers who testified
earlier in the trial and have been recalled by defence
attorneys to answer additional questions.
She was the officer who recorded a series of
sworn statements from Gloster which implicated
the accused men and form the State s main evidence
Gloster was allegedly present when State pros-
ecutors contend Naipaul-Coolman was killed in a
house in Upper La Puerta, Diego Martin, almost a
week after she was abducted from her Lange Park,
Chaguanas, home, on December 19, 2006.
However, Gloster has claimed he was coerced
into signing the statements and did not supply its
While questioning Martin on her interaction with
Gloster, Merritt questioned why his mother was
not allowed to be present when he gave the state-
ments as he was a minor at the time.
Although Martin claimed that Gloster s mother
chose not to participate, she could not point to any
record which proved that.
She claimed her presence was not necessary as
a Justice of the Peace was called in to be an inde-
Martin s cross-examination resumes this morning.
WHO'S IN COURT
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A regiment camouflage outfit and
a police-issued bulletproof vest were
among several items seized by the
police during an exercise in Chagua-
Thirty people were arrested for var-
ious offences during the exercise that
occurred between 7 pm on Monday
and 8 am yesterday under the super-
vision of Snr Supt Johnny Abraham.
Insp Williams, Sgt Jitindra
Toolaram and officers of the Central
Divisional Task Force, the Central
Divisional CID and Canine Unit took
part in the exercise.
Two pistols and 180 rounds of
assorted ammunition, which included
11 rounds of 12-gauge shotgun ammu-
nition, were seized.
Police said two guns, a 9 mm pistol
and a .380 firearm and a stolen vehicle
also were recovered in the raid.
Three ski masks, a pair of hand-
cuffs, a scale and 165 grammes of
marijuana also were also seized during
Police said over 200 search war-
rants were executed and 20 penalty
tickets were issued during the exer-
The suspects were arrested for var-
ious offences, including possession
of guns, possession of ammunition,
shooting offences and other crimes.
Items seized by the police during an exercise in Chaguanas which began on
Monday and ended yesterday. PHOTO: MARCUS GONZALES
Guns, ammo, drugs
seized in police raid
clash in court
The 12 men before the jury and Justice
Malcolm Holdip are Allan "Scanny" Martin, twin
brothers Shervon and Devon Peters, siblings
Keida and Jamille Garcia and their older brother
Anthony Dwayne Gloster, brothers Marlon and
Earl Trimmingham, Ronald Armstrong, Antonio
Charles, Joel Fraser and Lyndon James. A 13th
man, Raphael Williams, was charged with the
crime but died in prison in 2011 of complications
arising from sickle cell anaemia.
Their legal team includes Ulric Skerritt,
Joseph Pantor, Selwyn Mohammed, Lennox
Sankersingh, Ian Brooks, Wayne Sturge, Mario
Merritt, Richard Valere, Colin Selvon, Vince
Charles, Christian Chandler, Delicia Helwig and
Alexia Romero. The prosecution team includes
Senior Counsel Israel Khan and Gilbert
Peterson who are being assisted by senior
state prosecutors Joy Balkaran and Kelly
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