Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : July 26th 2015 Contents news
July 26, 2015 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
JENSEN LA VENDE
There will be increased security and strin-
gent measures in place for those attending
the Port-of-Spain Magistrates Court tomor-
row, where 11 men are scheduled to appear
charged with the murder of senior counsel
In a media briefing at the Police Adminis-
tration Building in Port-of-Spain, yesterday,
lead investigator in the 15-month long inves-
tigation, Deputy Commissioner of Police Glen
Hackett, said the men would appear in court
under tight security which has already been
put in place.
The men are Rajaee Ali, 29, of Rose Drive
Carapo, Arima, who is also charged with being
a gang leader; Devoughn Cummings, 27, of
Poui Lane, Malabar, Arima; Ishmael Ali, 30,
of Pinewood Drive, Carapo, Arima; Ricardo
Stewart, 36, of Rose Drive, Carapo, Arima; Earl
Richards, 48, of Waterhole, Cocorite; Stephen
Cummings, 33, of Rose Drive, Evergreen, Cara-
po, Arima; Gareth Wiseman, 33, of Caledonia
Road, Lange Park, Chaguanas; Hamid Ali, 34,
of Melodians Crescent, Malabar, Arima; Kevin
Parkinson, 28, of Waterhole, Cocorite; Leston
Gonzales, 25, of Malabar, Arima; and Roget
Boucher, 29, of Rose Drive, Carapo, Arima.
Besides Rajaee Ali, the other ten men will
also be charged with being members of a gang,
along with Dion Peters, David Hector and
Stacey Griffith. Griffith will also be charged
with committing an act to assist a gang.
Five other men, including Imams Yasin Abu
Bakr and Hassan Ali, Keston Seales, Kendon
Forde and Keston Modeste, were arrested in
connection with the matter but were subse-
quently released without charge.
During the briefing, Hackett said on July 20
police began their operational aspects of the
case. He thanked his colleagues, in particular
acting Police Commissioner Stephen Williams,
ACP Wayne Dick, Supt Ancil Corbette, Insp
Michael Veronique, Supt Kenrick Edwards,
ASP Christopher Pamponette and members
of the Homicide Bureau of Investigations,
Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit, Cyber
Crime Unit and the Special Branch, along with
Hackett, who did not name the foreign agen-
cies involved in the case on their request, also
thanked them and the Director of Public Pros-
ecutions Roger Gaspard, who he said assisted
throughout the investigations. He gave a special
thanks to Rev Daniel Teelucksingh, who re-
energised the investigating team.
"To relatives of the deceased, I know you
would have raised some concerns in public
with respect to the investigation and for those
concerns I apologise, but I had good reasons
for not apprising you in the manner you wanted
to," Hackett said, just before reading out the
names of those charged with Seetahal s mur-
der.Hackett also reached out to the relatives of
others killed and their unsolved cases, urging
them to bring any information they might
have, however little, as the police had opened
a cold case unit and would be using some of
the same technology they used in Seetahal s
case to pursue others.
Asked whether it was his most challenging
case to date, Hackett said that was because of
the case s technological aspects.
"This case stands out as the most challenging
case I have ever worked on, apart from employ-
ing the investigative techniques we have been
exposed to. Additionally, what became our
greatest challenge was coordinating and syn-
chronising the technological aspect of this
investigation and the new technology we had
to employ and seek help from international
law enforcement agencies," he said.
He added that no government minister, past
or present, had been involved or was mentioned
throughout their investigations. Asked why
was Seetahal murdered, Hackett said that
would be divulging evidence which he did not
wish to do. He added that whereas there were
currently 11 men charged with the murder, if
new evidence was unearthed that would lead
to the arrest and charging of others, then that
would take place.
General secretary of the Prison Officers Asso-
ciation, Gerard Gordon, yesterday admitted that
some of his colleagues may have assisted in the
escape of three remanded inmates from the Port-
of-Spain prison on Friday afternoon.
However, he said, what was clear was that the
true culprit was the sub-standard equipment officers
were forced to work with. In a telephone interview
with the Sunday Guardian yesterday, Gordon said,
"Maybe some officers are to be blamed. But we have
been asking for changes in rules so that rogue officers
can be immediately dismissed.
"What I am saying is it is not now that the asso-
ciation has been clamouring for certain things because
the prison is overburdened and under-supported."
On Friday, Christopher "Monster" Selby, 30, along
with Allan Scanny Martin, 42, and Hassan Atwell,
41, shot their way to freedom from the Port-of-
Spain prison around 12.30 pm. Martin was shot
dead at the Port-of-Spain General Hospital s guard
booth while Atwell and Selby remained on the run
last night. Police said the men were considered
armed and dangerous.
During the escape, PC Sherman Maynard, who
was on sentry duty, was shot and killed.
Yesterday, police probing the case reportedly ques-
tioned nine prisons officers in connection with the
Apart from two 9mm handguns and a grenade
with which the escapees were armed as they escaped,
police reportedly found a pump action shotgun and
two other handguns in a knapsack which Martin
had on his back.
Investigators said the prisoners could not have
escaped unless they had inside help, since it was
impossible for them to have had access to such
weaponry from on the inside.
Yesterday, Gordon said officers, in seeking to carry
out their duties while being threatened, were forced
to do what they should not, including moving inmates
around without the proper restraints. He added that
it was not about blaming the officers but the inad-
equate equipment they were forced to work with.
He said he did not want to speak to Friday s incident
but generally the ills facing his officers.
Gordon said there was no room in the search area
in the Frederick Street prison to conduct a proper
search, adding that there could be a repeat of Friday s
jailbreak if nothing was done soon.
"We have found money hidden in fruit and we
have asked for many things to help us. One was
that inmates be uniformed and not be allowed to
have their own clothes," he said, adding that the
current system and all its faults were just an enabler
for more crime.
Gordon said as a result of attacks on prisons offi-
cers, two have been living at the Golden Grove
Prison. He added that Friday s escape was just a
symptom of what the association had been high-
lighting but which remained unattended to by the
relevant authorities for years.
Escapees may have
had inside help
Lead investigator thanks colleagues as
11 charged with
According to reports, shortly before
midnight on May 3 last year, Seetahal left
the Ma Pau casino car park on French
Street, Port-of-Spain, before driving onto
Wrightson Road and later turning north
onto Hamilton Holder Street, Woodbrook.
Police said as she approached the
Woodbrook Youth Facility around 12.05
am, she was blocked by two vehicles,
whose occupants came out and shot her.
Seetahal was shot five times by her
assailants, twice in the right side of her
head, twice in the right forearm and once
in the chest. Her killers were so close to
her that gunpowder residue was found on
Police officers provide extra security outside the Frederick Street, Port-of-Spain prison,
yesterday, in the wake of Friday's escape from the facility by inmates Allan 'Scanny'
Martin, Hassan Atwell and Christopher Selby. Martin was killed shortly after the breakout,
but Atwell and Selby remain on the run. (See pages A4 & A5) PHOTO: JENSEN LA VENDE
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