Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 3rd 2016 Contents DEREK ACHONG
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)
Roger Gaspard has defended his office s
prosecution in the Vindra Naipaul-Cool-
man murder trial.
Speaking yesterday with reporters outside
the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain, two days
after eight of the accused men were acquitted
of the crime and two others were ordered
to be retried, Gaspard dismissed criticism
over the strength of the State s case against
"Well in the first place, a no case sub-
mission would have been made in respect
of this matter, not so. And a judge would
have found that the case was fit and proper
to be heard by the jury, not so. Well, if it
passed the judge at the no case submission
stage what does that tell you, not that there
is sufficient prima facie evidence to go before
the jury, not so?" Gaspard asked.
Asked if there could be any possible ram-
ifications on future cases coming out of this
one, Gaspard said, "We tend to learn from
every case we do."
He made the comments after attending
a habeas corpus hearing which was brought
by two of the seven accused men who were
returned to prison after being freed on Tues-
day due to an administrative error.
During the hearing, Gaspard admitted
that the two men --- Anthony Dwayne
Gloster and Jamille Garcia --- were not ini-
tially freed as their criminal records incor-
rectly showed that they were still before a
preliminary inquiry for Naipaul-Coolman s
Gloster and Garcia were arrested and
charged with the crime two years after the
other accused men and their (Gloster and
Garcia) inquiry was set aside so they could
go on trial at the same time with their co-
accused. However, the inquiry was not dis-
continued as promised and it remained on
This latest verdict, which has come on
the heels of a judge throwing out the gang-
related charges against the accused in the
Dana Seetahal, SC, murder case last week,
has brought into focus a level of concern
about the manner in which the police inves-
Meanwhile, five hours after High Court
Judge Peter Rajkumar ruled in their favour
and ordered their immediate release, Gloster
and Garcia walked out of the Port-of-Spain
State Prison at Frederick Street, Port-of-
Spain, yesterday evening.
In a brief interview after walking out the
prison where they had been incarcerated
for almost a decade, Garcia said he was
happy that the error was rectified but was
still disappointed for his two co-accused
Earl Trimmingham and Lyndon Charles,
who were ordered to be retried.
"I feeling it for my friends who are inno-
cent and have to remain inside there for
however long," Garcia said.
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Strong case was
2 walk free days after Vindra acquittal
One of the men who was acquitted of the
murder of Xtra Foods CEO Vindra Naipaul-
Coolman has called on police to reopen their
investigation into the murder.
Jamille Garcia made the call yesterday after
he belatedly walked out of the Port-of-Spain
prison two days after being acquitted.
"They (police) need to do over their
investigation because they had innocent men
sitting in there for ten years while the real
killers walking free. That not fair," Garcia said.
Garcia and Gloster were released yesterday
after their lawyers filed a habeas corpus writ
before the court.
The T&T Guardian understands that the five
others who were acquitted alongside them ---
Marlon Trimmingham, Gloster's brother
Shervon Peters, Antonio Charles, Garcia's
brother Keida and Ronald Armstrong --- were
denied their release due to a similar issue to
Gloster and Garcia.
Gloster's other brother, Devon Peters, was
the only one of the accused men who were
released after the jury delivered their verdict
The five men were initially charged with
Naipaul-Coolman's kidnapping but the DPP's
office subsequently decided to prosecute them
for the murder only while failing to discontinue
the kidnapping charges.
Legal sources said that the DPP had filed
notices of discontinuance for the kidnapping
charges late yesterday afternoon but the five
could not be released together with Garcia and
Gloster as prison officials were awaiting
official documents. They were expected to be
released late last night.
Naipaul-Coolman was abducted from her
Chaguanas home on December 19, 2006. A
$122,000 ransom was paid by her family but
she was not released and her body has never
During the trial, which began in March 2014,
prosecutors contended that the former Xtra
Foods chief executive was held captive in a
house in Upper La Puerta, Diego Martin, before
she was killed and dismembered.
Throughout the trial defence attorneys
raised multiple inconsistencies in the evidence,
including the mental health of the State's main
witness Keon Gloster, who claimed he was
coerced by police into implicating the accused
men, and issues over a gun linked to the
kidnapping crime scene being planted in one of
the accused men's homes.
Anthony Gloster, left, and Jamille Garcia walk out of the Port-of-Spain prison as free men yesterday. They were among eight who were
acquitted on Tuesday of the murder of Xtra Foods CEO Vindra Naipaul-Coolman, inset, but had remained detained due to an
administrative error. PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
cops to reopen case
for 02th June, 2016
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