Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : March 25th 2014 Contents A5
Tuesday, March 25, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Even after being shot in her leg by her
kidnappers, Central businesswoman Vin-
dra Naipaul-Coolman still managed to
cling on to life for eight days in an aban-
doned house in La Puerta, Diego Martin,
before she was eventually executed.
As she collapsed from a bullet to the
chest at point blank range, the group of
men who were holding her captive imme-
diately reached for their rubber gloves and
a rotary saw, then began the process of dis-
membering her body. Naipaul-Coolman s
body parts were then buried in a shallow
grave under a cashew tree located in a
forested area nearby.
These were just some of the gruesome
details in the State s opening address to a
12-member jury, with six alternates, at the
start of the former supermarket chief exec-
utive s murder trial in Port-of-Spain High
The State s lead prosecutor, Israel Khan,
SC, who delivered the opening address,
noted that because Naipaul-Coolman s
body was never recovered by police, the
details of how she was killed were pieced
together from the evidence its main wit-
nesss, Keon Gloster, who was the neighbour
of most of the accused, provided and the
circumstantial and scientific evidence in
"The prosecution is unable to say with
certainty whether she was dead or alive
when she was dismembered," Khan said.
The jury and members of the public in
the court seemed to cringe on hearing the
vivid description of the events. Many of
the dozen stone-faced accused men, how-
ever, chatted quietly amongst themselves
as the details were disclosed.
"They cut off her legs up to her belly.
They cut off both arms from her shoulders.
They cut off her head. They cut her belly
and chest," Khan said.
While Khan began his address by admit-
ting that prosecutors could not prove that
the dozen accused men were behind
Naipaul-Coolman s kidnapping, he
nonetheless gave the State s version of the
events which took place on the night of
December 19, 2006.
Khan explained that shortly after 8 pm,
Naipaul-Coolman was returning home from
work when she was accosted by three gun-
men as she pulled into the driveway of her
Radix Road, Lange Park, Chaguanas, home.
He said that the State would be relying
on evidence of three witnesses to the busi-
nesswoman s abduction, her husband Ren-
nie Coolman, her daughter from a previous
marriage, Risha Ali, and her live-in house-
keeper Rasheedan Yacoob, who were all
home at the time.
He said that all three will testify that
they heard Naipaul-Coolman s car in the
driveway and saw three masked men with
guns banging on the windows. They will
also testify that they heard a volley of gun-
shots and by the time they contacted police,
Naipaul-Coolman had already been abduct-
ed, he said.
Crime scene investigators found Naipaul-
Coolman s glasses, her dentures and empty
shell casing near to a puddle of Naipaul-
Coolman s blood on the driveway near her
Despite being shot on first day of abduction...
Vindra held on for eight days
Khan also said the relatives would testify on the dozens of ransom calls they
received, which lasted for months after Naipaul-Coolman's abduction and eventual
"There was an insatiable thirst for money. You know after they killed this woman
this distinct voice was still calling for money," Khan said.
Two senior employees at Naipaul-Coolman's Xtra Foods supermarket chain ---
brothers Abid and Farouk Nabbie --- who were involved in the drop off of a $122,000
ransom payment in Mausica, Arima, hours after her abduction, are also expected to
testify in the trial.
Khan claimed that after the kidnapping, Naipaul-Coolman was bound and gagged
using duct tape and taken to an incomplete red brick structure at Upper La Puerta
Road, Diego Martin, referred to by the accused men as "black album", where she was
kept captive until her death.
In refering to Anthony Gloster's evidence against his neighbours, Khan said it was
the State's case that Naipaul-Coolman was killed three days after Christmas.
He said that Gloster, who was 17 at the time, told police that on December 28, he
went to the building and saw one of the accused men, Lyndon James, beating the
woman and demanding money before drawing a gun and shooting her in her chest.
Gloster's testimony implicates the group of men and places all of them at the scene
of her execution.
Naipaul-Coolman's body was cut into several
pieces which were placed in black garbage bags.
The body parts were later buried under sheets
of galvanised roofing in a forested area nearby.
Khan told the jury that by the time Gloster
had given his statement to police and carried
them to scene of the murder and burial, the
body parts had already been moved.
He claimed that they were exhumed by the
men after they were first questioned by police
and released in January 2007 and dumped at
Some of the circumstantial evidence recovered
by police, and which is being relied on in the trial,
include duct tape and digging implements found
in the abandoned house, galvanize sheets and a
shallow ditch at the site identified by Gloster.
The State is also relying on several pieces of
DNA evidence which were found at the scenes
of the kidnapping and murder.
These include a piece of duct tape with
Naipaul-Coolman's blood that was found in the
house, a blood-stained glove that was found
near the house and ballastic evidence which
shows that a shell casing found in her driveway
matched a gun found at the home of one of the
accused, Keida Garcia.
Khan said while Gloster may attempt to
recant his original statement to police in the
trial, it still assisted in implicating the group as it
accurately described and explained the evidence
found independently by police.
The trial resumes tomorrow.
RANSOM CALLS FOR MONTHS
BODY PARTS DUMPED AT SEA
Israel Khan, lead state prosecutor in the trial into the death of businesswoman Vindra
Naipaul-Coolman arrives at the Hall of Justice, Port-of-Spain, yesterday.
PHOTO: SHIRLEY BAHADUR
The dozen 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 from sickle-cell
Their legal team includes Ulric Skerritt,
Joseph Pantor, Selwyn Mohammed, Lennox
Sankersingh, Ian Brooks, Wayne Sturge, Mario
Merritt, Richard Valere, Kwesi Bekoe, Colin
Selvon, Vince Charles, Christian Chandler,
Delicia Helwig and Alexia Romero.
The prosecution team includes Senior
Counsel Israel Khan, Gilbert Peterson and Dana
Seetahal, who are being assisted by senior
state prosecutor Joy Balkaran.
Justice Malcolm Holdip
WHO'S IN COURT
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