Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 5th 2014 Contents A5
Monday, May 5, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar has promised to leave
no stone unturned in the inves-
tigation into murder of Dana
The prime minister made the
statement after she convened an
emergency meeting of the Nation-
al Security Council to discuss See-
tahal s killing yesterday.
Persad-Bissessar is the head of
In a statement issued yesterday,
Persad-Bissessar said she also
spoke with Chief Justice Ivor
Archie and they had agreed to
meet at the earliest possible time
to discuss necessary reforms in
the criminal justice system includ-
ing security issues.
Expressing sadness and shock
over Seetahal s death, Persad-
Bissessar said, "It is a reprehen-
sible act which has robbed us all
of one of our nation s best and
"Even those who never met
Dana Seetahal would recognise
her through the life she lived and
the proud legacy now left.
"There is an abyss of loss and
sadness for this brutal removal of
a sister, friend, legal luminary and
fearless, independent thinker on
Describing Seetahal s killing as
an "outrageous act of brutality",
Persad-Bissessar said it must be
ensured that the killers be brought
"This act must not be allowed
to be concluded by mere expres-
sions of regret and sympathy. I
have enjoined the Minister of
National Security to ensure that
every resource of the law enforce-
ment machinery of the State is
utilised in relentless pursuit of
apprehending those involved in
this most dastardly and heinous
"I am resolutely committed to
meeting the viciousness with
which Dana Seetahal s brilliant
life was cut down on the terms
she would have wanted and fought
so courageously and fearlessly for
every day," Persad-Bissessar said.
Death must not be in vain
The PM said Seetahal would
have uncompromisingly sought
justice and made her voice known.
Seetahal s death, Persad-Bisses-
sar urged, must not be in vain.
"Dana Seetahal would have
made her tragedy an impetus and
symbol for sweeping changes.
Dana Seetahal would have fought
with her last breath to ensure jus-
tice was served. By our response,
let us preserve that legacy," Per-
She said Seetahal s murder
brought an end to the work of a
legal and academic giant whose
contributions to the nation were
far from complete.
"The legal profession, and
indeed our country and region
have lost a truly remarkable
daughter of T&T," the PM said.
"As a lawyer, her success and
the high regard she earned from
her colleagues were testaments to
her determination to boldly uphold
and defend the rule of law."
She said in her role as a former
Independent Senator, Seetahal
demonstrated the highest princi-
ples and values of independent
thinking and was grounded in her
love and passion for the future of
"She earned a sterling reputa-
tion as a leading opinion-maker
on national issues of law, consti-
tution and criminal justice.
"For the role she played in Par-
liamentary, legal and indeed
national leadership, Dana will
always be remembered fondly. We
have lost someone who never
allowed herself to be defined by
the change she advocated, and
whose courage and boldness will
always stand as an inspiration for
today s and tomorrow s legal pro-
President of the Chaguanas Chamber
of Industry and Commerce (CCIC) Richie
Sookhai has expressed shock at the killing
of SC Dana Seetahal.
In a statement yesterday, Sookhai said
the gruesome and premeditated killing
underscored the unsatisfactory state of crime
"The Chamber hopes, like with all other
tragic killings, that the perpetrators of this
heinous act are brought to justice and we
pray that the soul of our respected Senior
finds peace. The Chamber also calls on the
Government and Police Service of T&T to
continue and further intensify efforts to
fight the plague of crime in the country
regardless of who are the victims of the
Sookhai also expressed concern that,
"lawyers who are prosecuting these criminals
have now been thrown into a state of panic
and uncertainty out of a fear for their own
lives and who may be next."
The CCIC extended condolences and
prayers to the bereaved family. The Chamber
is also calling on wider T&T to come together
in the fight against crime.
Sookhai also said Seetahal was fearless
in distilling her duties as an attorney and
was a lead criminal prosecutor and reservoir
of knowledge on that area, but at the same
time, was a humble and kind human being
to those around her.
Also expressing concern yesterday was
Peter O Connor, who urged the public,
through social media site, to join him in a
silent protest in the vicinity of the murder
scene in Woodbrook.
"I saw people posting on Facebook that
they were in despair and they did not know
what to do, so I posted come down here
and show in strength, if you have it."
Despite his plea there were only four peo-
ple who showed up for the event. O connor
said if it were another country there would
be 10,000 people in attendance.
Mapau Members Club has added its
voice to the list of mourners paying tribute
to attorney Dana Seetahal, SC.
In a statement issued yesterday, it said
its members and management were dev-
astated by the killing of Seetahal, who was
a dear friend.
"Dana has been our dear friend, member
and attorney for the past 13 years. Mapau
has been an extended family to Dana and
she a part of the Mapau family. As a home
away from home, Mapau provides a safe
environment for all of our members as well
as high-profile members such as Dana,"
the statement said.
It said immediately upon hearing of See-
tahal s murder yesterday, Mapau s man-
agement contacted the St James police and
told them she had been in the club and
left at 11.55 pm.
could be in
state of panic
Ma Pau mourns
loss of 'family'
act of brutality
Senior Counsel Dana S Seetahal was an
Independent Senator for eight years.
She was an attorney in private practice and a
lecturer at the Hugh Wooding Law School in St
Augustine, where she held the position of course
director in criminal practice and procedure.
Born on July 8, Seetahal held a bachelor of
laws from the University of the West Indies, St
Augustine, a masters degree in criminology from
Florida State University and was a Fulbright
She was first appointed an Independent
Senator in April 2002 and was again appointed
on October 2002 and December 2007. Her first
contribution in the senate was on the
Appropriation Bill, 2003, which she introduced
on October 28, 2002.
In January 2006 she was made Senior
Counsel. In 2008 she opened her own private
chambers, El Dorado Chambers on St Vincent
Seetahal also served as a state prosecutor,
assistant solicitor general and a magistrate.
She was a weekly columnist for the Saturday
Express and previously for the T&T Guardian.
Seetahal presented numerous papers on
criminal justice and related areas. Her book The
Commonwealth Caribbean on Criminal
Procedure, not only entailed theoretical
knowledge, but also her practical knowledge
earned over 20 years of experience in the field.
Seetahal also acted as a criminal justice
consultant to governments across the region
and various international bodies.
Dana Seetahal, SC, climbs the steps of the Hall of Justice on her way
to court earlier this year. PHOTO: MICHEAL BRUCE
KILLING OF DANA SEETAHAL, SC
PM calls emergency meeting after killing
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