Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : May 8th 2014 Contents A5
Thursday, May 8, 2014 www.guardian.co.tt Guardian
Slain special prosecutor Dana
Saroop Seetahal will be given a
heroine’s send-off at today’s funeral
which features a host of tributes,
including one from President
Anthony Carmona and a song by
soca star Machel Montano, one of
Prime Minister Kamla Persad-
Bissessar is also expected to do a
scripture reading. Representatives
of the Parliament and the legal fra-
ternity will also deliver tributes.
This was confirmed from the pro-
gramme of today’s service of comfort
in remembrance of Seetahal’s life
Seetahal was assassinated early
last Sunday morning, en route to
her One Woodbrook Place apart-
She was ambushed by culprits
who shot her five times, killing her
on the spot on Hamilton Holder
Street near the Woodbrook Youth
Facility. She died two months before
her 59th birthday.
Today’s service takes place at 5
pm at the Aramalaya Presbyterian
Church, Tunapuna. It is expected
to last 90 minutes approximately.
Heavy security is planned and tight
restrictions will be in force for the
T&T Guardian understands other
venues beside the 400-seat church
were considered but it was chosen
since it was the family church, which
Seetahal attended as a youth.
The funeral cortege will leave for
the church from Seetahal’s family
home at El Dorado Village, Tuna-
The PM, Cabinet members,
Opposition Leader Dr Keith Rowley
and a PNM delegation, past and
present Independent senators, var-
ious political figures and members
of the Judiciary, legal fraternity and
law enforcement agencies will attend
Also expected to be present are
representatives of academia, the arts,
non-governmental and other organ-
Worship will be led by the Rev
Adrian Sieunarine, Aramalaya’s
The sermon will be delivered by
former Independent senator Rev
Daniel Teelucksingh who has known
Seetahal and her siblings for years.
Teelucksingh, still deeply in shock
at the murder, said yesterday: “It is
something I never would have
dreamed I would have to do, Dana’s
In memory of Seetahal, the legal
fraternity also will hold a candlelight
vigil on the steps of the Hall of Jus-
People’s National Movement (PNM) public
relations officer Faris Al-Rawi says he has
no confidence the assassination of Dana See-
tahal, SC, will be solved by local law enforce-
ment officers. He is urging Government to
bring in foreign help with immediate effect.
His comments come in wake of the fact
that the police are yet to make a breakthrough
in Seetahal’s killing.
There have been calls from all sectors of
the society for swift action to bring the killers
to justice. It has been four days since Seetahal
Al-Rawi said the basis for the PNM’s lack
of confidence in the Police Service lay in the
dramatic fall in the detection and conviction
rate of murders from 36 per cent to under ten
He noted: “Other issues which must be
taken into consideration are the Police Service’s
lack of conclusion in the e-mail gate issue,
its lack of conclusion in the $17 million heist
and murder of a security guard which took
place last November, its lack of conclusion in
the importation of chicken well seasoned with
marijuana and its lack of conclusion in the
matter of cocaine in juice cans.
“The Police Service does not boast of any
form of track record which will encourage
confidence in the citizens that they are capable
of bringing home a conviction in Dana See-
He made it clear his statement was not an
attack on police officers but rather a serious
criticism of the People’s Partnership Govern-
ment which was responsible for dismantling
all of the country’s security systems in 2010.
“That has left us in a position where I do
not have faith this matter would be dealt with
without the assistance of foreign expertise.
“In the circumstances, I pray that the Gov-
ernment and the country will make available
the necessary expertise to bring home a solu-
tion in the Seetahal’s assassination and more
particular every serious crime,” Al-Rawi said.
He added that Government had refused to
accept the PNM’s invitation to amend the law
to allow for an immediate appointment of a
police commissioner and had refused to con-
duct a manpower audit of the organisation.
He said: “The combination of the Police
Service’s dismal record and the Government’s
abdication of its role of creating an enabling
environment for the Police Service to better
itself, left alone to function, equals to a tragic
result for T&T.”
UK ready to assist
National Security Minister Gary Griffith
says apart from the United States, the United
Kingdom also was ready to join with local law
enforcement officers to hunt down Seetahal’s
killers. However, he reiterated he did not believe
it was necessary at this time for T&T to call
in foreign help.
He said: “I have spoken to acting Police
Commissioner Stephen Williams today (yes-
terday) and we have met with relevant officials
through the US embassy. I have also made
contact, through the British High Commission,
and a specially assigned unit able to support
our law enforcement agencies is already on
“But I do not think at this time it is nec-
essary. This is a mammoth investigation. It is
not just pinpointing an individual and grabbing
the person. You have to look at every single
He said he already had received confidential
reports from the intelligence agencies and was
hopeful a breakthrough would be made in the
quickest possible time. What is more critical,
he added, was developing human intelligence
where information was passed on to the police
from members of the public.
Evidence must stand up
Former assistant director of public prose-
cutions, attorney Indra Ramoutar-Liverpool,
says it was not just a matter of arresting per-
petrators but rather getting evidence which
could stand up beyond a reasonable doubt in
court in the Seetahal case.
“In a criminal case you must have evidence
to stand up beyond a reasonable doubt. You
have to have witnesses who are willing to
come forward and must be afforded some sort
of protection.“They also need to bring the
matter early to court because if they don’t it
will simply die a natural death,” Ramoutar-
On if she believed the witness protection
programme was efficient, she said there were
rules which must be followed and in some
instances people had been placed in the pro-
gramme and did not subscribed to the rules.
...Machel to sing at funeral
PNM wants foreign investigators for probe
President Carmona, a former judge, is
scheduled to give the first of several
other tributes on the funeral
Other tributes will be delivered by
Seetahal’s legal colleagues: Attorney
Merlin Boyce, of Seetahal’s law-school
days; attorney Rikki Harnanan and
Justice Mark Mohammed.
Paying tribute on behalf of the
Parliament will be the Clerk of the
House of Representatives, Jacqui
The eulogy will be delivered by
Seetahal’s sister Susan Francois,
Financial Intelligence Unit head.
Soca star Montano’s performance
comes halfway through the programme.
A representative for Montano said
Seetahal family members asked him to
Montano went to the scene of the
murder last Sunday, weeping at the site.
His contribution today is planned to be
“a plain, simple heartfelt” tribute.
That will be followed by a reading of
Psalm 23, The Lord is My Shepherd.
Seetahal’s brother-in-law, Dr Trevor
Teemul, and niece Dr Janine Seetahal,
will also deliver scripture readings.
Other nieces and nephews — Dr Antal
Teemul, Danielle Francois, Sathyam
Seetahal, Melissa Persad, Dr Lendl
Seetahal, Philippe Francois and Leanna
Seetahal — will pay tribute and share
the family’s feelings.
A mantra will be delivered by Pundit
Hymns to be sung include One Day at
a Time and Blessed Assurance. A song
will also be sung by a representative of
Bishop Anstey High School, Seetahal’s
After the service, Seetahal will be
cremated at Belgrove’s funeral home,
ORDER OF SERVICE
Since Monday, many have attended
wakes at the family’s Tunapuna home.
At Tuesday’s wake, the Rev Sieunarine
said Seetahal was one of those whom
people took to their homes and hearts
forever and as a nation T&T was crying.
He said on the eve of Mother’s Day,
people would also be thinking about
what Seetahal did to hold everyone
together and citizens would be thinking
about how they remembered her... “as
someone, who when she left you, your
home and life was different.
“She could bring welcome, a new kind
of value, a simplicity, a blessing,
charisma, a dynamism... something that
was a kind of energy when your heart
touched hers,” Sieunarine said.
He said Seetahal recently attended a
service where she received an award for
attending Sunday school 50 years ago
and many also remembered her
attending the Tunapuna Presbyterian
He said T&T and society were much
TRIBUTES AT HER WAKE
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