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Brazenness of criminals getting worse—Rowley

Monday, May 5, 2014
People’s National Movement leader Dr Keith Rowley, centre, greets party members on his arrival at a leadership constituency meeting at St Anthony's College, Diego Martin, yesterday. PHOTO: MARYANN AUGUSTE

Opposition leader Dr Keith Rowley says he is not entirely surprised by the killing of state prosecutor Dana Seetahal, SC, as the brazenness of criminals has been growing from strength to strength. In an interview yesterday, Rowley said he was distressed by the pain Seetahal’s family was forced to face. “There are two aspects to this. There is a loss of life of Dana Seetahal, who has been snuffed out by criminals, and every effort should be made to ensure that who ever had done this is brought to justice.


“But there is something more sinister and frightening about it, and that is the loss of life of Dana Seetahal, a state prosecutor in an ongoing serious criminal matter. And if her demise and the attack upon her has anything to do with her as a state prosecutor, then this would represent a very serious and disturbing and an escalation in the disrespect that the criminal community has for the national community,” Rowley said.


Saying this could also signal a total breakdown in law and order, Rowley said once the criminal justice system begins to operate out of fear of any kind, then the country and its citizens were “in big trouble.” “And only the brutes will survive in this jungle. I am hoping the police will do everything possible to bring to justice in the quickest time those who conspired to carry out this outrage,” Rowley urged.



Act of cowardice
The PNM’s public relations officer, attorney Faris Al-Rawi, said Seetahal’s killing was a heinous act of cowardice. “It was no doubt intended to deliver a supposed ‘final solution’ to a woman patriotic to  the  core, known to live without fear and ever-defiant in the face of any attempt to intimidate,” Al-Rawi said. He said reports that 5.62 ammunition was found at the scene were evidence of the use of military-type assault rifles. 


“This was no ordinary event. Clearly, whether intended or not, a message was sent from the underworld to every citizen of this country, and to the international community who will receive this news, that T&T is out of control and that no one is immune from targeted darkness,” Al-Rawi said. He added that all who knew Seetahal could bear witness to her passion and commitment to everything she believed in, be it law, mentorship, teaching, national commentary or plain old chat over coffee at her chambers.


“We in the PNM believe that her life’s work and dedication requires that we as a nation stand strong in the face of this attack on everything that is decent and that we work together in refusing to succumb to the attacks of the insidious,” he said. “We have demanded return to intelligence-led crime detection and solution. The Government has finally returned to the structure and resources of SAUTT by a different name. We have demanded specific reforms to the criminal justice system in our ten-point plan to the Government.”  


He said in a debate in the Senate on April 8, the PNM demanded improvements for state attorneys. Seetahal’s life’s work, Al-Rawi added, called for the nation to fight back and remain defiant in the face of evil.