The cries of pregnant cancer patient Melissa Evans echoed throughout the Port-of-Spain Magistrate’s Court yesterday after she was told she had to spend a night in prison after being denied bail in
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Preserve her legacy
President Anthony Carmona said Dana Seetahal, SC, had a stubborn independence which spilled over into the manner in which she approached her life, to include her personal safety. He said: “I recall as prosecutors in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions that we lost several key witnesses in high profile murder trials at a time when the law was not developed evidentially as it is today. “Dana didn’t cower or resile herself to some pathological corner of fear. Her resolve to seek justice for all was only hardened and she faced all challenges, including the threats that came with the job of prosecutor.”
He said she was the quintessential prosecutor and as a state prosecutor, a minister of justice,” I do recall personally, that when Dana was given a fiat to prosecute in her capacity as a defence attorney, there was an extra bounce in her step. “If I had to choose a word to convey what Dana fought for, it would be “JUSTICE”. “The ideal of justice for all is one she guarded with fanatical fervor. It didn’t matter who you were, where you came from and what you did. “It mattered not your social class, your religion, your ethnicity or your political affiliation. If you were a victim she wasn’t just ON your side, she WAS your side.”
He added: “Many are the perpetrators of crime whose concocted stories fell apart under her merciless scrutiny. Hardened criminals in the witness box were known to become rattled by her incisive cross-examination, her swift rejoinders and her rapid-fire speech, propositions pouring out one after the other in quick succession, tripping up the deceitful in their own web of lies.”
Carmona asked: “How do you sum up the life of someone as remarkable as Dana Seetahal?
“Coming as we are just out of a period of national mourning, there is a recognition that words and speeches, no matter their eloquence, cannot fully capture the accomplishments and impact of a person’s life. “The only way possible is to ensure that their legacy, the things they stood and fought for, is not shelved and forgotten. Dana stood for many things but what she fought for is what defines her,” he added.