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Accused distances himself from scene

Tuesday, July 22, 2014
The jury in the Vindra Naipaul-Coolman murder trial was yesterday shown the transcripts of two interviews between one of the 12 accused men and police. While Joel Fraser assisted investigators with basic information on some of his co-accused, who lived near him at Upper La Puerta, Diego Martin, he denied that they were his close friends. Fraser, a former lorry loader at the Water and Sewerage Authority (WASA) and semi-professional footballer, also denied ever liming with the group of men, some of whom are his relatives, at the incomplete red-brick house in the community where Naipaul-Coolman was allegedly held captive before being killed. These were just some details arising out of the interviews, which were presented in the Port-of-Spain High Court before Justice Malcolm Holdip, by Sgt Eric Park, who led Fraser’s interrogation. According to the transcripts, Fraser provided an alibi when he was arrested on May 9, 2007, almost five months after Naipaul-Coolman was kidnapped outside her Lange Park, Chaguanas, home. Fraser claimed he was liming in St James celebrating his cousin Akil Gloster’s birthday. Gloster, who was arrested during an initial raid in the area in January 2007, is also charged with Naipaul-Coolman’s murder. When Park asked if he was able to provide information on the kidnapping, Fraser said: “I doh know nothing about that. When I hear my cousins and them get carry down for that, I was real surprised. I don’t know nothing about that.” While being cross-examined by Fraser’s lawyer Ulric Skerritt yesterday, Park admitted that during the first interview, Fraser was not being treated as a suspect in Naipaul-Coolman’s kidnapping. However, the records showed that during the three-day period between the interrogation sessions at the Arouca Police Station, investigators had begun investigating Naipaul-Coolman’s murder and had named Fraser as a suspect. Park said: “We know that you have been liming in that house recently, between December 2006 and January 2007. What do you have to say?” Fraser replied: “Nah, what I go do dey?” Told that investigators had information that he was in the house while Naipaul-Coolman was there, Fraser responded: “Nah, me eh saying nothing again.” The trial resumes this morning.