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Accused in Dana Seetahal killing appear in court
Reputed gang leader Rajaee Ali and 11 members of his family’s Carapo mosque accused of killing Senior Counsel Dana Seetahal reappeared in court this morning for the continuation of their case.
During their brief hearing before Deputy Chief Magistrate Mark Wellington, attorney Criston J Williams informed the court that he required additional time to prepare an application for the recusal of Chief Magistrate Marcia Ayers-Caesar from the case. Wellington held for Ayers-Caesar, who is currently overseas.
In a previous hearing of the case, Williams had claimed that the application was similar to another in relation to Ali’s separate charges for conspiring to murder radio announcer Kevaughn “Lurbz” Savory in December, last year. In that application which Williams claimed that Ayers-Caesar handling of the case may be tainted by the fact that she was being guarded by officers of the the Criminal Gang and Intelligence Unit (CGIU) who also charged Ali in Savory’s case. It was eventually granted by Ayers-Caesar.
In making submissions today Williams explained that he had made a series of applications under the Freedom of Information Act for information required for the secondary application.
“This usually takes a long time,” Williams said, as he asked proscecutor Tricia Hudlin-Cooper if the State was willing to release the names of the police officers from the unit who participated in the investigation into Seetahal’s murder.
Hudlin-Cooper declined as she said the request will only be facilitated after the application is filed.
The case was then adjourned to October 8.
Seetahal was shot dead behind the wheel of her SUV after being ambushed by gunmen along Hamilton Holder Street, Woodbrook, on May 4. She was returning to her home at One Woodbrook Place after spending time at Ma Pau Casino, Ariapita Avenue. The group was eventually charged in June, this year.
Those charged with murdering Seetahal and with gang offences:
1. Rajaee Ali, 29, of Rose Drive, Carapo;
2. Devaughn Cummings, 29, of Poui Lane, Malabar, Arima;
3. Ishmael Ali, 30, of Pinewood Drive, Carapo, Arima (brother of Rajaee Ali);
4. Ricardo Stewart, 30, of Rose Drive, Carapo, Arima;
5. Earl Richards, 48, of Waterhole, Cocorite;
6. Stephan Cummings, 33, of Rose Drive, Carapo;
7. Gareth Wiseman, 33, of Caledonia Road, Lange Park, Chaguanas;
8. Hamid Ali, 34, of Melodians Crescent, Malabar, Arima, (brother of Rajaee Ali);
9. Kevin Parkinson, 28, of Waterhole, Cocorite;
10. Leston Gonzales, 28, of Malabar, Arima;
11. Roget Boucher, 29, of Rose Drive, Carapo;
Those charged with only gang offences:
1. Stacy Griffith, 29, of Malabar, Arima (wife of Rajaee Ali);
2. Deon Peters, 35, from Malabar and Carapo, Arima;
3. David Ector, 35, of Bon Air Gardens, Arouca.