the 11th anniversary of the killing of former AG Selwyn
Richardson, police confirm that the cold case will be reopened
He was in the shadow of the sanctuary of his Samaan Drive,
Cascade, home, waiting in the drivers seat of his
vehicle for the gateway to be opened, when former attorney
general Selwyn Richardson was gunned down on the night of
June 20, 1995.
Two assassins pounced on Richardson and pumped six bullets
into his body.
The attack was so swift and deadly that the former AG, under
both the NAR and PNM regimes, was unable to try and defend
himself with the licensed firearm in the glove compartment
of his car.
The vehicle, a white Corolla, PAX 1986, was a sea of 59-year-old
Richardsons blood after the murderous onslaught.
Today is 11 years since Richardson, who also served in several
ministerial positions, as well as acted as prime minister,
was cowardly assassinated by killers who were suspected
by investigating homicide bureau police to be Jamaat al
Muslimeen members, Abdul Quadir and Curtis Felix.
But before they could be apprehended for questioning, they
themselves were executed.
Quadirs corpse was found near his car on the Solomon
Hochoy Highway, near the Tarouba flyover, while Felix
bullet-riddled body was stumbled upon in some bushes in
At the time, Richardsons mob-style killing was as
shocking as the murder, in similar fashion, a little less
than a year before, of Dr Chandra Naraynsingh, by a paid
assassin who was subsequently identified as Shawn Parris,
and who is serving a life sentence for the crime.
Richardson had feared for his life, but did not want to
alarm his wife Joyce.
But sources close to him had said, at the time of his death,
he was worried that a civil suit he had filed against a
weekly newspaper had caused tempers to flare.
And he had noticed he was being followed wherever he went.
An inquest into Richardsons death, with Magistrate
Beecham Maharaj sitting in chambers as coroner, ruled that
he had been murdered, but the prime suspects, Felix and
Quadir, had themselves subsequently died, causing the murder
trail to grow cold.
A former murder accused and kidnapper, Imran Ali, had been
arrested and charged with Quadir and Felix murders.
In fact, it was suspected that he had hired them to assassinate
Then the main witness in the case against Ali was gunned
down in New York.
And Ali himself was shot dead in March, 1997, by members
of the Anti-Kidnapping Squad, so the trail with regard to
Richardsons murder was not just cold; it had, for
all intents and purposes, disappeared.
Nevertheless, at the time the coroner had handed down his
ruling, the police had noted that if fresh evidence surfaced,
the case would be reopened.
Nothing surfaced, however, during the past nine years.
But now, with the hiring on contract of 39 British law enforcement
officers, 23 of whom are already here, according to National
Security Minister Martin Joseph, hope has been rekindled
that new leads could be secured in the Richardson cold
This was confirmed on Saturday by Asst Commissioner of Police
Maurice Piggott, who is in charge of the Homicide Bureau.
He said Richardsons file, as well as other cold cases,
were being reopened, and the British officers would be asked
to look over the evidence to see if it was feasible to resume
In Parliament earlier this month, Minister Joseph said the
British officers were providing training and expertise
to improve crime scene management and investigation, as
well our forensic capabilities.
Joseph also called on the public to back the Police Service
555 information initiative.
Back in 1996, Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj, then serving as attorney
general in the UNC administration, accused the PNM, while
on the hustings for the local government polls that year,
of deliberately holding back with the investigation into
Maharaj charged that Richardson was killed because he was
an indefatigable foe in the fight against the drug trade,
and drug lords had made it their business to order a hit
on his life.
The PNM, said Maharaj, was protecting the drug lords.
Richardsons former colleague in the NAR, Lincoln Myers
(who says he isnt aligned to any political party today)
agreed that Richardsons murder was very sensitive
and that he, too, wanted the police to reopen the file on
his murdered maid, Ann Dhanraj, who was killed in mysterious
circumstances ten years ago.
Myers said it was unfortunate that neither the
PNM, the NAR, nor, indeed, the Parliament, had Richardsons
killing to study, although he had served for so many
years as a lawmaker.
is very wrong, Myers declared.
Neither Myers nor PNM executive member Rose Janniere could
say offhand what had become of Richardsons widow Joyce.
Janniere said her son had attended St Marys College
along with Richardsons son, Sean.
But Richardsons uncle, Lancelot Rivers, who had applied
for letters of administration for the estate, told the Guardian
that Joyce was domiciled in London, England.
Joyce and their children, Charmaine, Ginelle and Sean, inherited
his estate, worth more than $660,000.
Rivers told the Guardian from his Barataria home on Saturday
that he had been chatting with Richardsons brother,
Rawle, earlier that day, and Richardsons name had
Over the years, no special ceremony was held to mark the
anniversary of Richardsons death, said Rivers, whose
sister was Richardsons mother.
Concerning Joyce, he added: She comes home every now
and then, and rings on the occasions of birthdays and so
is a very beautiful girl.
Told that the police were holding out hope that even now,
11 years later, that they could find fresh leads in his
nephews murder, Rivers snorted and declared:
police know who did it.
He recalled that former police commissioner Jules Bernard,
at the crime scene on June 20, 1995, had vowed he knew who
had committed the murder, and that he would get them.