Thursday 7th August ,2008

 

Ten to stand trial for Vindra murder

 
 
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BY RHONDA KRYSTAL RAMBALLY

The ten men charged with the murder of former Xtra Foods CEO Vindra Naipaul-Coolman were yesterday committed to stand trial in the High Court.

The committal order was read by Chief Magistrate Sherman Mc Nicolls who overruled all the submissions of defence lawyers and held that the State had made out a prima facie case against the accused men.

Mc Nicolls, presiding in the Port-of-Spain Eighth Court, said the statement of Keon Gloster was admissible and added that the testimony of the other witnesses were manifestly unreliable.

More than a dozen additional police officers were present in the courtroom as they all surrounded the prisoners’ bench and guarded the doorway.

Their presence in the courtroom was much needed since some of the accused men have had several outbursts in past proceedings before Mc Nicolls.

The men appeared agitated as Mc Nicolls began reading caution statements to each of them.

Mc Nicolls began with Shevon Peters and ended with his twin brother, Devon.

The accused men refused to sign the statements and some said they had nothing to say, when asked by Mc Nicolls.

However, the loquacious one in the group— Allan “Scanny” Martin—when asked by Mc Nicolls whether he wanted to say anything, replied: “Allah-u-ackbar, Allah is the greatest.”

On July 17 and 23, Martin had asked Mc Nicolls to let justice prevail in the matter.

Sporting shades and decked in a white long-sleeved shirt and denim jeans, he repeated his declaration to Mc Nicolls.

Mc Nicolls said he didn’t ask if he (Allah) was the greatest but if he (Martin) wished to give evidence.

Martin replied: “I am putting it to you that he is the greatest.”

“Is that your position?” Mc Nicolls asked.

“Allah-u-ackbar is my position.”

When presented with the court document for signature, Martin tore the sheet of paper in two and then told Mc Nicolls: “Charge me for something I do.”

Mc Nicolls’ responded by telling him: “That is very foolish of you.”

One of the accused began grumbling, “I never know this would ah be so nasty.”

“Shut up and be quiet,” Mc Nicolls told him.

Another remarked about the “rotten sardines and ole bread they giving we.”

Throughout the proceedings, the accused men kept twisting and turning in their seats.

One of them did not stop tugging at his goatee, another kept rubbing his hands, one bent his head and the others kept looking over their shoulders and around the courtroom.

When Mc Nicolls made his exit, the accused men remained silent.

They quietly rose from the prisoners’ bench to be handcuffed by the awaiting police officers.

Background

Former Xtra Foods CEO Vindra Naipaul-Coolman was snatched outside her home on Radix Road, Lange Park, Chaguanas, on December 19, 2006. .

The body of the 51-year-old woman was never found.

Shevon Peters, 20, also called “Buffy,” 21, his twin brother Devon, Allan “Scanny” Martin, Earl “Bobo” Trimmingham, 25, his younger brother Marlon “Madman” Trimmingham, Keida Garcia, Ronald Armstrong, Antonio “Hedges” Charles, Joel “Ninja” Fraser and Lyndon James are charged with her kidnapping and murder.

An 11th accused, Raphael Williams, was charged but is expected to face a separate inquiry.

That matter was adjourned to August 13.

©2005-2006 Trinidad Publishing Company Limited

Designed by: Randall Rajkumar-Maharaj · Updated daily by: Nicholas Attai