Stefan Cummings, one of the persons charged with murdering Senior Counsel, Dana Seetahal, walked free of the charge on Friday.
Cummings was one of the 11 persons charged with killing Seetahal on May 4, 2014, at Hamilton Holder Street, Woodbrook.
When the preliminary inquiry was called on Friday, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) discontinued the case against Cummings.
Assistant DPP George Busby announced before Senior Magistrate Indrani Cedeno in the Port-of-Spain Magistrates’ Court that DPP Roger Gaspard, SC, had exercised his power under Section 90 of the Constitution to discontinue the murder charge against Stefan Cummings. He gave no further explanation of the reason for the decision.
Prior the hearing before Cedeno, Cummings was taken before acting Chief Magistrate Maria Busby-Earle-Caddle and charged with conspiring to murder Seetahal. He was granted $200,000 bail.
Immediately after making the two court appearances, Cummings was escorted from the St Vincent Street courthouse by heavily armed police officers.
Details of what had transpired in Cummings’ hearings were not revealed as the remainder of the accused men later reappeared before Cedeno in his absence. Is Cummings going to be a prosecution witness?
During that hearing, Seetahal’s sister Susan Francois, who is the Director of the Financial Intelligence Unit (FIU), and Oden Nero, a security guard at the Ma Pau Casino on Ariapita Avenue, testified.
While Nero was on the witness stand, the accused men began complaining that police officers stationed in the court were stopping them from discussing the case among themselves.
The men were warned by Cedeno before the officers were forced to remove them from the court and take them to the holding cells downstairs.
The inquiry will resume on December 8.
Seetahal was shot dead behind the wheel of her SUV while driving along Hamilton Holder Street, Woodbrook, on May 4, 2014.
A little over a year later, Rajaee Ali, his brothers Ishmael and Hamid Ali, brothers Devaughn and Stefan Cummings, Ricardo Stewart, Earl Richards, Kevin Parkinson, Leston Gonzales, Roget Boucher, and Gareth Wiseman were charged with her murder.
David Ector, Deon Peters and Ali’s wife Stacy Griffith were not charged with murder but were charged alongside the 11 men as members of a gang.