Probe into Naipaul-Coolman file disappearance, reappearance – Stanley John report for AG this week

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

MURDERED: Businesswoman Vindra Naipaul-Coolman who was kidnapped and murdered. Her body has never been found. File photo

RETIRED Appeal Court judge Stanley John is expected to deliver his findings into how the State failed to defend itself against a $20 million lawsuit, by Friday.

In a public statement on February 11, John said the investigations began on February 4, and the first report would be sent to Attorney General Reginald Armour by March 31.

John, who led a two-person investigative team which included former ACP Pamela Schullera-Hinds, was hired to probe the State’s failure to defend a malicious prosecution lawsuit filed by nine men acquitted of murdering Vindra Naipaul-Coolman.

Retired Appeal Court judge Stanley John. –

With no defence proffered, the State was ordered to pay over $20 million in a default judgement.

A day after the judgement was delivered, AG Armour claimed the Naipaul-Coolman file has “disappeared” from of the Office of the Solicitor General, a day after it was served in June 2020. The file resurfaced after the default judgement, a state of affairs Armour said was sinister.

Newsday attempted to reach both Justice John and Armour on Sunday but neither answered.

A Sunday newspaper report claimed John requested the assistance of attorney for the nine former murder accused, Anand Ramlogan.

Attorney General Reginald Armour, SC. FILE PHOTO – JEFF K MAYERS

The scope of John’s investigation was “to enquire into the facts and circumstances relating to the matter of Shervon Peters and others against the AG commencing from June 22, 2020 when service of the claim form and statement of case were effected, including the decision of the High Court dated January 30, 2023, and culminating in the handing over of the file to the acting Solicitor General on February 6, 2023.”

The two-member team also looked into the roles played by government ministers, members of the civil law department or anyone employed at the Office of the AG or Ministry of Legal Affairs in the matter.

The team also investigated whether there was any dereliction of duty, violation of laws, conflicts of interest or breach of trust.

Part of the report will include recommendations to improve procedures of the Office of the AG and Ministry of Legal Affairs’ civil law department.

John and Schullera-Hinds are also expected to write to the Judicial and Legal Service Commission on any circumstances or evidence showing any offence by its officers and to the Director of Public Prosecutions any fraudulent or criminal acts that might have occurred. The completed report is expected to be delivered on or by August 5.