By Shermain Bique-Charles
Former Police Commissioner Wendel Robinson is calling for a coroner’s inquest into the circumstances leading to the tragic death of Bruce Greenaway.
The father-of-two’s body was found on Easter Monday on the shoreline of Indian Creek. He had been seen in the presence of Defence Force soldiers shortly before he went missing four days earlier.
An autopsy has since reportedly revealed that Greenaway, of Falmouth, died of strangulation.
“Despite what any politician or other persons may want to say, the proper course in my view is that there should be an inquiry,” Robinson told Observer yesterday.
“When persons die under circumstances where they would have been in police custody at a particular time, then there should be an inquiry into their death,” he explained.
The chambers of Daniels, Phillips and Associates – of which Robinson is a part – is providing legal services to the police and soldiers at the centre of the matter. Thus, Robinson could not go into much detail.
A coroner’s inquest is an independent inquest, separate and distinct from the police investigations.
Robinson explained how such a probe might be conducted.
“There will be members of the public selected. They will be warned not to discuss the case and listen to the evidence as it unfolds. The magistrate, who is the coroner, can summon any witness to attend and they have to attend,” he said.
At the end, the jury would return a verdict and decide whether or not there is culpability, “whether it was accident or misadventure as the case may be,” Robinson explained.
Once the coroner completes that inquest, the full report with the notes of evidence would be sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions who would make a “very sound judgment on what to do”, Robinson added.
Meanwhile, National Security Steadroy Benjamin said he is confident that police will conduct their investigations in a fair manner.
“I am aware that the investigations are being carried out and continuing. The authorities will take whatever steps that are appropriate at the conclusion of the investigations,” he said.
He said police have demonstrated repeatedly that they conduct investigations of such nature impartially. “And where there is an infraction of the law, appropriate steps are taken to bring guilty persons to justice,” he added.
The Antigua and Barbuda Defence Force (ABDF) previously undertook an internal investigation into the matter and have forwarded their findings to police who have not yet divulged its contents.
Instead, police are urging the public to be patient, saying investigations are at an advanced stage and several key people of interest have been interviewed.
A close relative of Greenaway, who asked not to be named, said it was vital justice was administered swiftly.