By Kadeem Joseph
It has been a little over five weeks since the brutal killing of Customs officer Nigel Christian, but for some of his family members and friends, the shocking event may well have occurred yesterday.
However, they may soon be able to pay their final respects, even as they remain hopeful that those responsible for his death would be brought to justice.
Observer understands that Christian’s family has set a tentative date for when he will be laid to rest.
An uncle of the deceased, Tyrone Hill, made the disclosure on Tuesday morning after a picket organised by the Concerned Citizens of Antigua and Barbuda, outside of the office of the Attorney General (AG) Steadroy Benjamin, was held to pressure the government to do more to help solve the crime.
Hill said officials have given the green light to make funeral arrangements and the family has since chosen Thursday, August 27 for the burial.
He said while Christian’s mother has been very strong throughout the ordeal, others have not been doing as well, noting that it has been “frustrating” awaiting updates from the police.
The case of the 44-year-old Customs officer, who was slain Friday July 10 after he was kidnapped from his mother’s McKinnons home, has sparked outrage and fear among residents.
Tuesday’s picket was the third of its kind as residents continue to pressure the government and police for answers surrounding the killing.
One member of the Concerned Citizens, Dr Jacqui Quinn, said the group received two responses from the Attorney General while they were picketing.
In his response to the group’s July 14letter requesting international assistance with the investigation, the AG said while he was “grateful” for the organisation’s concern over the “heinous” killing and their appeal for justice, the “police ought to be given the opportunity to undertake their investigation”.
Benjamin’s response to the second letter, dated August 5, he assured the group that the government had been in contact with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Scotland Yard and once again urged that the police be allowed to conduct their investigations into the matter.
Dr Quinn told those gathered that the group will allow investigators to do their work but she is also urging residents to “be responsible” and share any pertinent information that may lead to a breakthrough.
She noted that while in this instance the victim was Nigel Christian, it could also be anyone in the future.
The group delivered a third letter to the Attorney General during Tuesday’s picket, this time their main request was that evidence be shown that Benjamin’s office or the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had indeed requested help from the (FBI), Scotland Yard or the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
The letter, signed by Dr Quinn and Mary John, has been copied to Prime Minister Gaston Browne, Minster of State within the Ministry of Legal Affairs Maria Bird-Browne and Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney.
Dr Quinn, a former member of parliament, also added that she was heartened by comments made by Rodney on Observer AM on Tuesday morning.
“I was encouraged this morning when I heard the and Commissioner of Police Atlee Rodney indicating that persons are being questioned, that they are doing their internal investigations and that there has been some collaboration with the FBI,” she explained.
Dr Quinn said the Concerned Citizens will allow about two weeks for a response to their request, failing that, they will be back on the picket lines.