By Adia Wynter
Authorities remain hopeful that London’s prestigious Scotland Yard police will agree to assist with investigations into the murder of Customs inspector Nigel Christian.
The 44-year-old’s kidnapping from his McKinnons home and subsequent killing earlier this month sent shockwaves through the nation, triggering demands from many for local police to seek outside assistance in bringing the perpetrators to justice.
Last week it was revealed that UK concerns over Antigua and Barbuda still having the death penalty on its statute books was the reason for the delay in Scotland Yard agreeing to come.
Yesterday, Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin told Observer that the country was still waiting for an official decision.
“They did plan to get back to us but, regrettably, they haven’t done so yet. They’ve got to get the clearance from the Minister of Foreign Affairs there in England… I cannot say exactly when, but this week we should be hearing something from Scotland Yard,” he said.
Deputy Commissioner of Police Everton Jeffers told yesterday’s Observer AM show that police hoped to secure help from both Scotland Yard and the USA’s FBI. The latter has already confirmed its willingness to help.
“We need the assistance… I believe that when things are set in place, then we will have probably one or both on the grounds as the case might be,” Jeffers said.
Christian’s killing wouldn’t be the first time that police help from overseas has been solicited. Scotland Yard has lent expertise on a number of previous occasions, perhaps most famously with the 2008 murder of British honeymoon couple Catherine and Ben Mullany.
The pair, both 31, were nearing the end of their two-week paradise vacation when they were shot in what was presumed to be a robbery gone bad.
Last week, police spokesman Inspector Frankie Thomas told Observer that officers had interviewed a number of people in relation to Christian’s death. He pledged that “no stone would be left unturned” in probing the matter.
A $50,000 reward was previously pledged for information leading to the killers’ capture. High-ranking and respected Customs inspector Christian had previously been investigating a purported multi-million dollar scam by Customs brokers.