Allegations of Cover-Up Surrounding Mannie James’ Shooting Death Raise Concerns

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

REAL NEWS: Insiders allege that a huge cover-up appears to be in the making in relation to the shooting death of Mannie James, the Bendals resident who was shot while running from Police and Defence Force personnel on July 31.

Sources tell REAL News that, on September 6, Government Pathologist Dr. Petra Nanton-Miller performed an autopsy on James’ body, which reportedly had been viewed by Coroner Conliffe Clarke before the post mortem examination began.

On conclusion, the sources say, the pathologist issued a death certificate that listed the causes of death, which included injuries to James’ spleen and abdomen.

However, the insiders say, none of these injuries were specifically tied to the gun shots the victim sustained – leaving the matter open to speculation that James might have otherwise been injured.

What is more worrying, the sources allege, is that, following the autopsy, the Coroner issued a “warrant to bury after view.” This rules out the need for an inquest – which is mandatory whenever someone dies in custody of the government forces – thesources say, with some alarm.

The “warrant to bury after view” means that the funeral home can proceed to bury the corpse, the insiders explain. And if the body remains unclaimed by relatives for too long, this week’s amendment to the legislation – once signed off by the Governor-General – would mean that the Government could arrange for the burial to take place after 14 days.

In the absence of a Coroner’s Inquest, the sources fear, no legal action will be taken against the officers involved in James’ shooting death and they would never face trial.

Accordingly, the sources are advising James’ family to monitor the funeral home closely while they move to file an injunction to prevent the body being buried.

Other legal sources say the victim’s family members should write to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and request that a Coroner’s Inquest take place before James is buried.

Meanwhile, the insiders say the Police authorities have remained tight lipped on the post mortem and its findings, with information being shared only with the very top level of the administration.

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