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Munroe receives ‘incomplete’ Cuban medical records

TANEKA THOMPSON
Guardian Senior Reporter
taneka@nasguard.com

Published: Oct 22, 2013

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Attorney Wayne Munroe said yesterday he has received incomplete medical records and photographs of Cuban detainees who alleged they were abused at the Carmichael Road Detention Centre.

Munroe said he got the documents on Friday.

He said he did not know when the hearing of five marines accused of the abuse will resume.

Munroe represents five marines who were charged last month with causing harm and causing a wound under care.

The men are accused of abusing Cuban detainees after some of them attempted to escape from the facility.

Last month, Munroe said he would not proceed with the case until he received the medical records and other information pertinent to the case.

Munroe said he plans to write to the captain of the Coral Harbour base over prospective dates for the matter to resume and also to inquire if three independent observers will be allowed to sit in on the matter.

Retired Justice Cheryl Albury, former Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) Commander Leon L. Smith and Bahamas Christian Council President Rev. Dr. Ranford Patterson were appointed to observe the hearings.

“If the captain of the Coral Harbour base actually says he does intend to have these three people in, our next step would be to commence an action immediately for judicial review of that decision,” Munroe said.

Munroe also said Minister of National Security Dr. Bernard Nottage should resign if the detention center was not covered by an operational closed circuit television (CCTV) system in May when abuse of detainees is said to have taken place.

“One of the things we have asked for is an indication of whether the CCTV system they had installed was working and for copies of the footage from it,” Munroe told The Nassau Guardian.

“...It would actually be a disgrace on the Ministry of National Security if they put in place a system that they choose not to have operational, that would be able to protect the reputation of our marines and the country.

“If that is so, then whoever is responsible for that should be sacked, including the minister. . .”

He added: “In any country, an honorable minister would resign if he is saying this is some embarrassment and it’s his fault that we don’t have video record of what happened.”

Immigration Director William Pratt said a CCTV system is in place at the detention center. However, he said the equipment was not operational during the alleged incident.

“That just went there a couple of weeks back,” Pratt said. “That was one of the things they tried to put in place to safeguard [against abuse allegations].”


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