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Inquiry stalled

Yvette Best

Inquiry stalled

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The Arch Cot inquiry came to a sudden halt yesterday after it was pointed out that the coroner who started the hearing no longer had authority to continue.
Faith Marshall-Harris, who presided from the start on October 18 last year, adjourned the final day of the case after Queen’s Counsel G. Clyde Turney submitted that she did not have the legal authority to preside or offer a judgement, having reached the age of retirement since the previous hearing.
 Magistrate Deborah Holder was appointed as acting coroner and Marshall-Harris was subsequently appointed as acting coroner as well.
But Turney, citing cap 113, 2A of the 2005 amended Coroner’s Act, pointed out that the Chief Justice had the authority to assign a magistrate as coroner for Barbados. Based on the act, Turney concluded that Holder was the coroner for Barbados and not Marshall-Harris.
“The Act is unambiguous. There can only be one coroner,” Turney said, adding that similarly there could only be one Chief Justice and one Governor General.
Turney is acting on behalf of would-be purchaser of Arch Cot property, Dr Jerry Emtage.
Read the full story in today’s WEEKEND NATION.