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Questions about Inquest so long after Marie Kuhnla’s Death

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#TurksandCaicos, June 16, 2022 – A coroner’s inquest is a legal inquiry into the cause and circumstances of a death; and the Turks and Caicos Government at the start of the month opened one into the death of Marie Kuhnla. She was a tourist from Long Island who was found dead on the property of Club Med in 2018. The question is why now?

Kuhnla’s family says they think it’s a stalling tool intended to derail a ten million dollar wrongful death  lawsuit filed against Club Med or a way to save face.

A seven member jury was formed to listen to evidence in the inquest.  Under UK law a jury is convened for a coroner’s inquest under specific circumstances including:

  • the death was unnatural;
  • the death was sudden or unexpected; or,
  • the death was in other suspicious circumstances.

The reasons behind the inquest remain murky and no communication ha come immediately from the Government about the incident; at least not until the inquest concluded.

So for days on end, there was no explanation about why the coroner’s inquest was opened so long after the death.

What is clear though is that the TCI court system finds the case important enough to warrant spending money and putting resources behind reopening what happened to Kuhnla.

Attorney General for the Turks and Caicos Rhondalee Braithwaite Knowles told Magnetic Media she intended to make a statement at ‘the appropriate time’ but could not do so now because the matter was under judicial consideration and it ‘would not be appropriate to comment’. It is not unusual that matters under judicial consideration restrict comment from the judiciary.

Kuhnla’s family attorney, Abe George told I-Team, an NBC  Media team on island covering the inquest, “They suggested essentially that Marie Khunla tripped and fell into the sand and killed herself which is the most ludicrous theory based off the evidence we have seen,” said George.

The coroner in the case is sticking to his initial findings which say Marie was murdered by manual strangulation, he also leveled accusations of criminal liability against an unnamed morgue employee who he said intentionally “decided that she was going to place this specific decedent (Kuhnla) under a heated exhaust fan” the coroner says this was not appropriate treatment.

No viable DNA could be recovered from a rape kit performed on Marie Kuhnla’s body when the coroner arrived.

Her son has described the inquest as a “sham” and “rubbing salt in the wound”

On June 7th, Susan Wallace the investigative journalist covering the event said NBC news NY had been refused virtual access to the trial after covering in person.

Caribbean News

138 illegals add to the over 900 migrants captured by TCI Joint Forces

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FILE PHOTO

#TurksandCaicos, June 25, 2022 – RTCIPF Marine Operations Centre and partners continue to work together to protect our borders and keep TCI secure.

During the evening of Wednesday 22nd June 2022 the RTCIPF Marine Operations Centre identified a target of interest and immediately started to track the vessel around 5 miles North West of Providenciales travelling at around 7 knots.

The operator immediately updated colleagues within the Royal Turks and Caicos Marine Branch who made their way to the location and intercepted a vessel containing irregular migrants. Following a delicate, coordinated operation with the necessary stabilization of the vessel which was unsafe, severely overcrowded and the occupants were without life vests, the RTCIPF Marine Unit was joined by a second RTCIPF Marine crew and a third vessel crewed with TCI Regiment to support the delicate operation.

The vessel was carefully offloaded at sea to ensure the safety of the occupants and then the boat was towed to South Dock where it arrived around 4:45am with a total of 138 persons, 98 males and 40 female including 1 juvenile, who were then taken into custody by the Immigration Department. One male needed immediate medical attention in relation to a leg injury sustained.

Superintendent Martyn Ball said, “Again working with partners we have safely intercepted another vessel that was desperately overcrowded, unsafe and risked the lives of those on board. It continues to demonstrate the professionalism and dedication of the RTCIPF Marine Unit, working together with colleagues in the Marine Operations Centre, TCI Regiment, TCI Immigration and Health to save lives and keep our borders here in the Turks and Caicos Islands safe.

In the last couple of months over 900 individuals on 9 dangerous and unseaworthy vessels have been intercepted here in the TCI.

I would appeal to anyone if you have any information relating to such activity that you call CrimeStoppers free and anonymously on 1-800-8477, not only will you be saving lives but also supporting our national security here in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

 

Caption: FILE PHOTO

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Caribbean News

International joint forces seize $99 Million in Cocaine in Caribbean Sea

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

The US Coast Guard, and ships from the Netherlands made drug busts in the Caribbean Sea over the last few weeks resulting in a cumulative seizure of 5,237 pounds of cocaine.  The Coast Guard says the illegal narcotics which were offloaded at Base Miami Beach last Friday value $99 million.

The drugs were seized in the international waters of the Caribbean Sea by crews from: Coast Guard Cutter Donald Horsley, His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship Friesland, His Netherlands Majesty’s Ship Groningen.

Coast Guard Commanding officer of the Thetis, which transferred the drugs to the base in Miami, Justin Nadolny praised the partnership between themselves and the Netherlands which led to the massive seizure.

“Interdicting drug traffickers on the open ocean is challenging work and every interdiction is complex and unique,” he said. “This offload is a testament to the teamwork and devotion of every crew assigned to carry out this mission, and it showcases the strength of the valuable international partnerships united to combat transnational organized crime.  The fight against drug cartels in the Caribbean Sea requires unity of effort in all phases from detection, monitoring, and interdictions, to criminal prosecutions by international partners and U.S. Attorneys’ Offices in districts across the nation.”
The Turks and Caicos also have an agreement with the US Coast Guard signed in recent months which allows for tighter partnerships between the two countries (and the Bahamas) in the fight against illegal migration and drug trafficking in the county’s waters.

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Africa

Child harvesting case ends with 35 rescued in Nigeria

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By Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer

 

#Nigeria, June 25, 2022 – Thirty-five teenagers have been rescued from what Nigerian police are describing as a “baby factory”.

Police in Anambra say acting on intelligence they raided a hotel and discovered that the teens between 14 and 17 were being held by adults in a child abuse and baby trafficking ring.  Four of the girls were pregnant.  The Police arrested three persons and confiscated three pump action guns and 877 thousand Naira, which is equal to $2,117 USD.

One of the young women, with her face turned away from the camera, explained how she had ended up in the hotel.

“She [the hotel owner] lied to me that she is going to carry me to a house.  So when I came there I saw some people wearing short-short clothes.  She said that is the job that I’m going to do.  When I started crying the woman beat me”

The teen said the woman told her she would have to stay for 3 months to repay a debt.  Every Monday they would get some change to buy food but that was it.

Child harvesting is becoming a more and more serious problem in Nigeria, another ‘baby factory’ usually businesses posing as private medical clinics, orphanages, or even social welfare homes, was discovered just last July.  The ‘factories’ feed into the human trafficking industry and baby breeding is one of the most common crimes in Nigeria according to Human Rights Pulse a human rights volunteer agency that dissects various human rights issues around the world.

In a video released after the incident press officer, Ikenga Tochukwu pleaded with parents, “Always create a deliberate relationship with children or your wards, if these kids are properly guided, I do not believe they will fall prey to what we are seeing today.”

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