Coroner Graveney Bannister on Thursday allowed new evidence to be introduced in the inquest into the death of Warren Mottley.
Bannister had initially declined the request submitted by attorney-at-law Francis DePeiza – who is representing private doctors in the matter – but changed his stance after a similar submission was made by Queen’s Counsel Sir Elliot Mottley, father of the deceased and lead attorney for the Mottley family
It represents a significant development in the Coroner’s Inquest into the death of the younger brother of Prime Minister Mia Mottley at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH), on June 29, 2021, from sepsis.
The Coroner agreed with Sir Elliot that certain information pertinent to the case, which should have been obtained from the QEH but was not, ought to be allowed.
Bannister then conceded that if the court was to accept new evidence from Sir Elliot, it was only fair that DePeiza’s earlier request also be granted.
But while the Coroner allowed both sides some leeway, he warned them there would be a “finality of submissions”.
“We need to identify the things that are pertinent so that we can resolve this matter rather than adding something new every day, or trying to add something new every day. The nature and the scope of this matter is voluminous but at some point there must be finality of submissions,” he maintained.
“I don’t want to rush anyone but I think you must act in a timely fashion rather than having it dragged out.”
In making his earlier request, DePeiza had submitted that a Coroner’s Inquest did not operate in the same manner as a trial.
He argued that the inquest was on a fact-finding mission and any new piece of evidence that would assist the court in reaching a conclusion should be allowed.
“This is of the nature of a preliminary inquiry…. If this is an inquest and the objective of the inquest is to come to a real true understanding of why Warren Mottley died, hanging up on an issue of rules when this is not a trial does not serve the interest of finding out the truth,” DePeiza had contended.