A key witness in the Coroner’s Inquest into Warren Mottley’s death narrowly avoided being issued a warrant on Monday.
Dr Sahle Griffith, the principal of Surgical Solutions Inc., was scheduled to reappear in the Supreme Court to be cross-examined by attorneys representing the Mottley family.
The younger brother of Prime Minister Mia Mottley died at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital on June 29, 2021, a week after a routine colonoscopy at Surgical Solutions.
When the inquest last convened on November 28, both Leslie Haynes, KC, and Dr Griffith indicated to Coroner Graveney Bannister that they would be travelling overseas.
As a result, the Coroner adjourned the matter until Monday.
However, when Bannister was prepared to start the matter in the No. 8 Supreme Court, Dr Griffith was not present.
The Coroner was then informed by Dr Griffith’s legal team of Michael Lashley, KC, Francis DePeiza and Sade Harris that he was not in the island. They disclosed that he was set to return on Tuesday.
However, that did not sit well with the Coroner who accused Dr Griffith of “flaunting the authority of the court”.
“I was going to adjourn the matter until last Friday but then I said I would give you a few more days until Monday. I was told that he would be here today and I wanted to start today,” the Coroner told Dr Griffith’s lawyers.
“….If he is not here he is flaunting the authority of the court. He knows that he has to be here. He thinks he can show up whatever time he feels like…. If he is not here I will issue a warrant for him.”
However, Lashley quickly rose to the defence of his client, telling the Coroner that Dr Griffith had an impeccable court attendance record.
He told the Coroner it would be “unfair and unreasonable” for him to act in that manner because Dr Griffith was not present on one occasion.
After the matter was stood down for a few minutes to allow Lashley and DePeiza to make contact with Dr Griffith, Lashley returned to the court and reported that his client would be available for cross-examination via Zoom.
Lashley said Dr Griffith would be available around 1 p.m.
But with the matter just minutes away from resumption, Faye Finisterre, who was to lead the cross-examination, indicated to the court she would prefer to do so face-to-face.
The decision was subsequently taken by the Coroner, with full agreement by both sides, to have the matter adjourned until Wednesday morning.