Caribbean-born doctor Conrad Murray, who was yesterday released from a Los Angeles jail after two years for involuntary manslaughter in the death of American pop star Michael Jackson, can return to Trinidad and appeal to the Medical Board for a licence to practise.
Health Minister Dr Fuad Khan, in a telephone interview with the Express yesterday, said Murray, 60, a cardiologist, can make a case legally as Section 40 of the Constitution guarantees citizens equal rights.
“He has already paid his dues, you cannot pay for something indefinitely. In that sense there is the possibility where he can make a case to the Medical Board and they will consider whether he can be registered,” said Khan.
Murray was hired by Jackson as his personal physician as he was preparing for his 2009 concert tour.
In June 2009, Jackson died of a prescription drug overdose where lethal levels of surgical anaesthetic propofol were found in his body.
On November 29, 2011, after a six-week trial, US Superior Court Judge Michael Pastor gave Murray the maximum four-year prison sentence, describing him as a “disgrace to the medical profession”.
However, in an exclusive interview with the Express yesterday, one of Murray’s patients and closest friends, Garreth Kalloo, said the doctor was treated unfairly and this country should welcome him with open arms.
Kalloo and his family flew to Los Angeles to lend support to Murray and be at his side upon his release from prison yesterday.
They were present with Murray’s family—his mother, wife and four-year- old son—when Murray walked out of the Los Angeles county jail just after midnight yesterday, a free man.
Murray was whisked away avoiding the glare of international media and unforgiving Jackson fans.
“We were the first persons to meet with him privately, he is a good man, he will be coming to Trinidad soon,” said Kalloo.
Kalloo is the godfather to Murray’s son. He said he met Murray some 20 years ago when the doctor visited his business—Kalloo’s Auto Rentals—looking for a car to rent.
Kalloo said he gave Murray his personal Mercedes Benz to use and over the years a friendship deepened as Murray returned home almost annually for Carnival.
Kalloo said Murray was a godsend as he owes his life to him. “He saved my life. Four years ago I had heart problems which required very complex surgery. Many doctors in the US did not want to perform the surgery,” said Kalloo.
“He looks good. He wants to come back to his country. I think the Minister of Health should assist in ensuring he gets back his licence as he can save many lives at home,” said Kalloo.
“He’s like a member of my family and I stand by him. He is one of the best cardiologists and we need someone like him in Trinidad,” he added.
Kalloo claimed Murray was victimised and became a scapegoat of blame for Jackson’s death.
Kalloo and his family spent time with Murray and his family at a private undisclosed location in Los Angeles yesterday.
He said Murray told him he will be coming home this year.
He said Murray gave him some thoughts to share with the people of Trinidad and Tobago which he wrote: “I am a son of the soil, I send my warm affection to all, see you soon.”
Murray was born on Grenada, in February 1953, where his parents met. At the age of seven he moved to Trinidad where he lived with his mother and completed high school and worked as teacher, customs clerk and insurance underwriter before moving to the US to pursue his education and career in medicine.