PROTEST FOR JUSTICE: Omar Mohammed, centre, husband of Stacy Ramdeen (inset), during a protest outside the Office of the Prime Minister in St Clair yesterday. Mohammed is calling for an independent investigation into his wife's death after she died during a police raid at her home on November 8. —Photo: JERMAINE CRUICKSHANK

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THIRD AUTOPSY FOR STACY

Following meeting between husband, Jack and AG

By Renuka Singh

Senior Government officials yesterday promised a third, independent autopsy into the death of Stacy Ramdeen.

Ramdeen's husband, Omar Mohammed and a small band of family and friends protested outside the Prime Minister's Office in St Clair for just under an hour before being invited to a meeting by the Prime Minister's Security Adviser Gary Griffith.

Ramdeen, a 32-year-old mother of three, died during a police raid at her home in Ibis Gardens in Caroni on November 8.

Since her death, there have been two autopsies on her body as family raised red flags when it was reported by police that she died after swallowing cocaine during the raid.

"Police officers came to my home on the eighth of this month, threatened her life and the children heard that. They murdered my wife, take all my jewels in my house, $250,000 in cash. Up to now we apply to all the authorities," Mohammed said.

Mohammed said the family hired their own pathologist who reported she died as a result of asphyxiation due to strangulation.

"Up to now, nobody has come forward and talk about this at all, at all, at all. This is craziness going on in this country," he said.

Mohammed, who also goes by the name Evans Petamber, said his wife opened the doors for the police and was killed in the presence of their children.

"The second autopsy said it was brutal murder. I was on the phone with my wife when I heard she scream out, like somebody raff her and these children witness that and said allyuh mother swallow cocaine, there was no cocaine in her system," he said.

Mohammed said if he did not pursue this matter on his own, the police officers in question would get away from the murder.

"I find for a mother of the nation, these people have not even sent a counsellor for these children, whether is something legal or illegal," he said.

Mohammed exited the office half an hour later and said he met with Attorney General Anand Ramlogan and National Security Minister Jack Warner, who both promised the third autopsy. He said he would be willing to wait until the Government makes good on this promise, but already has plans to stage a larger protest if it is not kept.

In a telephone interview yesterday, Ramlogan confirmed the meeting with Mohammed. He said because of the "peculiar facts" of the case, the State promised to source a local or foreign pathologist and pay for the third autopsy.

"Mr Warner and myself did meet with the family. I conveyed sympathy to the mother who has lost her only child and listened to their grievance," he said.

"I indicated that I had consulted with the DPP (Director of Public Prosecutions) that the State was prepared to facilitate the third autopsy in accordance with the wishes of the family," he said

Ramlogan said if the family concedes to a local pathologist, the autopsy could be done immediately but failing that, he has already spoken to the Permanent Secretary to access the same pathologist used by the State in the Daniel Guerra case.

"We are mindful of the length of time that has elapsed and therefore hope that this is expedited," Ramlogan said.

On Wednesday the Police Complaints Authority (PCA) also issued a statement calling for a third independent autopsy to be done in the case.

It stated that a thorough investigation needed to be done in order to determine if there was any culpability on the part of the police officers involved in the incident. Eleven officers of the Central Police Division are currently the subjects of a police investigation into the death of Ramdeen.

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