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Lawsuit threat in “suicide” death of soldier

Trinidad Express / Opposition Senator Wayne Sturge intends taking legal action if the Defense Force does not investigate the circumstances surrounding the death Warrant Officer Omar Samaroo, whose death has been ruled a suicide.

In a letter to the Chief of Defense Brigadier General Rodney Smart and copied to Attorney general Faris Al Rawi and National Security Minister Edmund Dillon, Sturge said that Samaroo death was suspicious, based on his injuries and how he was found.

Samaroo died on Tuesday night, hours after being found in a dormitory at Camp Cumuto, Wallerfield.

According to the post mortem report, Samaroo died from a gunshot wound to the head and and also sustained a number of broken ribs, said Sturge.

Sturge said that the public and the family of Samaroo has a right to know the circumstances under which he died and if there was an “wrongdoing” in relation to his death.

He said that it was reported that Samaroo was transferred to Camp Cumuto as a warrants officer clerk II, after which he became increasingly depressed.

Samaroo was found in a slumbered position in his quarters around 9:50 a.m. on Tuesday. He was treated by the on base medics and later transferred to the Arima Healthy Facility and the Mt Hope Medical Sciences Complex.

In the letter, Sturge stated: “There should be an effective official investigation when individuals such as officer Samaroo have lost their lives in suspicious circumstances while on duty as a servant and or agent of the State. This officer lost his life while on duty at an army base under your command.”

He said that it is a matter of “great public importance” that the requires “expeditious action” on the part of the State.

Sturge is requesting that within the next 96 hours, a public announcement of the investigation is made, the name of the investigating officer in charge of the case, the length of time for the investigation and the proposed procedure for the involvement of the family Samaroo in the investigation.

Sturge went on to state: “Should there be no action on the part of the Defense Force and the State in this matter I hereby formally give notice that I shall be challenging the failure of the State to initiate a proper investigation in accordance with my request herein in the High Court in the public interest.

I wish to emphasize that the request for the investigation into the death of this officer is not one which ought to be triggered by anyone but one which should have been commenced forthwith by the State in the fulfillment of it substantive and procedural constitutional obligation to the deceased officer.”

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