Suicide or murder at Cell 7?

Police now have in their possession a blood stained razor blade and a multi-coloured piece of cloth which Ali was found hanging from on Friday afternoon.

When his body was found, Ali, 28, was still clad in the same clothes which he had worn when he appeared before a Chaguanas magistrate on Thursday charged with murder.

When Ali was taken to the Maximum Security Prison on Thursday he was placed in a single cell, number seven.

The area where his cell is located, which is on the southern side of the prison has other cells with other high risk prisoners.

How Ali got a razor blade and cloth to hang himself remains a mystery.

Sources said that Ali’s two wrists were slashed with the razor and the cloth which he was found hanging from was attached to the opening of a brick hole ventilation.

Those items were not in the cell when Ali was placed there on Thursday.

His body was discovered at about 6.30 pm on Friday by a prison officer. Prisons Medical Officer Dr Vinod Mahabir was contacted and he went to the scene. On his arrival at the facility, the body had already been cut down and Ali was declared dead. Ali’s wrists appeared to have been cut but not enough for it to be severed. A party of officers led by Inspector Creighton Hudson as well as officers of the Crime Scenes Unit went to the prison and carried out their own inquiries.

Prisons Commissioner John Rougier who was attending the Prisons Sports Day was contacted at about 7 pm and he went to the prisons where he viewed the body and was given an initial report of the death. None of the prisoners in the cell opposite cell seven is cooperating with investigators in their inquiries.

They claimed not to have witnessed anything although the cell block area where high risk prisoners are kept is well lit.

A release issued by the Prisons Service yesterday revealed that the authority has launched an internal investigation into the circumstances surrounding Ali’s death. The release added that the Prisons Service had taken all precautions to ensure that Ali was safe at all times and the cell in which he was placed was not shared with any other inmates.

Rougier has confirmed that the police have been called in to investigate the matter, and he also added that apart from conducting its own inquiry, the Prisons Service would cooperate fully with the police investigations into Ali’s death.

When Sunday Newsday visited the house at Cemetery Street, Charlieville where Ali lived, relatives including the mother of the dead man Badurha remained inside, grieving the death. A female relative who wished not be identified said that while they are convinced that Ali killed Hope, they feel that he was murdered.

The relative said that the family had feared he would be killed and had asked the prisons authorities to ensure his safety. “What Sunil did was wrong but what those person or persons also did to him was barbaric and we are convinced he was murdered,” said the relative.

She said that relatives were anxiously awaiting the conclusion of the police inquiry into the death. No funeral arrangements for Ali have been organised and this will be done tomorrow following the autopsy at the Forensic Science Centre.


"Suicide or murder at Cell 7?"

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