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Dec 23, 2008

Post mortem confirms Bou-Nahra death to be suicide

Story PictureHis death was as questionable as the life he led and the post mortem on the body of thirty-four year old business Chayben Bou-Nahra certifies – at least for the most part, that he committed suicide when he shot himself in a hotel room in San Ignacio. That was the finding today by police pathologist Doctor Mario Estradabran who, after spending almost two hours conducting the autopsy, said he believed Bou-Nahra pulled the trigger that dealt the fatal blow to his head.

Dr. Mario Estradabran, Police Pathologist
“He basically has three injuries, two of them are characterized by firearms, I mean gunshots. He has an entry wound to the left side of the head and he has an exit wound to the right side of the head. It has more patterns of a suicidal wound than accidental or homicidal wound.”

“The swab samples were taken by the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital a few hours after the incident happened. So we are not really going to rely on the swab samples results because of the time being passed and taken in the hospital immediately after they start to do medical attention to the victim.”

Jacqueline Godwin, Channel 7
“He took his own life?”

Dr. Mario Estradabran
“In a high percentage but just remember that we still have to await some forensic laboratory results in relation to the swabbings that we took during the post mortem examination and the blood sample as well as hair samples and other samples .”

But while Estradabran is ruling Bou-Nahra’s death as suicide, he refused to allow the family’s independent pathologist to observe the procedure. The family reacted in a statement on Monday evening through their attorney, Emil Arguelles. Estradabran explained why he did not allow the other expert to witness the autopsy.

Dr. Mario Estradabran
“I personally declined the request because we have our own law, our own forensic medical protocols that we have to follow. If I am in this position over twenty years that means that the government has the full confidence in me. I have been working with two governments, the past and the present government and I know I have been in controversies a lot of times but we come out of those controversies with clean responsibility of the events.”

Marion Ali
“Allowing another pathologist to observe has never been done before?”

Dr. Mario Estradabran
“Yes, it has been done before but just through the British violent deaths, specifically soldiers. You know we are living in a Commonwealth country so we do not really have any objection to make British pathologists come to do their own investigation and they did it with me and we come out with the same opinion.”

“Our responsibility as a forensic medical officer of the country is to do the first examination then if the family are not completely satisfied, they are free once again to get a second or third medical opinion. But let me tell you something, I was talking through telephone with one of the Bou-Nahra family this morning and they give me their full support today to go through with the post mortem examination. They trust me, they just wanted somebody else be present during the post mortem examination and that’s why I allow Mr. Freddy Acosta to be present during the post mortem examination. He’s a good friend of the family, specifically the deceased family.”

Bou-Nahra died from a bullet wound that penetrated both sides of his head on Sunday morning shortly after he and his girlfriend, Evita Bedran, went inside their hotel room at the San Ignacio Resort. The shooting followed confrontations in which Bou-Nahra was involved in at the Benque Rock Café and then another in the hotel’s parking lot. Bedran told police that she was in the bathroom after she and Bou-Nahra had a misunderstanding and that was when she heard the gunshot. When we checked with Emil Arguelles, the attorney for the Bou-Nahra family late this evening, he said he had no comment on whether the family would indeed seek a second opinion.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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