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The Murky Situation around the Death of Sylvia Fink

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The Murky Situation around the Death of Sylvia Fink

Příspěvekod wdc » pon 26. úno 2018 13:49:23

From a link (note: originally from the Vanuatu Daily Post, now publishing op/eds against use of MMS) as of 1/19/11 this article taken down) from an MMS critic on Adam Abraham's Thought for Food blog :

First anniversary of sudden death of yachtswoman approaches and a one sided trial by Internet begins without the most important evidence
DailyPost Administrator posted on August 03, 2010 00:29 Article Rating

Almost a year ago, Doug Nash and his wife Sylvia Fink were aboard their yacht “Windcastle” anchored at Epi Island, Vanuatu in company with other yachts that had congregated for the annual canoe festival, when Sylvia decided to try an initial ‘starters’ dose of a supposed cure all substance called Miracle Mineral Solution or Supplement (MMS).

She had obtained the MMS in ‘kit’ form from Luc Callebaut and his wife Jacki Lee (resident in Vanuatu aboard the trimaran “Sloepmouche”) who claimed on the daily VHF cruisers’ radio net and in an advertisement attached to the notice board at Yachting World that the substance would prevent malaria and possibly cure a wide range of other ailments commonly encountered by cruising sailors. Other yachts people purchased kits from transient yachts people who they say appeared to them to be acting as retailers by on-selling kits they had got in Port Vila.

Around 9 am on August 8, 2009, Sylvia called Callebaut (who was also in the Epi Island anchorage aboard his vessel) via VHF radio, confirmed with him directions for ‘activating’ MMS with lime juice, mixed the concoction, waited three minutes as the MMS protocol supplied with the kit instructs and drank it. Almost immediately she experienced nausea that led to vomiting and diarrhea and continued throughout the day followed by urinary pain and dehydration. She finally went into a coma and despite efforts to revive her with CPR, she was pronounced dead at approximately 9 pm that night.

The morning after her death, Sylvia’s body was flown to Port Vila and transported to Vila Central Hospital where pathologist Dr Noel Woodford of the Victorian [Australia] Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) carried out an autopsy on August 22, 2009.

On August 14, 2009 Vanuatu’s Pharmacists Practitioner’s Commission wrote to whom it may concern: “In the pharmacy point of view, two of Vanuatu’s regulations have been breached…The Sales of Medicine (Control) Act Cap 48 and the Control of Pharmacies Act Cap 23.”

The report on the autopsy was finalized by Dr Woodford on January 28, 2010 and forwarded electronically to Vanuatu Police Criminal Investigation Department and Australian Federal Police acting as advisors under the Vanuatu Police Force Capacity Building Project on January 29, 2010.

The Vanuatu Coroner, who ordered the autopsy be carried out, received a copy of the report on February 23, 2010 and on the same day authorized Inspector George Twomey of Vanuatu CID to release a copy of it to Doug Nash as next of kin.

Inspector Twomey requested Nash to review the report and provide Vanuatu Police with any information he thought pertinent regarding it. Inspector Twomey also requested that Nash not make the contents of the autopsy report public until Police had completed their investigations.

Nash provided his review of the autopsy report to the Vanuatu Police on March 10, 2010. In that review, he drew the attention of the Police to several discrepancies, which, unless investigated and clarified, could result in wrong conclusions being drawn.
In mid April the Police provided the Public Prosecutor’s office with a file for their determination as to whether further action should be taken or the case closed.

On April 23, 2010 the Public Prosecutor wrote back to the Police noting that: “There is no accused statement or a brief from the Police to the time line of the incident that occurred up until today” and asking that a “a proper Police Brief” [be] placed in the file prior to final determination”.

When the Public Prosecutor’s office had not received any further information from the police by May 24, 2010, Nash submitted a formal complaint to the Vanuatu Ombudsman.

On July 12, 2010, after the Internet had been relatively quiet on the subject of MMS for many months, posts appeared on several alternative medicine websites - Healthsalon, Curezone and Phaelosopher – purporting to be ‘witness’ statements made by Callebaut, Lee, Ian and Anthony Willis of the yacht “Squid” all of whom were on board “Windcastle” the night Sylvia died and Lorna Wilding whose husband James was also present on “Windcastle”, as to the events that occurred up until the time of Sylvia’s death. These posts have been picked up by literally hundreds of other websites.

Callebaut denies having posted any statements on the Internet but says that the statements do seem to be copies of what he, the Willis’s and M/s Wilding compiled while they were all (except James who was helping Nash sail “Windcastle” back to Port Vila) still at Epi Island the morning following Sylvia’s death. They did this while their memories were still fresh, Callebaut says, in case the information should be needed later on. He also says Police have not contacted him to provide a statement.

The Willis’s, although they returned to Vila from New Zealand earlier this month, have now left again to visit the islands and so cannot be reached for comment.

According to Nash, during the week following Sylvia’s death Vanuatu Police requested him to let them know if any of the boats present at Epi Island at the time of Sylvia’s death returned to Port Vila. When, on August 19, 2009 Nash advised Police that the Willis’s had returned, he says they asked him to make contact with the sailors and inform them to come to a meeting at Port Vila CID at 9 am the next day. Nash says he did make that contact and he and Sylvia’s son (who had flown from Mexico immediately after Sylvia died) went out to “Squid” in the Willis’s dinghy. After some conversation Nash says he relayed the request of the Police to both Willis’s who replied they would not make any statements without first contacting their attorney.

Although their ‘statements’ are now flooding the Internet, there appears to be nothing to suggest that the Willis’s at that or at any time during the past twelve months, voluntarily or not, provided any information to Vanuatu Police to assist in investigations.

While people can put onto any Internet sites virtually anything they wish, the actions of whoever it is placing the ‘statements’ on the Internet rather than with Police investigating a sudden death not only cannot be deemed anything but highly irregular but could well take the case to a much higher plateau. Because Nash has been effectively ‘gagged’ until Police complete their investigations he cannot release, via the same or any other form of media, any information contained in the autopsy report to refute what has been said on the Internet. It could therefore be argued that he is being deprived of his rights to natural justice.

Ian Willis’ statement: “Later…we saw many prescription bottles on the table, and there was a blister pack of Panadol or the equivalent on the table and one tablet was on the table. Jackie said that Doug had told her that Sylvia had complained of severe abdominal pains shortly before he called “Sloepmouche”. Maybe the Panadol was for her pain. Jackie said that Doug had told her that Sylvia was on hormones, but nothing else” infers that other drugs could be implicated in the death while Lorna Wilding’s, “I saw a woman who seemed very breathless speaking at the dinner and later I found out it was Sylvia”, insinuates that Sylvia may have suffered from heart or other chest problems that could have led to her death.

Such inferences can be confirmed or denied by what is contained in the autopsy report but since it cannot yet be released to the public, Nash is unable to back up whatever he would like to say in response to what has been said in the ‘witness statements’ with any facts the report contains – even to family, friends and acquaintances although they too have access to whatever the ‘witnesses’ choose to put on the Internet.

Nash is thus left open to attack from all and sundry without any means of defence and every day that goes by without any public response from him only serves to amplify what others have already said.

A very unhappy situation indeed as the first anniversary of Sylvia’s death approaches.

As at the time of writing, the Office of the Public Prosecutor is still awaiting the information requested.

Inspector Twomey – Vanuatu Police CID advises that the investigating officer is compiling that information and that he hopes to provide it to the Prosecution within a few days.

Footnote: On July 28, 2010 after this story had been finalised and sent to Daily Post the writer received an e-mail from Luc Callebaut which says in part:

“We went to the links you gave and were horrified to see what was posted there. I have NO idea how anyone got this document. This was something compiled by all of us who were involved in the CPR shortly after the incident as we would all be sailing off in different directions. It’s horrible for us, and horrible for Doug. I contacted the webmasters of the sites that gave their contact info, and put a reply on the Thought for Food. If you hadn’t contacted us for a comment, we would never have known this was posted.”

So who did post them under the fictitious names “LDS”, “Shuzammy” and “The Truth” and why? Whoever did certainly had access to the documents.

As at July 29 the ‘statements’ have been removed from the three major websites but it is impossible to check every one of the hundreds of others listed on Google under the subject and now there seems to be an argument brewing on phaelosopher.wordpress.com/2009/10/15/on-death-and-mms/ between various unknown and unknowable people over the moderator’s actions in removing the original posting and replacing it with Callebaut’s under the pseudonym “Anonymous”.

Ah…the nefarious power of the Internet when coupled with anonymity.

The sooner the police investigation is complete and the autopsy report made available publicly the better for all concerned.
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