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Second opinion sought on Palm Is death

Extract from Australian Broadcasting Corporation - ABC Online, on 29 November 2004

Queensland's coroner has called for a second autopsy on the body of a Palm Island man whose death in police custody sparked last Friday's riot.

In a statement released this evening, coroner Michael Barnes says given the sensitivities surrounding Cameron Doomadgee's death 10 days ago it is important to have a second opinion.

Mr Doomadgee, 36, died in the Palm Island watch-house after being arrested for being drunk last week.

Police say Mr Doomadgee died after a scuffle with police in which he and an officer fell onto concrete steps.

Police say the initial autopsy found injuries consistent with that version of events.

Mr Barnes says medical evidence will be crucial to establishing how Mr Doomadgee died.

He says a senior forensic pathologist from the Victorian Institute of Medicine will travel to Queensland to undertake the second examination.

Mr Barnes says Mr Doomadgee's family has been invited to nominate its own pathologist for the autopsy and that person will be able to conduct whatever tests or examinations are considered appropriate.

He says it is important that relatives receive advice from someone they trust and can speak to in confidence.

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