This is a partial transcript from "On the Record," March 28, 2007, that has been edited for clarity.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: But now to another huge curveball. It happened just today in the inquest into Daniel's death. What's up? Godfrey "Pro" Pinder is a Bahamian lawyer. He represents four summoned witnesses to the inquest. He was inside the court. He joins us with the details.
Pro, the inquest was supposed to begin yesterday with witnesses. Howard K. Stern's lawyer said we don't want a jury, we just want essentially a bench trial on the cause of death, the manner of death of Daniel. Today, the jurors weren't allowed to sit. What happened in court?
GODFREY "PRO" PINDER, ATTORNEY FOR FOUR INQUEST WITNESSES: Well, what happened in court is they — what we had today were really the (INAUDIBLE) in which Howard K. Stern's attorney was indicating that they wanted a fair trial (INAUDIBLE) impartial jurors. I don't understand (INAUDIBLE) this stage, since no one is charged, no one is indicted and no one is really before the court for any particular crime. But that's what his attorneys wanted. They argued for it, and all the other attorneys argued against it. (INAUDIBLE)
VAN SUSTEREN: You know, Pro — Pro, it's interesting because this is — nobody's been charged. No one even said there's a crime. And yet Howard K. Stern is worried about six or seven citizens making a determination as to what happened to Daniel. If they made a determination that they recommended that a crime had occurred, it would go to the attorney general, who would make another independent decision. And then a decision would be made to whether to charge. So I'm a little bit perplexed with you. Which is — why does — what are Howard K. Stern's lawyers think is so unfair about seven citizens listening to what happened in that hospital room?
PINDER: Well, Greta, I really don't know. I don't know whether he has something to hide or not, but it's only an investigative procedure right now. They're looking into it, and all the citizens and all the witnesses are on the same footing. They're in there, and anyone could be said to be suspected or could be said not to be suspected. So I really don't know what his lawyers are talking about. It seems to me just a waste of time and (INAUDIBLE) But tomorrow morning, the judge will make a decision at 10:00 AM, and I believe we'll get on with it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Have you ever — you've been a lawyer for a number of years. Have you ever heard in an inquest in the Bahamas where the jury was basically told, You're not going to make the decision, that we're going to have this simply, for lack of better words, a bench trial?
PINDER: No. Never heard of doing that, and never heard of anybody putting questions as to the jury. Never heard of anybody ever questioning a jury with respect to a coroner's trial. Never heard of it.
VAN SUSTEREN: Did Wayne Munroe, Howard K. Stern, say what was the unfairness that he anticipated? Was it described?
PINDER: Well, they were describing all the media coverage, and they cited the Princess Diana case and one of the other cases. But the judge — despite the media trial, the judge can give a warning to the jury, Look, avoid the (INAUDIBLE) Do not take that into consideration. And be concerned only with doing the right and proper thing. He can give them a warning, and that's what they usually do.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is the theory of Wayne Munroe, of Howard K. Stern — I'm trying to understand his theory. Is his theory that the seven members of the jury, in listening to what caused the death of Daniel and what was the manner of death, that they would somehow dislike Howard K. Stern because of the media and find that a crime occurred and even that committed it? Is that the thinking of them, why the — why the jury should be tossed? Is he afraid of that?
PINDER: Well, he might well be, but he didn't say that. All he said was, in the first instance, he wanted an impartial jury — right out of the blue, right out of the clear blue sky. The jury is presumed to be impartial. So he might be thinking along those lines. I really don't know. He never said it outright, but it seems as if he might be thinking that way.
VAN SUSTEREN: And does it mean — we still don't know. This could be a suicide. This could be an accident. This could be — I mean, it's, like — you know, it's a curious — it's a curious objection, at least from this point, that Howard K. Stern is making at this stage of the proceedings. I could understand maybe later, if it ever got to that.
Now, the judge makes the decision tomorrow. Who do you — assuming the judge — it's either going to be a jury or it's going to be the chief magistrate. We're expecting just the — that there will be a jury. Who do you expect will be the first witness at the inquest?
PINDER: The photographer will be the first witness at the inquest. There's a list, a 40-page list, and the first person on the list will be the photographer.
VAN SUSTEREN: What is he expected it testify to? Is this the — by photographer, do you mean somebody at the hospital?
PINDER: Somebody took pictures of the dead body and all of the other things, the crime scene and all that situation or the scene, whether it's a crime or not. Everything associated with the death of Daniel will be talked about by the photographer, whatever he was asked to photograph.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, we have heard — and I underline heard because it's a lot difference in evidence and proof. But we've heard that there was methadone in the system of Daniel at the time he died. Is there any evidence that he brought methadone, or do you know of any information that he brought methadone from the state of California when he flew that night from California to the Bahamas, got picked up at the airport and went right to the hospital? Is there any suggestion he brought the methadone himself?
PINDER: None whatsoever. None whatsoever.
VAN SUSTEREN: Is there — is there any evidence that he was acting under the influence in any — in the route from California to Miami to the Bahamas, did anyone seem him act lethargic or under the influence of anything?
PINDER: No evidence of that, either, to the best of my knowledge, Greta.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right, Pro. Thank you, and we'll talk to you tomorrow night after the first day of testimony. Thank you, Pro.
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