Plaintiff attorneys representing the Smith family apparently provided “before and after” photos of the Smith’s cabin to MSNBC’s “Rita Cosby Live” on Wednesday night.This is in flagrant disregard of the FBI’s specific and repeated requests not to describe the cabin—an action that could seriously impede the FBI’s investigation.
Royal Caribbean had voluntarily given photos and other information to the plaintiff attorneys in good faith.
It also requested the information be kept “confidential so that nothing is done to compromise the FBI’s investigation.”
Company officials are outraged that the plaintiff attorneys would so cavalierly ignore FBI requests for confidentiality and place the investigation at risk purely for publicity purposes.
The two photos were a “before” photo, taken at approximately 9 a.m. on July 5, and an “after” photo taken at approximately 4 p.m. on July 7. The “before” photo shows the Smith’s cabin immediately after the ship’s Captain ordered the cabin sealed and posted a guard. The “after” photo followed three important events, all of which the company has disclosed previously:
* July 5: Turkish authorities had completed their forensic investigation.
* July 5: Our Guest Relations Manager, Marie Breheret, entered the Smith’s cabin to pack their belongings. A U.S. Consulate official joined her in the cabin.
* July 7: The FBI and a U.S. Consulate official boarded the ship and entered the Smith’s cabin in Pireaus, Greece.
It is understandable that the second photo would reflect these activities over these two days. In particular, the forensic investigation, including fingerprinting, testing for blood, and removing evidence, would be expected to disrupt the scene. All the “before” and “after” photos demonstrate is that the investigators were thorough.
At the direction of the FBI, Royal Caribbean has been extremely careful not to reveal any information that could jeopardize its investigation. Specifically, we have been asked not to reveal information about the state of the cabin or its contents. The plaintiff attorneys have ignored this strong direction purely for publicity purposes and now risk damaging the FBI’s investigation.