Hong Kong police still investigating death of Newfoundland man

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Joseph Basha - Submitted Photo

Police have not yet closed the case of the sudden death of a St. John's man in Hong Kong.

Joseph Basha, 25, was found dead near his home in Hong Kong on Dec. 21, 2011.

"Active inquiries into the case are still ongoing," a duty officer with the Hong Kong police confirmed for The Telegram this week.

Police were asked if the toxicology report from Basha's autopsy had yet come in, but there was no response to the question.

"Police have no further comment at this stage," the officer stated.

Basha was found with a needle beside him, his arm tied off. His autopsy "has (preliminarily) indicated that the cause of death of Mr. Basha was due to overdose," according to Hong Kong police.

Yet family members have questioned the preliminary finding, noting oddities in the case. That includes the fact that Basha's left arm was tied off and he was left-handed, there was unexplained bruising on his head, and his wallet and cellphone were missing.

It has previously been stated a toxicology report could take several months.

Family members and friends have also questioned the early work of the police, claiming a thorough investigation was not being conducted.

Meanwhile, Basha's remains were returned to Newfoundland and Labrador supported by online donations to IndieGogo, an account established by a friend of the family. The account closed after 50 donations, meeting its goal and raising $2,077 for expenses.

Friends and family continue to mourn the loss of Basha. Jeroen Brulez was away on holiday when his friend's death first made international headlines.

"The news shocked my world quite drastically," he wrote in a message to The Telegram on Jan. 19.

Basha had been studying at the University of Hong Kong and was the lead singer of the indie band Milkteeth.


Organizations: The Telegram, University of Hong Kong

Geographic location: Hong Kong, Newfoundland and Labrador, St. John's

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