Tivoli Enquiry: Businessman details $12m in losses
A businessman has detailed more than $12 million in losses which he said he suffered as a result of the security forces occupying his premises during the May 2010 police-military operation.
The businessman, Vallin Joiles, appeared before the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry this morning.
The witness who requested not to have his face shown, said he had bunkered down in the building which housed several family businesses, from Sunday to Tuesday.
He said on Tuesday soldiers entered his building, carried out a search and took him to the Mobile Reserve then later to the National Arena.
Joiles said when he returned to his business place he was denied access and he says he was not able to enter until six weeks later when his lawyer intervened.
He said when he went there he saw damage to several pieces of equipment, some of which had bullet holes, and that some items were missing.
When lawyer for the Jamaica Constabulary Force Valerie Neita Robertson suggested the security forces could rightfully occupy his building during a state of emergency, the witness insisted he had a right to be compensated.
Later attorney for the Jamaica Defense Force, Linton Gordon asked the witness whether he was hunkered down in his building because he was watching activities through his surveillance cameras and relaying information via his cellular phone to gangsters.
However, this question caused counsel to the commission Garth McBean to object to the line of questioning saying it was prejudicial to the witness.
The chairman, Sir David Simmons agreed and cautioned Gordon.
A second witness, Barbara Joiles also gave testimony in relation to the losses suffered by the family-owned business during the police-military operation.
She said, to date, they have not been able to resume all aspects of their business because of the loss of a generator.