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Cops singled out, prepare responses to proposed Tivoli enquiry report

Published:Friday | April 1, 2016 | 4:00 AMLivern Barrett
Simmons

The three-member tribunal probing the conduct of the May 2010 operations in the west Kingston community of Tivoli Gardens has signalled that it intends to make adverse findings against a number of senior police and military witnesses who gave evidence.

Deborah Martin, the attorney representing members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, revealed yesterday that the commission has already served notices on four police personnel, inviting them to respond to proposed adverse findings against them.

She declined to disclose their names, however.

In addition, Martin said other police personnel had been alerted that they, too, would be served with notices shortly.

"We are now in the process of preparing their response," she told The Gleaner yesterday.

Amid reports that several members of the JDF have been served with notices, the army had a one-sentence response when contacted yesterday.

"Any clarification on that issue must be sought from the commission secretary," said a senior military officer.

The move by the David Simmons-led commission to give police and military witnesses the opportunity to respond to proposed adverse findings against them is in keeping with amendments made to the Commissions of Enquiry Act shortly before it was appointed in February 2014.

Section 7A of the Commission of Enquiry [Amendment] Act 2013 stipulates that the tribunal "shall not include any comment in a report of an enquiry into the matter specified in a commission that is adverse to a person who is identifiable from the report unless the commission acts in accordance with this section".

 

Legislation states

 

The legislation also stipulates: "Before making the report, the commission shall give the person (a) a copy of the proposed comment, (b) a written notice inviting the person to make a written submission or a written statement to the commission that is relevant to the proposed adverse comment within 14 days after receipt of the notice or within such longer period as the commission may allow."

Maria Jones, the secretary to the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry, said the tribunal has already completed a draft report setting out its proposed findings and recommendations.

Jones said she and commission attorneys Garth McBean and Symone Mayhew would meet with the three commissioners over the next two weeks to review and finalise the report.

She said the plan is to have the final report completed and submitted to Governor General Sir Patrick Allen by the middle of this month.

The commission, which also includes retired Appeal Court Judge Hazel Harris and university lecturer Professor Anthony Harriott, is probing the conduct of the operations, which were aimed at capturing then fugitive Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.

livern.barrett@gleanerjm.com