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Harrison Henry OKs payment to west Kingston residents

Published:Saturday | January 13, 2018 | 12:00 AMPaul Clarke/Gleaner Writer
Arlene Harrison Henry

Public Defender Arlene Harrison Henry says she has accepted the report of the Compensation Committee and its finding that a payment of more than $200 million is to be made to citizens of Western Kingston, particularly those in Tivoli Gardens, whose rights were violated during the May 2010 joint police-military operation.

The Compensation Committee recommended payment of $134,569,000 for the estates of deceased persons and more than $70 million for property and economic losses, amounting to more than $200 million.

The Office of the Public Defender participated in the David Simmons-led Commission of Enquiry, which ran from 2014 -2016 and later provided legal representation for persons at the Compensation Committee, which submitted its report containing its findings and recommendations to the Ministry of Justice.

"The Office of the Public Defender accepts the report of the Compensation Committee and therefore regards the process of compensation at an end," read a press release with Harrison Henry's signature attached.

"More than $100 million was paid out to some residents from the Ministry of Labour and Social Security following the joint police-military operations in May 2010," she noted.

The figure represents:

- Compensation for damage suffered to personal property - $71,890,000

- Grants for vendors of Coronation Market - $13,000,000

- Burial assistance - $4,477,000

- Compensation for families for dwellings totally destroyed - $25,250,000

The operations, which were undertaken to capture the fugitive, Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, resulted in the death of 73 civilians and a soldier, while other persons were detained and properties damaged and destroyed.

Financial compensation for persons wronged by the State was one of the recommendations of the West Kingston Commission of Inquiry, which was appointed to investigate the operations.