Thu | Aug 13, 2020

Save witnesses from badgering at enquiry

Published:Thursday | December 4, 2014 | 11:03 AM


In watching the rebroadcast of the Tivoli Gardens enquiry, I was amazed at the raucous tone of counsel interrogating two survivors of gunshot wounds.

Tivoli Gardens has suffered more than any other Jamaican community. At least 76 civilians were killed there in May 2010. Who will speak for them? Survivors should be treated with love and sympathy. What if their memory is somewhat impaired? With their traumatic experience, it is to their credit that they are able and willing to give evidence at the enquiry.

Sir David, you have allowed at least one counsel to badger the witnesses. His deliberately slow, loud, impeccable English, although intimidating, may sound like a foreign language to the witnesses. The chairman needs to protect the witnesses from further victimisation.

Sir David, you have set the tone of speaking softly; that should be observed by everyone. If you permit deliberately slow talking and repetitious questioning, the commission may take a year to hear everybody.