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West Kingston Enquiry: Former JDF chief says police top brass knew about mortar plan

Published:Monday | June 22, 2015 | 1:50 PMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

Retired army chief Stewart Saunders says he believes former Police Commissioner Owen Ellington and other police top brass were aware of plans by the military to use mortars in the May 2010 operations in Tivoli Gardens.

At the same time, Major General Saunders revealed that a total of 37 mortar rounds were fired during the operations.

He testified that the 81 milimetre cylinder shaped mortars had a range of 5,280 feet or about a mile with a width of about 150 meters.

According to him, they were fired in three areas – the Seprod field behind Tivoli Gardens, an open area near the community centre and the football field on the eastern side of the community.

Testifying before the west Kingston commission of enquiry this morning, Saunders said persons in the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) who needed to know about the use of mortars were informed.

Saunders could not say for sure if Ellington was informed, but said "the deputy commissioners who were working closely with the planning [of the operations] were briefed."

He sought to explain that information about the planned use of mortars were only shared with persons on a "need to know" basis and indicated that "not everyone in the JDF knew."