West Kingston Enquiry: Sewell 'extremely surprised' by body count
A retired Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) officer who served as one of the army's ground commanders during the May 2010 operations in Tivoli Gardens has revealed that he was extremely surprised when he heard of the number of persons who died in the operation.
Retired Lieutenant Colonel Andrew Sewell was testifying this morning before the west Kingston commission of enquiry, which has already heard evidence that one day into the operation – which began on May 24, 2010 – there were 56 bodies at Madden's Funeral Home and 16 lying in the streets of Tivoli Gardens.
Sewell has already testified that Tivoli Gardens was under the control of the security forces by late afternoon on May 24 and that he was able to walk through the west Kingston community.
However, testifying during cross-examination by attorney-at-law Lord Anthony Gifford, who is representing the Office of the Public Defender Sewell said he saw no bodies in Tivoli Gardens on May 24 and only one the following day.
The former army officer said he could not recall being told about an injured man on the ground who was later pronounced dead.