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WEST KINGSTON ENQUIRY: No more witness statements to be accepted after today

Published:Monday | June 29, 2015 | 4:20 PMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

Chairman of the west Kingston commission of enquiry Sir David Simmons has ruled that no new witness statements will be accepted after today.

The ruling came after attorneys for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) raised concerns about a statement taken from a resident of Tivoli Gardens last Saturday and turned over to the commission today by the attorney for the Tivoli Committee.

In her statement, Tivoli Gardens resident, Gloria Pitter alleged that "Major" Garth Anderson and some of the soldiers he commanded during the May 2010 operations in her community took control her apartment.

However, attorney-at-law Linton Gordon, who is representing the JDF, pointed out that Anderson was a captain at the time and said he was concerned that persons were watching the televised hearings then writing statement to rebut testimony.

"It appears that a puppet string has been extended into this commission of enquiry. It is unfair, it is unreasonable," Gordon complained, pointing out that he had raised the same concern before the start of the hearings.

Simmons, in his response, acknowledged that more persons may feel encouraged to come forward because of the conduct of the enquiry, but said "the time has come when we must insist on a cut off point."