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WEST KINGSTON ENQUIRY: New witness statements could trigger criminal sanctions

Published:Wednesday | July 1, 2015 | 7:09 AMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
Sir David Simmons ... We [commissioners] have some concerns, but we are not going to deal with them publicly. There may be legal and criminal consequences flowing from all of this.

Concerns about the fresh witness statements submitted to the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry has triggered a warning from chairman of the three-member panel Sir David Simmons that there could be legal and criminal consequences.

Simmons, however, declined to go into details about the concerns, saying he first wants to meet Public Defender Arlene Harrison-Henry and the attorneys representing her office at the enquiry.

"We [commissioners] have some concerns, but we are not going to deal with them publicly. There may be legal and criminal consequences flowing from all of this," Simmons warned.

The new statements were taken from residents of Tivoli Gardens last weekend by the Tivoli Committee and submitted to the commission on Monday.

It was later revealed that some of those persons had already given a statement to the Office of the Public Defender about the police-military operations in their community in May 2010.

When the hearings resumed this morning, senior legal counsel to the commission Garth McBean and attorney for the Jamaica Defence Force, Linton Gordon, signaled that they had serious concerns about the contents of the new statements.