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WEST KINGSTON ENQUIRY: Public Defender's attorneys challenge JDF officer's statement on 'decomposing bodies'

Published:Thursday | July 2, 2015 | 5:16 PMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
Lieutenant Colonel David Cummings, the commander of the JDF Engineering Regiment at the time, has testified that he and members of his unit stumbled upon the bodies on May 25, 2010 and took pictures.

Attorneys for the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) today challenged the testimony of a high-ranking Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) officer that he saw a pile of about 20 decomposing bodies inside the May Pen Cemetery one day after the start of the May 2010 operations in Tivoli Gardens.

Lieutenant Colonel David Cummings, the commander of the JDF Engineering Regiment at the time, has testified that he and members of his unit stumbled upon the bodies on May 25, 2010 and took pictures.

Cummings says based on the state of decomposition, he assumed that the individuals were dead from as early as May 23, a day before the operations began.

However, in challenging that evidence, attorney for the OPD Lord Anthony Gifford cited post mortem reports, which indicated that some of the individuals were killed around May 24.

Gifford also cited witness statements given by relatives of some of the victims claiming to have seen them on May 24.