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West Kingston Enquiry: Former Public Defender insists Tivoli operation was a 'siege'

Published:Tuesday | November 24, 2015 | 2:39 PMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
"My word is siege. And I would not change one drop or tittle of it", the former Public Defender, Earl Witter, declared during a sometimes testy cross-examination by attorney for the Jamaica Constabulary Force Deborah Martin.

Former Public Defender Earl Witter has again described the May 2010 police-military operation in the west Kingston community of Tivoli Gardens as a "siege".

It came as Witter, who is testifying before the west Kingston commission of enquiry, denied using the word 'incursion' to describe the operation, which was aimed at capturing drug king pin Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. According to his testimony, that was a creation of the media.

"My word is siege. And I would not change one drop or tittle of it", the former public defender declared during a sometimes testy cross-examination by attorney for the Jamaica Constabulary Force Deborah Martin.

"We call it a joint security operation", Martin posited.

"I called it a siege because of what my investigators saw and reported to us", Witter insisted.

The commission is investigating the conduct of the operation, in which more than 70 civilians and one member of the Jamaica Defence Force was killed.