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West Kingston Enquiry: Lawyers question whether Bruce Golding could have withdrawn troops

Published:Thursday | November 26, 2015 | 11:52 PM

Public Defender Earl Witter has refused to be drawn into suggestions by the Attorney for the Tivoli Commission that former Prime Minister Bruce Golding could have called off members of the security forces in West Kingston during the police-military incursion on Tuesday, May 25.

There were reports, up to then, that 44 persons were killed, allegedly by members of the security forces and four firearms seized, in the incursion that Witter repeatedly contended, had evolved into a siege of the areas.

Witter said the 44 to four ratio was a major source of concern to him, as a result of which he raised the matter with senior members of the security forces at a meeting with Golding.

He said his focus was principally on the number of persons killed pursuant to his mandate as Public Defender to protect lives.

However, when he was asked by Williams whether Golding, in his capacity as Head of the Defense Board, should have exercised his powers to withdraw the troops from West Kingston, Witter said he would have been taken aback if that happened.