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Tivoli Enquiry: US-based firearms expert brought in to testify

Published:Monday | February 8, 2016 | 12:56 PMLivern Barrett, Staff Reporter

The Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) has given an assurance that a United States-based firearms expert brought in to testify before the west Kingston commission of enquiry enjoys immunity from prosecution under the Firearms Act.

The assurance came after attorney for the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) Linton Gordon raised questions about whether Matthew Noedel, a US-based consultant to INDECOM, could legally handle firearms and ammunition in Jamaica.

Gordon's question came just after Noedel took his seat in the witness box and outlined his credentials as a forensic consultant.

"I suspect that what you are getting at is that you want to lay the evidential foundation that he can use and touch and handle guns in Jamaica without being liable for prosecution for illegal possession (of firearm)?" chairman of the west Kingston commission of enquiry Sir David Simmons sought to clarify.

"That is exactly what it is Mr Chairman," Gordon replied before Simmons asked INDECOM boss Terrence Williams to give the tribunal that assurance.

Describing Gordon's query as irrelevant, Williams told the commission that Noedel has been employed to INDECOM as a consultant for some time and that, in keeping with the section 20 of the INDECOM Act, "enjoys the same immunity as a Constable" who handles a firearm during the course of his work.

"Similarly so, he (Noedel) is covered by that immunity under the INDECOM Act," Williams said.

"I accept your assurance from the bar table," Simmons said.