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Tivoli Enquiry: No charges for retired army chief

Published:Friday | February 19, 2016 | 2:46 PMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

Chairman of the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry Sir David Simmons has signalled that the three-member tribunal would not be recommending that retired army chief Major General Stewart Saunders and the army's mortar expert Major Warrenton Dixon be charged with murder arising from the use of mortars during the May 2010 operations in Tivoli Gardens.

"For us to go that far in this enquiry would fly in the face of a fundamental principle of fairness," Simmons reasoned.

READ: Murder charges should be filed against Saunders, says Public Defender

His comments came after attorney for the Jamaica Defence Force Linton Gordon urged him to disregard suggestions by the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) and the Office of the Public Defender (OPD) that the commission recommend that murder charges be filed against Saunders and Dixon for the use of the explosives.

Simmons agreed with Gordon, noting that the commission has only heard evidence from one side.

The JDF attorney dismissed the suggestion by INDECOM and the OPD, arguing that it has no foundation in law. "It's a recommendation that is a non-starter. It’s an emotional statement because it cannot be supported by any evidence," he reasoned.