THE EDITOR, Sir:
An open letter to Public Defender Earl Witter.
Residents of Tivoli Gardens and the rest of west Kingston who suffered personal injury and property damage wish to find out precisely what steps you have taken regarding state compensation for their suffering:
1. Have you recommended to the Government that there needs to be a COMPREHENSIVE SETTLEMENT for these damages?
2. What is your legal assessment of the $80 million-$100 million paid out by the previous administration to some residents for property damage and burial grants, etc.?
3. Do you regard these payments as an admission of liability, and if so, should the present administration be guided by this admission?
4. Has your office done a COMPREHENSIVE MONETARY ASSESSMENT of the damages and would you be willing to provide some information or indication as to how you have arrived at your assessment figure?
5. With regard to personal injuries, have you done an assessment as to how many people were injured and, perhaps, the circumstances? We are aware of several who were crippled and incapacitated by actions of the security forces.
6. Given that your report concludes that there is prima facie evidence of extrajudicial killings, is your office prepared to facilitate wrongful-death civil suits against the Government?
7. Are you prepared to acknowledge that you erred when in your report, you stated that the International Criminal Court has no jurisdiction over the crimes committed by the State in 2010, and do you now recognise that under Section 20 of the ICC Statutes which Jamaica signed (but not yet ratified), the Government can refer to the matter to the ICC?
8. Are you NOW prepared to publicly acknowledge that any commission of enquiry which does not involve the ICC CANNOT result in the prosecution of anyone for the heinous crimes committed in west Kingston in May 2010, and would be tantamount to a whitewash of state terrorism?
I eagerly await your reply.
on behalf of the