Tue | Dec 6, 2016

West Kgn claims to be submitted to State

Published:Friday | November 28, 2014 | 12:00 AM

THE OFFICE OF THE Public Defender (OPD) has decided to submit, to the attorney general, the first 70 of almost 700 claims seeking to have Government fork out another $100 million to compensate hundreds of west Kingston residents whose personal belongings were lost or damaged during the 2010 police-military incursion.

Acting Public Defender Matondo Mukulu said his office has verified 1,295 claims from 688 residents detailing losses totalling $110.8 million.

Another 300 complaints filed by 216 residents seeking more than $1.3 million in compensation remain unsubstantiated.

"The OPD has done its own assessment (excluding personal injury) and we are of the view that the State can potentially face a total claim that ranges between $110-$129 million," Mukulu revealed.

He said his office had decided to take its 70 best cases to the attorney general "with the hope that those would be sufficiently persuasive to convince the Government not to go to court".

"We would write to them to say these are the figures and [that] there is evidence supportive of the claims and that we think they have a persuasive case for the State to settle rather than go through costly litigation," Mukulu explained.

The disclosure comes days before the start of a commission of enquiry that was appointed to hear evidence about the conduct of members of the security forces during the May 2010 operations to capture then fugitive Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.