Fri | Dec 9, 2016

Saunders' statement with West Kingston Commission

Published:Friday | January 9, 2015 | 12:00 AM

No word on submissions from Golding, Blair, Ellington

Attorneys for Major General Stewart Saunders, former head of the Jamaica Defence Force, have revealed that he submitted his witness statement to the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry on December 3 last year, more than a month before the January 7 deadline.

The Gleaner had late last month revealed that the commission was awaiting statements from several individuals, who, if they fail to meet the deadline, could be issued summonses compelling them to appear before the enquiry and give evidence.

In addition to Saunders, who it turned out had already submitted his statement, the commission said it was awaiting documents from former Prime Minister Bruce Golding, former National Security Minister Dwight Nelson, retired Police Commissioner Owen Ellington, and popular pastor Bishop Herro Blair.

"The witness statement of Major General Stewart Saunders was submitted on Wednesday, December 3, 2014, to the secretariat of the commission. Receipt of same was acknowledged in a letter to me, dated December 4, 2014, from Mrs Maria Jones, the commission's secretary," instructing attorney Stacey E. Mitchell advised in a letter.

It was not clear yesterday whether the other requested witness statements were now with the commission, but senior legal adviser to the commission, Garth McBean, confirmed that up to late Wednesday, there were still no statements from Nelson, Ellington or Blair.

The enquiry, which is focusing on the events surrounding the 2010 police-military operation in the west Kingston community of Tivoli Gardens to capture then fugitive Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, is set to resume on February 9.