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Three soldiers to be charged with Keith Clarke murder named

Published:Tuesday | July 17, 2012 | 1:00 PM

Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewellyn has ruled that three members of the Jamaica Defence Force be charged with the murder of businessman Keith Clarke.

The soldiers are: Greg Tingling and Odel Buckley, both lance corporals; and private Arnold Henry.

Llewellyn has written to the Commissioner of Police and the Commissioner of the Independent Commission of Investigations (INDECOM) as well as the Chief of Defence Staff to inform them of her ruling.

In the letter, she said she would be preferring a voluntary bill of indictment to have the matter brought before the Home Circuit Court as soon as possible.

"Given the high public interest that this matter has commanded, it is my opinion that in the interest of justice for all parties in the matter would be best served by circumventing the preliminary enquiry process in the Resident Magistrate’s court," Llewellyn said.

She has expressed an interest in having the three soldiers before the court by July 31.

She said the issues of credibility which have arisen based on her review of the case can only be resolved by a jury in a criminal trial.

The Jamaica Defence Force today said it does not comment on matters that are before the court.

"There is a procedure that we will follow," said Captain Basil Jarrett, head of the Civil Military Corporation Unit.

Keith Clarke , the brother of former Government minister Claude Clarke, was shot all over his body by members of the security forces at his East Kirkland Heights home in St Andrew in May 2010.

A post mortem report had indicated that Clarke was shot 20 times, with the majority of the wounds located on his back.

The security forces had reportedly gone to the area to search for then fugitive Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.


May 27, 2010 - Security personnel shot Clarke after entering his house reportedly in search of then fugitive Christopher Dudus Coke.

November 2010 - INDECOM begins its probe after taking over the case from the Bureau of Special Investigation.

May, 2011 - Ballistic testing were still continuing on more than 75 firearms that were taken from those involved in the security operation.

May, 2012 – INDECOM head meets with the Head of the Forensic Laboratory to discuss the delay in providing ballistic tests.

August 27, 2010 - Jamaicans for Justice expresses concern about the delay in concluding the probe surrounding the killing.

March 29, 2012 - National Security Minister, Peter Bunting discloses that the long-awaited ballistics report in the Keith Clarke case has now been completed.

May 22, 2012 – DPP asks police for further information to make a ruling in the case.

May 30, 2012 - DPP reports that she has received the requested particulars

July 16, 2012 – DPP rules that three soldiers should be charged with the murder.