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Gov't's statement on Velma Hylton status as Tivoli enquiry commissioner soon

Published:Tuesday | March 4, 2014 | 1:29 PM

Jovan Johnson, Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Attorney General Patrick Atkinson says the Government is to make a statement soon on whether Velma Hylton will remain as a commissioner for the enquiry into the May 2010 police-military operation in west Kingston.

Hylton's appointment on the three-member panel has been rejected by the Opposition Jamaica Labour Party because of comments she made in a past enquiry involving western Kingston.

However, the Government has argued that the Opposition was given time to comment on the suggested names but chose not to.

This morning Atkinson suggested that the concerns raised by the Opposition are aimed at sabotaging the enquiry.

He said the Government will speak officially on the issues raised though he hinted there may not be a change of position.

Atkinson refused to say whether Hytlon has communicated with the Government regarding her appointment and the issues raised by the Opposition.

Member of Parliament for Western Kingston Desmond McKenzie claims the Government is being malicious by including Hylton, who served as counsel to the 2002 West Kingston Commission of Enquiry.

He points to comments attributed to Hylton during the enquiry, in which she reportedly said she couldn’t understand why the security forces could not shoot women and children if they are being used as shields by criminals.

McKenzie says he has written to the Governor General, and several international bodies including the United Nations and human rights group Amnesty International on the issue.

Several civil society groups and advocates have called for the Government to remove Hylton.


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