News

Tivoli enquiry won't be complete without ballistic testing of weapons, says Mukulu

BY KARYL WALKER Editor -- Crime/Court Desk walkerk@jamaicaobserver.com

Wednesday, September 03, 2014    

Print this page Email A Friend!


ACTING Public Defender Matondo Mukulu says ballistic testing of weapons used in the 2010 Tivoli Gardens operation must be conducted if the pending West Kingston Commission of Enquiry is to have any meaning.

Speaking to editors and reporters at the Jamaica Observer's weekly Monday Exchange yesterday, Mukulu said that while the enquiry can begin without the results of the tests, it will not be complete without it.

"Can we have an enquiry without it? No. Can we start an enquiry without it? Yes. Is it the only thing that the enquiry will be looking at? No," he said.

Mukulu's predecessor, Earl Witter, last year took issue with the fact that the report had not yet been concluded.

"It will be clear that the important issue of determining whether persons allegedly killed in the course of the Tivoli/West Kingston 'incursion' met their deaths at the hands of members of the State security forces (JCF, ISCF or JDF) or any other (such as armed combatants/illegal gunmen) can only be settled by the forensic examination of firearms. There is no evidence of visual identification of the shooters. Of course, the issue of criminal liability (in particular, whether at any material time a member or members of either force acted in self-defence or not) is altogether a different matter," Witter said in his interim report on the incursion.

Jamaica's forensic laboratory is equipped with archaic equipment and the testing methods are not up to world standards.

The troubling issue of getting the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF) to hand over their weapons for testing was also addressed by Mukulu.

"The Office of the Public Defender has no remit as it relates to the JDF. That is why the process of investigating the JDF is being led by INDECOM (the Independent Commission of Investigation). The Office of the Public Defender has a secondary role. Presently, INDECOM is doing its best to get the ballistics testing done. The public must know that the process is not stalled. There is a timetable and INDECOM is using that timetable," he said.

Mukulu also pointed to the urgent need for the enquiry to get under way in order to get justice for those who were wronged by agents of the State.

"People's memories fade," he said.

ADVERTISEMENT

POST A COMMENT

HOUSE RULES

 

1. We welcome reader comments on the top stories of the day. Some comments may be republished on the website or in the newspaper – email addresses will not be published.

2. Please understand that comments are moderated and it is not always possible to publish all that have been submitted. We will, however, try to publish comments that are representative of all received.

3. We ask that comments are civil and free of libellous or hateful material. Also please stick to the topic under discussion.

4. Please do not write in block capitals since this makes your comment hard to read.

5. Please don't use the comments to advertise. However, our advertising department can be more than accommodating if emailed: advertising@jamaicaobserver.com.

6. If readers wish to report offensive comments, suggest a correction or share a story then please email: community@jamaicaobserver.com.

7. Lastly, read our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy



comments powered by Disqus
ADVERTISEMENT
ADVERTISEMENT

Poll

Do you think the current Enquiry will bring any benefit to residents of Tivoli Gardens?
Yes
No


View Results »


ADVERTISEMENT

Today's Cartoon

Click image to view full size editorial cartoon
ADVERTISEMENT