Not in­ter­ested in dra­mat­ics – Pan­ton

Tivoli Com­pen­sa­tion Com­mit­tee has no de­sire in work­ing un­der me­dia spot­light

Jamaica Gleaner - - NEWS - Ja­son Cross Gleaner Writer ja­son.cross@glean­erjm.com

THE OP­ER­A­TIONS of the three-mem­ber West Kingston Com­pen­sa­tion Com­mit­tee will not be con­ducted un­der the glare of cam­eras, nor will it be guided by any strict rule of pro­ce­dure, if chair­man of the com­mit­tee, re­tired Jus­tice Sey­mour Pan­ton, gets his way.

Pan­ton made the dec­la­ra­tion dur­ing a press brief­ing held yes­ter­day at the of­fices of the Min­istry of Jus­tice.

He said he and the other mem­bers of the com­mit­tee were happy to take up the jus­tice min­is­ter’s of­fer for them to serve.

“As faith­ful cit­i­zens of Ja­maica, we were happy to ac­cept the min­is­ter’s in­vi­ta­tion. It has to be clearly un­der­stood that we are a com­mit­tee, not a court, so we will not be guided by any strict rule of pro­ce­dure,” Pan­ton said.

“How­ever, our rec­om­men­da­tions for com­pen­sa­tion will take due note of the law.”

He con­tin­ued: “Our work will not be done un­der the glare of cam­eras, nor will the gen­eral pub­lic have ac­cess to our de­lib­er­a­tions. Our work in­volves the af­fected par­ties, their le­gal rep­re­sen­ta­tives, and the rel­e­vant wit­nesses. We are not in­ter­ested in any dra­mat­ics. We wish to re­ceive, in a calm at­mos­phere, truth­ful state­ments and ev­i­dence, writ­ten or oral, from those who have suf­fered losses.”

Where the in­ter­ests of mi­nors are in­volved, Pan­ton said the ap­pro­pri­ate state agency would be in­vited to as­sist.

COM­MIT­TEE MEM­BERS

The com­mit­tee was set up to in­ves­ti­gate and de­ter­mine the value and cred­i­bil­ity of claims brought against the State by ag­grieved per­sons com­ing out of the events of the May 2010 West Kingston op­er­a­tions con­ducted by the se­cu­rity forces to cap­ture then fugi­tive Christo­pher ‘Dudus’ Coke.

The com­mit­tee’s other two ap­pointed mem­bers were ap­proved by Cab­i­net last week. They are min­is­ters of re­li­gion, the Rev­erends Ren­nard White and Herro Blair Jr.

Ex­pe­ri­enced lit­i­ga­tion at­tor­ney Car­lene Lar­mond will serve as le­gal ad­viser to the com­mit­tee.

CASE RE­VIEWS

They will review cases where claims have al­ready been filed, cases where pre­lim­i­nary com­pen­sa­tion has al­ready been awarded and which will be re­assessed, and cases where no claims have been made to date.

Per­sons who have not yet filed for com­pen­sa­tion should do so within the next month.

Com­ing out of the West Kingston Com­mis­sion on En­quiry, one of the rec­om­men­da­tions made in the com­mis­sioner’s re­port was that res­i­dents of West Kingston must be com­pen­sated.

The Gov­ern­ment con­sid­ered the rec­om­men­da­tion as the right thing to do and, there­fore, set up a com­pen­sa­tion com­mit­tee to act on the rec­om­men­da­tion.

The first meet­ing of the com­mit­tee was held fol­low­ing the press brief­ing.

It is ex­pected that the com­mit­tee should com­plete its work within nine months, as rec­om­mended by the Sim­mons Com­mis­sion.

Re­tired Jus­tice Sey­mour Pan­ton.

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