Linden shooting victims coming to city over compensation

Victims of the July 18, 2012 shootings in Linden will come to Georgetown on Wednesday for a meeting at the Office of the President (OP) during which they may accept compensation worked out for them while seeking more information on the formula used to compute the amounts.

This was disclosed yesterday by Chairman of the Region 10 Regional Democratic Council (RDC) Sharma Solomon, who has been the point-man for Lindeners in discussions with OP on the shootings and compensation.

According to a public service announcement aired over the past days on NCN, persons identified for compensation can visit the Office of the President from Tuesday, June 25, 2013 between the hours of 9 am and 3 pm. The announcement said that persons must take along a valid form of identification and proof of address.

“We had a meeting this afternoon and we focused on the issue of compensation and the one year anniversary commemoration of the July 18, 2012 killings,” Solomon told Stabroek News yesterday. “The families agree that on Wednesday I will make contact with the Office of the President on their behalf. I will not know if they will collect their compensation until they reach there,” he said.

He said that the Linden residents will be going to OP with their legal representation. “They have expressed concern over the formula used to arrive at the compensation. They want Government to justify the formula used,” he said.

According to well-placed sources, the residents may accept the compensation but may do so under protest until the matter is resolved. Solomon also told this newspaper that there will be a public meeting in Linden on July 1, on the anniversary of the date that the now stayed electricity hikes should have been implemented.

Attorney General and Minister of Legal Affairs Anil Nandlall reiterated yesterday when asked that government will abide by the findings of the Linden Commission of Inquiry with regard to compensation to the persons affected by the protests and Police brutality during the uprising in July 2012.

Speaking to this newspaper yesterday, Nandlall said that he was not aware of persons that have expressed reservations about receiving the payments.

Following months of deliberation by the Commission of Inquiry, in March this year, the commissioners announced in their final report the awards decided upon with regards to the estates of the dead persons and to those who had been affected by the disturbances.

According to the commissioners, they analyzed the earnings of the three deceased men shot on July 18, 2012 and recommended a total of $8M to the deceased’s estate, with $3 million awarded to Shemroy Bouyea’s estate, $3 million to Allan Lewis’ estate and $2 million to Ron Somerset’s estate

The commissioners had decided too that awards will be made other persons affected by the disturbances and who had made claims for losses of injury. These persons included $1.5M for miner Michael Roberts, $1.5M for building contractor Hugh Stephen, $3M for lorry owner Narindra Latchman, $2M for lorry owner Carlton Mohan and $2.5M for fuel tanker owner, Vishnu Singh.

The quantum of the awards, particularly to the families of the three dead men, has been severely criticised.

However, former Chancellor of the Judiciary and Commission of Inquiry member Cecil Kennard said that the amount was reasonable and that the government could adjust the quantum paid out.

Kennard said too that the level of compensation recommended is fair in light of the testimony presented to the COI and the fact that it was found that the police did not intend to kill anyone.

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