The former Joint Services members being sought by the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the 2008 Lindo Creek killings are wanted for interviews to determine if they have any relevant information for the investigation, according to legal counsel Patrice Henry.
Henry told Sunday Stabroek that since the publication of newspaper ads naming the personnel last week, a number of them have made contact with the CoI.
The CoI ads had asked that Ayodele Woolford, former lieutenant of the Guyana Defence Force, Dwand Cambridge, former Assistant Superintendent of the Guyana Police Force, Colonel Lloyd Souvenir, Captain Sheldon Howell, Major Fitzroy Ward, Private Taylor, Private Quailo and Philbert Bobb or anyone knowing their whereabouts to make urgent contact.
The publicising of the list of names has drawn some negative re-action, with critics arguing that other means could have been used to make contact with the persons as a public advertisement implies that they are somehow involved in the killings.
However, when contacted Henry explained to Sunday Stabroek that the ads had nothing to do with anyone being wanted for testimony. “Once the commission is in receipt of information that persons may have had some information or knowledge that is relevant, we would basically conduct interviews with those persons,” he said.
The attorney noted too that these persons may either have information or might be somehow connected to “some activity at Lindo Creek.”
The CoI is inquiring into the circumstances surrounding the killings of Cecil Arokium, Dax Arokium, Horace Drakes, Bonny Harry, Lancelot Lee, Compton Speirs, Nigel Torres and Clifton Berry Wong on or about 21st day of June, 2008. The findings and recommendations are to be reported to President David Granger on completion of the inquiry, which is being conducted by former judge Desmond Trotman.
Burnt human bones and skulls had been discovered on June 21st, 2008 by Leonard Arokium, owner of the Lindo Creek mining camp. DNA tests done in Jamaica several years later confirmed that the remains had belonged to the miners, inclusive of Arokium’s son and his brother. The men were mining for diamonds at the location when they met their gruesome deaths. After the miners were slaughtered, their bodies and belongings were burnt. Although a large find had been reported at the camp, there was no trace of any diamonds when the remains were found.
The Lindo Creek CoI is the first of what the APNU+AFC government has said would be a series of inquiries into the hundreds of killings which occurred during a crime wave that began in 2002.
Relatives of the dead miners, retired Police Commission Seelall Persaud and Assistant Commission-er of Police Clifton Hicken are among those who have so far given testimony.