Jagdeo rejects Lindo Creek CoI invitation

Opposition Leader Bharrat Jagdeo yesterday publicly rejected an invitation to appear at a closed door hearing of the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the 2008 Lindo Creek killings.

Jagdeo who was President at the time of the killings has said he would appear at a public hearing as long as he is allowed to add his own speculations and rumours to those which have dominated the inquiry.

Speaking at his weekly press conference yesterday he stressed that President David Granger did not ask for his input in crafting the Terms of Reference of the commission or in selecting commissioners so they should not now ask for his input at a private hearing.

Jagdeo stressed that the “narrow inquiry was unnecessary” and argued that the entire crime spree from the February jail-break to the capture or death of the bandits should’ve been investigated including the alleged involvement of both the PPP/C and the PNCR.

“They claim we supported drug dealers let us look at that …and let us look at the role of the PNCR because we know they were involved,” he said, before claiming that the entire CoI was a charade designed to assault the soldiers and policemen who stood up in that period.

The CoI was established to inquire 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 and to report its findings and recommendations to President David Granger.

Commissioner Justice Donald Trotman told reporters on Monday that the report is expected to be completed within three weeks’ time. He also noted that attempts are still being made to solicit interviews from members of the former administration.

“In the period we have left before submission, even at this stage, we are making every effort to have some persons who have been unavailable or who have been recalcitrant to come forward so that their contribution to the report and to the conclusion will be helpful in having the commission come to the knowledge of truth,” the retired judge related.

Mentioning the former members of government, he said, “We hope that they will have a change of mind so that they will help in having satisfactory solutions and conclusions to support and that their input will be helpful and valuable.”

Justice Trotman noted that the aforementioned persons would have expressed reservations about the process, but it was hoped that with time, those reservations would have been removed and the request reconsidered so the commission could have the “benefit of their views and opinions”.

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