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Tivoli Enquiry: 'Predictably' the BSI found no evidence of wrongdoing – Williams

Published:Thursday | February 18, 2016 | 1:26 PMLivern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

The attorney for several residents of Tivoli Gardens has asserted that police investigators had no intention of conducting any serious probe into reports that some of their colleagues engaged in extra-judicial killings and human rights abuses during the May 2010 operations.

Michael Williams, attorney for the Tivoli Committee, told the west Kingston commission of enquiry this morning that it would not be unreasonable for them to find that the Jamaica Constabulary Force's (JCF) Bureau of Special Investigations (BSI) was only spurred into action after then Public Defender Earl Witter issued a press release that may have embarrassed the unit.

The three-member tribunal chaired by former Barbados Chief Justice Sir has heard evidence that Witter wrote to then Police Commissioner Owen Ellington and issued a statement to the media raising concerns that several locations where extra-judicial killings were alleged to have taken place were not being treated as crime scenes.

Former head of the BSI, Assistant Commissioner Granville Gause also acknowledged, during his testimony before the commission, that investigators from the BSI never entered the west Kingston community until 11 days after the operation began on May 24, 2010.

Williams, in his submission to the commission, said "predictably" the BSI found no evidence of wrongdoing by any of their colleagues or members of the Jamaica Defence Force (JDF).

According to Williams there was never any intention to do any serious investigations into what happened in Tivoli Gardens.

He asked the commission to find, as a fact, that respect for human rights is not sufficiently embedded in the culture of the police force.

He also suggested that Ellington be held accountable for what he said was the failure to stop the abuse of citizens by members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF) during the May 2010 operations in the west Kingston community.