Linden killings…Commission members to be sworn in today
- Police will provide whatever evidence we have – Brumell
Commissioner of Police (ag), Leroy Brumell, says that the Guyana Police Force stands ready to make information and other materials in their possession available to the Commission of Inquiry into the July 18th Linden killings.
This would come even as government announced yesterday that it will be swearing in the members of the commission today. A number of them are from overseas.
According to Brumell, the police had already committed to giving the necessary assistance to the Commission.
Responding to a question of written statements from eyewitnesses on that fateful day, Brumell did not immediately confirm if the force were in possession of any such statements.
“I’m not sure what will be on the agenda for the persons coming in tomorrow but I was told the persons will be coming here to merely set their terms of reference and then take it from there but we are prepared to offer whatever assistance we can,” Brumell said.
Meanwhile, Chairman of the Alliance For Change (AFC), Attorney-at-Law, Nigel Hughes, has also indicated that his party also stands ready to offer whatever assistance the team needs.
In an invited comment yesterday, Hughes said that all evidence which his party was able to gather will be handed over to the team when the time is right.
Two distinguished Jamaican judges, together with a law professor of Trinidad were nominated by the Caribbean Community (CARICOM). Those to sit on the Commission are Justice Lensley Wolfe O.J., Mr. K.D. Knight S.C and Ms. Dana Seetahal S.C along with locals, former Court of Appeal Judge, Claudette Singh, and former Chancellor and current Chairman of the Police Complaints Authority Cecil Kennard.
In August, the Government and the Opposition came to an agreement on a foreign component being added to the Commission of Inquiry into the Linden protest killing.
Just over a month ago, 24-year-old Shemroy Bouyea, 46-year-old Allan Lewis, and 17-year-old Ron Somerset were killed on the first day of a planned-five day protest by Lindeners.
The deaths stretched the protest for a month, as Lindeners pressed for a full investigation and opposition parties called for an international inquiry.
On August 21st last Government and the Opposition finally signed the agreement paving the way for the beginning of a Commission of Inquiry into the unrest at Linden which claimed three lives and resulted in several being injured. The signing also saw the mining town returning to normalcy.
But the signing only occurred after Government agreed to remove the contentious aspect of the Terms of Reference (TOR) which called for an investigation into whether any political forces were involved in promoting the protest.
The protests were triggered by announcement that it was raising the electricity rates in Linden, a bauxite mining community in Region 10.
Linden, a gateway to the country’s mining, logging and Amerindian communities, had long been enjoying heavily subsidized rates, following the closure of the bauxite plant, the main employer, and loss of jobs.