JIS News

Story Highlights

  • The Government is standing by its decision to appoint Velma Hylton, a senior and experienced Queens Counsel (QC), to serve as a Commissioner on the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry.
  • Since the announcement of the Commissioners, the Opposition has sought to question the inclusion of Ms. Hylton.
  • The Government in February appointed a Commission of Enquiry into the events which took place in Western Kingston.

Attorney General Patrick Atkinson, says the Government is standing by its decision to appoint Velma Hylton, a senior and experienced Queens Counsel (QC), to serve as a Commissioner on the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry.

“We don’t accept there was any bad choice. We think we made three excellent choices of Commissioners and I stand by that,” Mr. Atkinson said.

The Attorney General was speaking during the sitting of the House of Representatives on Tuesday, March 4, on the Tivoli Commission of Enquiry.

Since the announcement of the Commissioners, the Opposition has sought to question the inclusion of Ms. Hylton. Member of Parliament for West Kingston Desmond McKenzie, raised concerns about comments made by Ms. Hylton during the Commission of Enquiry into Police activity in Tivoli Gardens in 2002.

Mr. Atkinson commented that “if there was the slightest hint of anything that would render Ms. Hylton inappropriate for this Commission of Enquiry, she would not have been recommended to the Governor General.”

“It is important to add that Ms Hylton is one of three Commissioners each distinguished in their own right and we take notice of the fact that one of the most significant features of a Commissioner of Enquiry is that the public will have an opportunity to see and hear the witnesses as they testify and observe them as they are cross examined,” he added.

The Government in February appointed a Commission of Enquiry into the events which took place in Western Kingston. This after Cabinet accepted the Public Defender Earl Witter recommendation that there be a Commission of Enquiry into the Events in Western Kingston of May 2010.

The Commissioners appointed by Governor General, His Excellency the Most Hon. Sir Patrick Allen to hold the Enquiry are: Chairman Sir David Simmons, QC; Hon. Mrs. Justice Hazel Harris; and Ms. Velma Hylton, QC.