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Prime Minister Bruce Golding says that any commission of inquiry to find out the cause of the deaths of some 73 persons last May in Tivoli Gardens would need to be informed by the findings of the Public Defender. The Public Defender has indicated that his report will not be ready before September, Mr. Golding said.

Mr. Golding was responding to questions from Member of Parliament for Central Kingston, Rev Ronald Thwaites, in Parliament on February 22.

Mr. Golding said, "The government will await the report of the Public Defender into the matter referred to before deciding as to whether a commission of inquiry should be established. The Public Defender has been conducting very intensive investigations that are not yet completed. He has insisted on ballistic investigations, ballistic tests being done. We have certainly facilitated his efforts to do the investigations as he sees fit, including providing resources in the supplementary estimates and facilitating bilateral assistance for him to do that. The Public Defender himself said, in a statement that he made on the 18th of January, that he would not be in a position to assist a commission of inquiry before September of this year."

Mr. Golding went on to remind the House that an inquiry is set up by the Governor General on advice from Cabinet and was not his decision.

 

Issued by: The Office of the Prime Minister