- Persons and relatives of victims who suffered loss, personal injury or damage to property as a result of the West Kingston military/police operation in May 2010 are still able to submit claims for compensation.
- The claims are to be submitted to the Ministry of Justice offices located at 61 Constant Spring Road within one month.
- The Compensation Committee commenced its meeting today (November 1).
Persons and relatives of victims who suffered loss, personal injury or damage to property as a result of the West Kingston military/police operation in May 2010 are still able to submit claims for compensation.
The claims are to be submitted to the Ministry of Justice offices located at 61 Constant Spring Road within one month.
Speaking at a press briefing today (November 1) at the Ministry of Justice, Chair of the Compensation Committee, Retired President of the Court of Appeal, Hon. Justice Seymour Panton, said the claims, which are to be supported with evidence, will be evaluated by the three-member committee.
“The Government has asked us to consider claims by persons who have not filed any suits, not made any claims within the time limitation and if there is basis for recommending compensation, they would accept the recommendation and make ex gratia payments,” he said.
He pointed out that supporting advertisements will be broadcast to the general public regarding the submission of claims.
“First and foremost, we are not conducting any trial. At this stage, what we are going to be doing is to invite people who have been affected, to supplement what they have given, so that we may see fully what their losses are. There won’t be any question of being torn down by anyone. You have evidence, you produce it, orally as well as in writing,” Mr. Panton advised.
He said the process is slated to be completed within nine months, and that the release of money thereafter rests solely with the Government. “We would definitely, having made our recommendations, expect the Government to execute our recommendations quickly,” he added.
The establishment of the Committee is one of the recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry Report.
He said while the Committee will be looking at the evidence given at the Commission of Enquiry, there will be no rehashing of matters accepted by the Commission.
“It has to be clearly understood that we are a Committee, not a court, not a Commission of Enquiry, so we will not be guided by any strict rule of procedure. However, our recommendations for compensation must take due note of the law of the land. Our work will not be done under the glare of cameras nor will the general public have access to our deliberations. Our work involves the affected parties, their legal representatives and relevant witnesses,” he informed.
Mr. Panton explained that where the interests of children are involved, the appropriate State agency will be invited to assist with the process, adding that the Solicitor General, the Administrator General, the Public Defender, among others, have been invited.
He said the sums of money previously paid by the Government through the Ministry of Labour and Social Security to affected persons were not compensation, but rather compassionate grants.
Other members of the Committee are: Ministers of Religion, the Rev. Rennard White and Rev. Herro Blair Jr. Ms. Carlene Larmond, an attorney experienced in litigation, will serve as Legal Advisor to the Committee.
The Committee commenced its meeting today (November 1).
The mandate of the Committee is to investigate and determine claims for compensation, loss and damage to properties and to determine the compensation payable to injured persons and to the personal representatives of deceased persons in respect to the events of May 2010.