“Let the probe commission consist solely of international experts” says Nigel Hughes
Alliance For Change (AFC) chairman, Nigel Hughes says that Linden should be the location where the Commission of Inquiry that will probe the fatal shooting of three Linden protesters, should sit.
“Linden will probably…be the better location because most of the witnesses are located there,”he told Stabroek News yesterday.
The Terms of Reference (TOR) for the Commission of Inquiry was presented to the National Assembly on Thursday but when the Commission begins to probe the shooting which left three persons dead has not been made clear even as the composition and other factors are still to be decided.
APNU’s representative, Joseph Harmon who along with Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon, was tasked with drafting the terms for the inquiry into the events of July 18 that left Allan Lewis, Shemroy Bouyea, and Ron Somerset, dead and more than 20 injured, could not be contacted for comment yesterday.
In Linden, Hughes said, the commissioners would be able to visit the crime scene and get a “sense of everything that has happened.” He said that since the announcement in the National Assembly, the AFC has not heard anything more and “we are very concerned given that the 2nd of August is long gone and all we saw was a draft which was not a final draft…”
He said that the AFC continues to stick to its position that the panel consist solely of international experts in the fields of human rights law, crowd management and control, use of firearms and deadly weapons and law enforcement. “We’ve heard nothing, we’ve seen nothing of that in the draft which was presented to parliament the other night,” he said.
He noted that they have not been invited to a meeting to discuss the Commission. Hughes said that if the two parties have settled their terms of reference and they include international participation and not just one international participant and the expertise comes from the areas identified by the AFC, they will have a basis for discussion.
Last week, Harmon in seeking to clarify the apparent confusion surrounding the Thursday announcement, explained to reporters that this was a final draft and that it could later be amended to include or excise things.
He said that issues such as the duration of the life of the Commission of Inquiry and the actual composition still had to be addressed. He further said that the contribution of APNU and the AFC was by way of a draft document sent to Dr. Roger Luncheon on July 30 and was included in what was announced.
President Donald Ramotar had on July 20 set August 2 as the deadline for the TOR to be completed by Harmon and Head of the Presidential Secretariat, Dr. Roger Luncheon. Critics have said that they had more than enough time to complete this task and the final document should have already been presented.