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Letter: Jamaican government cannot come clean about Ellington because of its complicity
Published on July 8, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

Dear Sir:

If it is true that our "international partners" have evidence against Owen Ellington that required revoking his visa and forcing him into early retirement, then obviously the charges must be quite serious and compelling. See Gleaner "External pressure -- Int'l partners keep close watch on 'death squad' probe; US assistance to JCF under review"

It therefore stands to reason that these serious allegations must also involve violation of Jamaican laws as well and would under normal circumstances, warrant an immediate criminal probe of Ellington by Jamaican authorities. But once again, who are these Jamaican authorities to launch such a criminal probe: the police? The Cabinet? The prime minister? Peter Bunting? The DPP? INDECOM? Complicity is the name of the game.

If INDECOM, for example, is investigating Ellington, as it has neither confirmed nor denied, then it is incumbent on them to say so. Owen Ellington is not an ordinary policeman. He was the head of the JCF and must be held to a higher standard of accountability. The standard used by international partners should be no less the standard used by the Jamaican state.

If for some reason INDECOM believes that it is under constraint to be direct with the people then the government is under no such constraint.

To withhold information from the public and to do nothing is to be complicit with whatever crimes Ellington may have committed. If it were not complicit, then the government would be duty bound to comprehensively and truthfully inform the public and to ensure that the relevant arms of the state vigorously investigate Ellington based on the information provided by "international partners".

Government approach so far indicates that it is complicit, and is defending Ellington as best it can. Otherwise, Ellington's four million a year retirement would have been blocked, he would have been suspended, and an investigation launched. Or, the evidence provided by international partners, accepted at face value.

By having stuck with Ellington, this PNP government strengthens the argument that it, like previous governments, orange and green, gives the police and the army the right to commit extrajudicial killings with the full assurance of impunity.

We focus on extrajudicial killings because Ellington himself has opened the door to that discussion by pointing to the Tivoli Gardens massacre and the INDECOM death squad investigation as the reasons why he is leaving. He is inviting an investigation of these matters free from his possible influence and interference. A little too late perhaps.

Peter Bunting

As the Tivoli Committee has previously stated, Peter Bunting has lost the moral authority to continue being the minister of national security because serious crimes committed by Ellington could not have happened without his knowledge, or his duty to know.

He has protected and succoured Ellington from the very beginning, just as he has done with Major General Stewart Saunders, former head of the JDF, a person of major interest in the Tivoli Gardens massacre. Bunting must go!

INDECOM at this time has a special responsibility to the people of this country and cannot continue with its narrow-minded, legalistic approach to extrajudicial killings.

A public enquiry into the decades-old Jamaican state policy of impunity for police extrajudicial killings must be held. INDECOM has the power to hold such a public enquiry. The policy has to be unbared publicly in order for a new policy and a new culture to emerge.

INDECOM is foolish to believe that it can get past the DPP with any death squad investigation because that body is an extension of the JCF, not the other way around. See -- "Death squad holes -- DPP to reassess Clarendon murder cases"; "DPP won't press Canada for ex-cop's extradition".

We therefore call upon INDECOM, once again, to hold a public enquiry into the state policy extrajudicial killings.

If INDECOM fails the country, it leaves the public with no other choice but to conclude that INDECOM itself is part of the circle of impunity.

It leaves the public with no choice but to label high state officials as complicit with murder and terrorism. The logic of this argument cannot have escaped our international partners.

Lloyd D'Aguilar
Tivoli Committee
 
Reads: 1430





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