Camp Street prison like ‘a war zone’ – says CoI Chairman after post-riot visit

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By Kristen Macklingam

The Commission of Inquiry (CoI) that has been established to look into the deadly riots which took place at the Camp Street Prison last week will begin receiving evidence tomorrow.

From left, Retired Prison Chief Dale Erskine; Justice James Patterson; and Human Rights activist Merle Mendonca
From left, Former Prisons Chief Dale Erskine; Justice (rtd) James Patterson; and Human Rights activist Merle Mendonca at a news conference today

INews was told that among the first persons who will testify as to what transpired during the deadly fiasco at the lockups are five prisoners.

These inmates are expected to offer evidence which will assist the three Commissioners in executing their duties.

During a press briefing this morning the Chairman of the Commission, retired Justice James Patterson stated that  he, along with the other two Commissioners, visited the Camp Street jail house yesterday and it appeared to be like a “war zone”.

He explained that they left the penitentiary sometime around 19:00hrs on Tuesday and were very surprised by what they saw while they were visiting there.

“What I saw seemed like a war zone that they are now getting back together. I saw two contending factions. One may be described by some as the retread off the earth and another, as the oppressors…we met prison officers who I don’t think had sleep for three days”, Patterson said.

The CoI Chairman acknowledged that while the Commission is open to everyone who may wish to offer any evidence that would help its work unfortunately not everyone can appear before the Commission.

According to him, the staff of the Commission will decide upon who will appear before the Commission based on the evidence that the person may be offering.

Meanwhile, these hearings are to be open to the public and the media. However, should there be cases where witnesses prefer to testify in-camera, provisions will be made to have them accommodated.

He added that the Commission will also allow video evidence as it continues its work and will most likely return to the Camp Street lockups for another visit as the hearings continue.

2 COMMENTS

  1. The Camp Street Prisoners have now become the Living Worms residing in the Belly of the APNU/AFC Regime who has recreated them. They will be a Living Hell for this Regime who will do anything to keep them Tame as Lambs if not they can become deadly Cobras hard to control.

  2. Camp Street prison like ‘a war zone’ – says CoI Chairman after post-riot visit.
    You can only say what you see after the warring criminals whom wanted freedom at all cost so they get it.
    Before seeing what you saw that very prison what you now called war zone was a vibrant business place with prisoners and prison guards as big business people.
    How you think they get those cell phones and their ganja and their matches and missiles?
    Prison guards did big business there for prisoners whom can afford to pay with currency to get their goods shipped in while others had their people paying with flesh to get in their goods.
    Its a well known fact so its a waste of taxpayers money to conduct this investigation.
    You want COI then go for the real COI with international jurists like that of Linden and Rodney COIs. Bet your life PNC dont want to hear of international COI ever again

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