Government Pathologist Dr Nehaul Singh today (Thursday) testified at the ongoing Lindo Creek Commission of Inquiry (COI) that he never conducted post mortem examinations on the eight (8) miners who were killed.
Sometime between June 12, 2008 and June 24, 2008, miners Cecil Arokium, Dax Arokium, Compton Speirs, Horace Drakes, Clifton Wong, Lancelot Lee, Bonny Harry and Nigel Torres were shot and killed, and their bodies burnt at the Upper Berbice River mining camp, which was being operated by Leonard Arokium.
Sigh told the CoI that after initial attempts to reach the scene of the crime failed, he recalled being at home watching the news when he saw that the police were able to bring out the bones of the miners to the City.
The veteran doctor said however, that he was never contacted to do an independent autopsy on the bones. He noted further that he became aware by then Police Commissioner Henry Greene that an Indian National from Jamaica was hired to conduct the examinations and as such, he did not participate.
The Government pathologist also told the CoI that he did not see the report done by the other pathologist from Jamaica.
Moreover, he posited that the police should have placed the recovered bones in eight separate bags. “You got to be careful how you removing these things. The problem is that you need to get it separated as much as possible. You just can’t go and scoop them up and put them in a bag and bring them” Singh said while outlining that if he was present at the crime scene he would have ensured that the bones were separated since it would have provided a better opportunity for examination.
Singh also said that it would be “very difficult” after 10 years to make any findings now, even if the bones were exhumed.
Chairman of the CoI Justice (ret’d) Donald Trotman, told this media group in an prior interview that the 10-year time lapse is proving to be a disadvantage as the Commission does its work.
Trotman had explained that because of the time that elapsed, the DNA evidence that would have been important in giving the Commission more valuable information and leads have been disposed of.
However, he noted that although the majority of the DNA evidence has been disposed of, the Commission has been furnished with the remaining which it intends to use “very importantly and valuably” to further its work.
The Lindo Creek CoI is the first of what the coalition Government has said would be a series of inquiries into the hundreds of killings, which occurred during a crime wave that began in 2002.