Justice Trotman upbraids media over inaccurate reporting

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Two media entities were upbraided on Thursday by Justice Donald Trotman, Commissioner of the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) into the June 2008 Lindo Creek massacre for “false and inaccurate” reporting on the testimony of former Commissioner of Police, Seelall Persaud on March 13.

Justice Trotman alluded to the reports titled “Fineman’s gang was responsible for the Lindo Creek Massacre” and “Top Cop denies Police involvement in killings” on the Inews website and in the Guyana Times newspaper, respectively.

He demanded a correction be published “as early as possible,” as he pointed out that the Commission has the status and powers of a High Court and therefore it can exercise punitive action.

Prior to the start of Thursday’s session, Justice Trotman noted that inaccurate reporting counters the objective of the Commission which is seeking the truth.

“This commission has among its main purposes, to find the truth of what happened and the pursuit of that objective will not be helped by lies… If the reporters who are responsible do not consider themselves honourable members of an honorable profession, then I am sorry to say, they will have no place in the development of the press and freedom which is fundamental to that institution,” Justice Trotman said.

He urged journalists to take stock of their professional integrity and remind themselves that they belong to an honourable profession, “regardless who tells them to do otherwise.”

The Commissioner said if an apology and correction is not published, he will see can be done in accordance with the powers of the commission.

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