Former top government officials have refused to be interviewed by a Commission of Inquiry (COI) which is investigating the circumstances surrounding the massacre of eight men at a mining camp at Lindo Creek a decade ago.
The Commissioner, Justice Donald Trotman is urging the officials to reconsider its position as the COI is in the process of compiling its report which will be submitted to President David Granger to take the necessary actions.
Former President Bharrat Jagdeo, former Prime Minister Samuel Hinds and former Home Affairs Minister Clement Rohee have all declined written requests to be interviewed.
The three officials were part of the government of the day when the atrocious crime occurred sometime in June 2008.
“They responded with certain, I would say reservations and we hope that those reservations would be removed after they would have had some time to reconsider and let us have the benefit of their views and opinions,” Justice Trotman told reporters at a memorial service held in honour of the miners at the Brickdam Cathedral Wednesday afternoon.
Jagdeo, who is now Opposition Leader, is on record criticizing the COI, claiming that it is being polticised since the Commissioner is the father of Natural Resources Minister, Raphael Trotman.
Tomorrow, June 21, will mark ten years since the discovery of the death of the eight miners: Compton Speirs, Horace Drakes, Nigel Torres, Bonny Harry, Clifton Wong, Lancelot Lee, Dax Arokium, and Cedric Arokium.
The public hearings of the COI have ended and the team was hoping to conduct some private interviews with key officials before it compiles its report.
But Justice Trotman said some of those persons of interest are either unavailable or are being “recalcitrant”.
But even at this stage, where the report is expected to be submitted to President David Granger in three weeks, Justice Trotman said the COI will continue to make efforts to interview those individuals, including Jagdeo, Hinds and Rohee.
The report is expected to document the circumstances surrounding the death of the eight men who had travelled for miles to a mining camp in the middle of the jungle to earn an honest dollar for their families back home.
One night in the month of June, they were ambushed by gunmen and murdered. Their bodies were then stacked upon each other like logs and they were set ablaze.
There are two theories as to who is responsible for the men’s death: the notorious Fineman Gang who was in the area or Joint Services ranks who were in hot pursuit of the criminals.
Family members never received closure and at the memorial service, their wounds easily reopened.
The COI report is expected to recommend actions which the government can take to bring closure to the grieving relatives and to ensure justice is served.
Justice Trotman expressed hope that the findings and conclusions will be “reasonable, fair and acceptable” to all concerned individuals.