Tivoli Commission of Enquiry is shedding some interesting insights into the workings of the last Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) government (2007-2011) during a controversial phase in Jamaica’s history.
Recently we have seen the likes of Bruce Golding (former prime minister), Dwight Nelson (former national security minister) and Dorothy Lightbourne (former attorney general & justice minister) take the stand. All shown live on TV.
2 of the key points that raised eyebrows were
- Bruce Golding and Dwight Nelson were not aware of an offical request for US govt military/communications assistance made days before they themselves had considered such an option. The Commission produced the letter of request which neither Golding or Nelson had seen before. Even though the letter was written by Nelson’s own (permanent) secretary.
- Dorothy Lightbourne told the Commission that as a government minister she hardly followed local news but knew everything that happened overeseas. Her excuse was that local news was “usual very disturbing”. Disturbing for someone with such sensitive portfolios.
The Enquiry makes for interesting bed fellows in the political and legal sense.
- Dwight Nelson was represented by Clive Mullings who was a former Energy Minister in the same Cabinet under Golding.
- Dorothy Lightbourne was represented by Alexander Williams. Williams is currently a senator for the JLP and until recently was the JLP spokesperson on justice. Williams also represented residents of Tivoli Gardens.
- Terrence Williams (brother of Alexander) represents INDECOM – Independent Commision of Investigations.
- Ligthbourne was cross-examined by Anthony Gifford (representing The Public Defenders Office). Gifford was Lightbourne’s pupil master when she started her legal career.
- Golding was represented by Rasford Braham who replaced Lightbourne as attorney general after Golding fired her in 2011.
- Sir David Simmons from Barbados and Chair of the Enquiry – studied law in the UK. He and Lightbourne both were at the renowned Lincoln Inn Fields. Simmons jokingly remarked that he remembered Lightbourne from the ‘swinging 60s’.
Major political enquiry. Small legal world.