May 23) marks the eighth anniversary of the security forces operations in West Kingston and the Government is reporting that 418 people who were affected by the actions of the police and military have now received compensation.
Justice Minister Delroy Chuck, who gave an update during his contribution to the Sectoral Debate in the House of Representatives on Tuesday, said “the Ministry paid out $55.84 million to victims directly and transferred $134 million to the Administrator General’s Department to compensate the estates of deceased persons.”
The security forces operation, which was undertaken to capture then fugitive Christopher “Dudus” Coke, resulted in the death of 73 civilians and a soldier, while other persons were detained and properties damaged as well as destroyed.
Financial compensation for persons wronged by the State was one of the recommendations of the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry.
Meanwhile, the Justice Minister lamented that the Government is still forking out hundreds of millions of dollars annually due to negligence and misconduct by public servants.
“Imagine, Mr. Speaker, just how many more courts, schools, hospitals, roads, etc. that could be fixed with $500 million to over $1 billion that we pay out annually for misconduct and unprofessional behaviour behaviour of some of our public servants… They must do better,” Mr. Chuck declared.