Lindo Creek CoI…before being allowed to testifyThe Lindo Creek Commission of Inquiry (CoI) remains undaunted, even though it has failed to attract witnesses to its hearings. It has issued another notice calling for witnesses to the inquiry, provided they first submit whatever documents and testimony they intend to make public.Retired Justice Donald TrotmanAccording to the Commission in a statement on Monday, the next hearing would be held on March 1. Persons desirous of appearing as witnesses have to submit statements of their intended testimony to the commission before the hearing. They also have to submit any letter or memorandum they may wish to enter.Regarding subsequent hearings, the commission announced that it “will be accepting original and follow-up statements from interested parties during the life of the Commission, and will be setting subsequent hearings to facilitate the attendance of witnesses.”The commission will be holding its hearings at the Ministry of the Presidency’s COI Secretariat, Department of Public Service, on Waterloo Street. The CoI will be administered by retired Justice Donald Trotman, father of Natural Resources Minister Raphael Trotman.Lack of willingness on the part of witness to come forward had been blamed for the delay in the commencement of public hearings of this Commission of Inquiry into the Lindo Creek massacre.The initial public hearing was postponed when Commissioner Trotman, reported that there were some internal prerequisites and logistical issues that caused the postponement, and he did not announce a recommencement date.However, a press release from the Commission had related that the next date for public hearings would be Monday, February 19. When reporters turned up at the Ministry of the Presidency’s Department of Citizenship’s Waterloo Street, Georgetown Office, they were informed that all public hearings had been “postponed until further notice.”When asked why, the Commission’s Public Relations Department related that the initial reason remains valid.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.The CoI, established two weeks ago, will inquire into the circumstances surrounding the killings of eight miners, and would submit its findings and recommendations to President David Granger.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.The Lindo Creek massacre, which has been dubbed a “kangaroo commission”, is being headed by Justice Trotman, 80, the lone commissioner selected for the job.President Granger has described Lindo Creek as a “massacre of the innocent”, saying that his Government believes the way the investigation was handled indicated that there was a high level of collusion. He had also rejected suggestions to extend the CoI’s focus to several years before 2008, when other major criminal activities had plagued the country.The People’s Progressive Party/Civic (PPP/C) has expressed skepticism about participating in this CoI and supporting the work of the Commission, as the Party believes that given the manner in which the CoI was constituted, and the commentary from senior Government officials, it is designed to achieve a political outcome and continue the Government’s programme of witch-hunting Opposition personalities.