Jury ordered by judge to deliver not guilty verdict against soldiers

No Comments

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) has decided not to prosecute the soldiers and policemen implicated in the 2008 shooting death of five men in Tivoli Gardens.

The two soldiers were charged with murder on Tuesday after the Coroner ordered that warrants be served on them.

However, when the case came up before the Home Circuit Court on Thursday, DPP Paula Llewellyn announced that she was not proceeding with the case.

The Director explained that she did not have the evidence to challenge the men's claims that they were acting in self defence when they killed the five alleged gunmen.

A Coroner's jury recommended last month that charges be laid against members of the security forces involving in the shooting.

However, Ms Llewellyn said it would be impossible to bring a case against the men based on the evidence before her.

She added that there were no independent or civilian witnesses to the shooting.

Ms Llewellyn further argued that the forensic evidence backed up the claim of the security forces.

After hearing the Director, the jury was instructed by the presiding judge to return a verdict of not guilty.

Members of the security forces raided Tivoli Gardens in 2008 in search of the leader of the Stone Crusher Gang.

This led to a shoot out in a house in the community.

Five men were killed and five guns seized.

A soldier and a policeman were shot and injured in the incident.