Lindo Creek CoIGuyana Defence Force (GDF) Lieutenant Colonel Fitzroy Ward testified that the Joint Services team tasked with capturing Rondell “Fine Man” Rawlins in 2008 received information about the June 2008 Lindo Creek Massacre some six days before the crime scene team visited the site.GDF Lieutenant Colonel Fitzroy WardWard, who was at the time in charge of the Joint Services Taskforce stationed at Kwakwani, took to the stand before the Commission of Inquiry (CoI) into the Lindo Creek killings and testified that following the capturing of gang member Dwane Williams on June 16, 2008, information on the killings was related.Ward said a statement was taken from Williams at the Ituni Police Station in the presence of ranks, whose names he cannot remember.The retired rank testified that following the provision of that information, some time later, he visited the Lindo Creek area where he was exposed to the first mining camp, but did not seek any evidence to corroborate the story as told by Williams. He said because of time constraints, the team could not venture further up to the crime scene. He further related that the information was passed onto the Joint Services Coordinating Council on June 19, and a team of Police investigators would have made the discovery between June 21 and June 22, 2008.He added that Williams would have given a detailed account of how the men were murdered. He recalled specifically that Williams had told him that “Fine Man” took a hammer and hit one of the miners in the head; one of the skulls recovered had a “hole” that was consistent with that injury.Ward told the Commission that when the investigative team came out of Lindo Creek, they brought the remains of the eight miners wrapped in a blue tarpaulin stuffed into a “blue drum”. It was when they took out the remains Ward was able to corroborate Williams’ statement. The Lieutenant Colonel said while being in charge of the operation he would have also been taking photos for the Army and presented a number of those to the CoI. When pressed, he said he never took any photos of the remains nor of the impact site at Goat Farm, where two accomplices of “Fine Man” were killed during a shootout with the Joint Services ranks.However, Detective Sergeant Rodwell Sarrabo testified that on June 16, he took Williams into custody at Criminal Investigation Department (CID) Headquarters, Eve Leary where he was interviewed in relation to the Lusignan and Bartica Massacres. He told the CoI that Williams never made mention of the Lindo Creek killings until July 4, 2008 after he was charged with murder.Those charges have since been dropped and Williams is in protective custody since he is the State’s key witness in a number of cases against his former gang mates.Williams was 15 at the time of the incident, which means he was a minor and the Police took his statement and questioned him in the absence of his parent or legal guardian. When asked about this, Sarrabo said that he waived the right to have his parent/guardian present and the Police accepted that and went about doing their work.Sarrabo will continue his testimony today when the public hearings conclude.Some time 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 dead and their bodies burnt at the Upper Berbice River mining camp, which was being operated by Leonard Arokium.
"Investigative team visited site 6 days after report made – Ward"