By Sue-Ann Wayow
PRIME Minister Dr Keith Rowley has received the final report of the Commission of Enquiry (CoE) into the circumstances involving the deaths of the four underwater divers that occurred in February 2022.
He is promising that the report will go before the Cabinet and the appropriate steps will be taken for it to be laid in Parliament.
Dr Rowley also dismissed any assumptions that the report will be sanitised calling those assumptions “absolute nonsense.”
“There is no intention whatsoever to have anything done to the report in the context of sanitising and protecting ABC or D ,” the prime minister said on Friday at a press conference at the Diplomatic Centre in St Anns.
Dr Rowley said, “A Commission of Enquiry was allowed to sit, unimpeded, gather evidence, come to conclusions and eventually the report came and I trust that it does not matter how anxious one is, we will allow the Cabinet to receive it and as soon as the Cabinet would have received it, the Cabinet will take steps to lay it in the appropriate place as soon as possible.”
He said, “It will come to the Parliament at the earliest.”
The final report was completed almost a year since the evidential hearings of the CoE began last November and after more than $15 million spent mostly on legal fees.
The CoE was tasked with enquiring into the circumstances which led to the deaths of four divers who were conducting repairs on an underwater pipeline on February 25, 2022.
The pipeline is located at No. 36 sealine riser on the Berth 6 offshore platform at Pointe-a-Pierre and belongs to Paria Trading Fuel Company.
Christopher Boodram, Fyzal Kurban, Rishi Nagassar, Kazim Ali Jr and Yusuf Henry, employees of LMCS were conducting maintenance works when they were all sucked into the pipeline.
Boodram is the sole survivor of the incident. The bodies belonging to the other four were retrieved from the pipeline days later.
After much public demand, Government agreed to have a CoE which was eventually headed by King’s Counsel, Jerome Lynch and subsea specialist, Gregory Wilson.
Senior Counsel Ramesh Lawrence Maharaj represented the CoE while Paria’s head attorney was Gilbert Peterson, SC and LMCS was represented by Kamini Persaud-Maraj. Attorney Prakash Ramadhar also represented some of the victim’s families.