The Commission of Enquiry into the Paria diving tragedy came to an abrupt halt on Thursday morning when it was revealed that witnesses waiting to testify were watching their colleague give evidence live.
The revelation came while attorney for Paria Fuel Trading Company Limited, Gilbert Peterson SC, was cross-examining LMCS’s supervisor Dexter Guerra.
Peterson abruptly stopped his questions to inform the Commission’s chairman, King’s Counsel Jerome Lynch, he had learnt that the three LMCS employees who were waiting in a separate room to give evidence were watching the live stream of Guerra’s testimony.
On the first day of the Enquiry, Lynch told all the attorneys present that no witness was to look at the proceedings before giving their evidence.
After he had been told his instructions were being ignored, Lynch halted the proceedings.
When the Commission resumed its sitting several minutes later, Lynch was incensed, berating the witnesses who had violated the order.
He said their cell phones had been taken away and all three were separated.
Lynch said he viewed their actions as contempt and while he has significant authority to sanction them for that contempt as chairman, he would not take action at this point, intimating that a repeat of such action would lead to consequences.
However, he questioned whether he was dealing with children as he said the integrity of the Enquiry must be preserved.