Man says Coke gave permission to build on government land
Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer
A TIVOLI Gardens resident has revealed that he got "permission" from deposed strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke to build his house on government lands located in the west Kingston community.
Maurice Tomlinson, a construction worker and married father of three, told the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston that the house was erected on lands owned by the former Public Works Department.
Responding to questions from Deborah Martin, one of the attorneys for the Jamaica Constabulary Force (JCF), Tomlinson testified that he approached Coke and asked "if me can build a house ova there."
"And he gave you permission?" Martin asked.
"Yea," Tomlinson replied.
"And you understand that this was government lands that Mr Coke gave you permission to live on?" Martin continued.
"Get to the point nuh," a clearly annoyed Tomlinson responded before acknowledging that he understood.
However, the Tivoli Gardens resident said he did not interpret Coke's permission to mean that no one could remove him from the property, pointing out that three years ago he was contacted by the Jamaica Railway Corporation about the lands.
"It was a letter showing that it is the Railway Corporation lands and they will soon be ready for the lands," Tomlinson testified.
The commission ended it's first week of hearings yesterday with witnesses number and ten and eleven giving evidence in-camera.