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Tivoli Enquiry: Golding grilled on extradition request for 'Coke'

Published:Wednesday | February 11, 2015 | 11:22 AM
Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding at the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry. - Norman Grindley photos

Livern Barrett, Gleaner Writer

KINGSTON, Jamaica:

Former Prime Minister Bruce Golding says the question of whether the 2009 extradition request for then fugitive Christopher 'Dudus' Coke would cause unrest and pose a threat to public order was not a consideration for him at the time.

He was testifying before the West Kingston Commission of Enquiry about information passed to him in August 2009 by then Police Commission Owen Ellington, and then army chief Major General Hardley Lewin that an extradition request for Coke would arrive in Jamaica the following day.

"Bear in mind that no request had come and bear in mind that this was not the first time we were, using your words, getting a tip-off of an extradition request [for Coke]," Golding sought to explain during cross examination by attorney-at-law Linton Gordon, who is representing the Jamaica Defence Force.

He testified that in October 2007 the government was also informed that a request for Coke's extradition was coming from the United States, but said it never came.

"Lewin and Ellington gave me information and I expected it to go it's normal course," Golding said.

Gordon, however, questioned the former prime minister about whether there should have been contingency plans in place "given the person involved."

"Such a plan would be within the responsibilities of the JCF … . That would not be part of the responsibility of the prime minister", Golding responded.

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