Golding vs Golding
The Honourable Bruce Golding has instructed the minister of justice "to seek a declaration from the courts of Jamaica ... as to whether the minister has (a) the authority and (b) the obligation to consider breaches of our laws and breaches which lead to a breach of the treaty in coming to her decision". In addition, the Government will hire non-government lawyers.
Mr PM, do not follow this path.
And assuming that the solicitor general rules in favour of the PM, what next? The issue remains, is the minister of justice following the letter or spirit of the treaty?
This extradition treaty is an international cooperation in law enforcement between Jamaica and the USA. This treaty replaced the one between USA and UK of 1931 and was signed by the Jamaica Labour Party government of the 1980s. Articles 3 and 6 state mandatory grounds under which extradition should be refused; when it is sought on the basis of race, political opinions, religious beliefs and nationality. Then there are discretionary reasons such as military offence and the death penalty. In addition, if the request is denied based on nationality then the person should be prosecuted in the state denying the request. In the treaty there is also a possibility of provisional arrest. Article 20 provides for the termination of the treaty upon six months' written notice by either side. So there is a way of escape for the Golding administration.
What are the required documents from USA for an extradition? The USA ought to provide the identity of the person and possible time and location of the offence and what law has been broken.
There are two additional issues concerning the admissibility of wiretaps. Since the wiretaps were obtained by a court order, why are the police not using that information/evidence in our courts? It is alleged that John Doe illegally provided legally obtained evidence to the USA and Jamaica wants him to be extradited so he can be brought before our courts.
In the Trafigura scandal, confidential information was illegally passed on to Mr Golding and the person who did that was seen as a heroine. Why is Doe not a hero? The constable must face the court for his actions and let the court decide also on the extradition request. Mr Golding, you cannot eat your cake and have it.
Devon Dick is pastor of Boulevard Baptist Church and author of 'The Cross and the Machete: Native Baptists of Jamaica - Identity, Ministry and Legacy'. Feedback may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.