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PNP not impressed - Calls Golding's statements 'hypocrisy'

Published:Thursday | April 22, 2010 | 12:00 AM

  Daraine Luton, Senior Staff Reporter

PRIME MINISTER Bruce Golding is being painted a hypocrite by the Opposition People's National Party (PNP), which has accused him of not walking the talk in the fight against crime.

One day after Golding blamed the United States (US) for not doing enough to stem the flow of guns into the island, Peter Bunting, the opposition spokesman on national security, described the prime minister's statement as "hypocrisy".

"The Government has continued to frustrate the efforts of the United States to extradite alleged gun and drug trader Christopher 'Dudus' Coke," Bunting said.

Coke has been accused by the United States of illegally trading in guns and drug trafficking. He had been indicted by a US grand jury and an extradition request had been sent to Jamaica in August for him to be sent there to answer to the charges.

Evidence obtained illegally

Golding has said Coke would not be sent to the US on the current extradition request as the evidence being relied upon by the foreign country was illegally obtained.

However, the Opposition has said the Government should allow the court to make the determination as to whether Coke should be extradited.

Yesterday, Bunting questioned whether Golding had the moral authority to speak about the challenges faced in fighting crime.

"The Government itself is putting obstacles in the way of law enforcement. Their actions are contradicting their utterances, given the high level of gun and drug-related crimes, including the murder toll of 493 Jamaicans in 110 days. This is unacceptable," Bunting said.

On Tuesday, Golding told Parliament that Jamaica was struggling to control crime because of an influx of guns, many of which come from the US.

He also told Parliament that a resolution was now before the United Nations for an international convention to restrict the illegal trafficking in small arms.

In the meantime, Bunting has called the decision by Attorney General Dorothy Lightboune, who filed a motion in court seeking a declaration of her power under the extradition act, a charade. Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller, Coke and Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica President Joseph Matalon have been listed as co-defendants.

- daraine.luton@gleanerjm.com