Prime Minister (PM) denies crime links to 'Dudus'
Mark Beckford, Staff Reporter
Prime Minister Bruce Golding has expressed outrage at overseas media reports which have labelled him "a known criminal affiliate of hunted drug lord" Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.
In a press release late last night, Golding "categorically denied and dismissed the story" carried by mainstream United States network ABC as extremely offensive.
The Independent, a United Kingdom newspaper, also claimed that Coke's "drug gang was on (the) payroll of (the) Jamaican prime minister".
Golding said "both publications, by seeking to link him personally with the alleged drug kingpin, were clearly part of a conspiracy to undermine the duly elected Government of Jamaica ".
Information Minister Daryl Vaz said the prime minister's lawyers would also respond to the matter.
The prime minister also said the reports had made damaging and libellous assertions, which he repudiated as scurrilous and malicious.
ABC posted the damning report on its website yesterday, and at press time, it had garnered more than 140 comments. The network said it got its information from a US government document read to them.
The story has caused some chatter on social-networking websites Facebook and Twitter, where it was shared and reproduced with alarming speed.
The report also stated that conversations between Coke and senior Jamaican officials had been electronically intercepted, according to US authorities.
The article also said that Coke, who is the subject of a major security operation to serve him an arrest warrant, had escaped despite the major offensive.
Some respondents, however, trashed the article, saying ABC was irresponsible. However other comments on the site praised the article.
The Independent article described the violence in the island and the links between political parties and criminal gangs.