FORMER PRIME Minister Bruce Golding said he felt betrayed by Tivoli Gardens gangster Christopher 'Dudus' Coke.
Golding, in an interview published in American newspaper, The New Yorker, said that as the member of parliament for West Kingston, it was difficult to manage the relationship with Coke.
"In December of 2007, I received information that there were persons the police were seeking ... who were hiding in West Kingston ... . Now, Coke had sufficient influence that these persons were not likely to be in Tivoli Gardens without his knowledge.
"And, I sent an emissary to him with very clear words that if these persons are being harboured in the community, it would put the entire community at risk, because, if the security forces were to enter the community in search of these persons, there is the possibility of confrontation and there is the possibility of innocent people being killed.
"The message I got back from him was, 'No, there is no such person being harboured in West Kingston.' The police conducted an operation sometime afterward, and in that operation, I think, some of the persons were found, some of the persons were seen, some of them escaped.
"I felt betrayed, because I was seeking to protect the residents, and it seemed to me that he was seeking to protect these criminals who came from outside. And because of that ... I basically cut him off, I basically said, 'I will have nothing to do with him and his operation, because, if I cannot secure compliance on a simple matter that is intended to protect the citizens of the community, then I would have nothing to do with him.'