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Jamaica to discuss extradition treaty with United States

Published:Saturday | April 2, 2011 | 4:58 PM

KINGSTON, Jamaica, CMC - Prime Minister Bruce Golding says he will be seeking a meeting with the United States to discuss the provisions of the extradition treaty between the two countries.

Golding said that the meeting would be held as soon as the Commission of Enquiry probing the circumstances surrounding the extradition of reputed drug lord, Christopher “Dudus” Coke, is completed.

The Commission ended its public hearings on Friday and is expected to submit its report to the government at a later date.

Golding said dialogue between the two countries was essential, to ensure that the rights of Jamaicans and the provisions of the Constitution were observed.

Golding, who testified at the Commission, said he believed the rights of citizens must be protected, and that all countries, including the US, must understand that his administration will be strident in the defence of the laws and Constitution of Jamaica.

“Similar to the extradition treaty that they (US) have with Ireland, which says that all of what is done under this treaty is subject to the laws of Ireland, we have to make sure that the same protection is provided for the citizens of Jamaica,” he said.

Golding said that he believed there were striking similarities between Coke’s extradition request and the 1989 case of Richard “Storyteller” Morrison,

Morrison, a close associate of Coke’s father, Lester Lloyd Coke, was extradited to South Florida, where he was accused of being a leader of the Shower Posse, while he was seeking leave to appeal the extradition orders at the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council in Britain.

He was eventually tried on charges separate from those for which his extradition was requested.

“There are so many similarities between that case and this case. For example the request for the extradition of Richard “Storyteller” Morrison was received by diplomatic note on the 31st of October 1989. The authority to proceed was not signed until 12th of July 1990, nine months after the request was received,” Golding said.

The extradition request for Coke was received by diplomatic note in August 2009, however the authority to proceed was not signed until May the following year.