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No decision on 'Dudus'

Published:Sunday | January 3, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Undoubtedly, one of the most eagerly awaited announcements this year will be the Government's decision on the extradition request for west Kingston area leader Christopher 'Dudus' Coke

For months the Government has dawdled on the request but the time of reckoning is drawing near.

Miami-based Jamaican attorney, David P. Rowe, says the relationship between Jamaica and the United States (US) will erode if the Bruce Golding Government does not agree to the extradition.

"There is an impression here that Jamaica is not serious about this issue," Rowe told The Sunday Gleaner.

"The Government is bringing the people of Jamaica into disrepute by deliberately violating the extradition treaty between the countries," he argued.

US law-enforcement agencies claim that Coke is leader of the infamous Shower Posse which was founded in the mid-1970s.

The gang has strong ties to west Kingston and was linked to more than 1,400 murders in the US.

most dangerous

Last year, Coke was named by the US Department of Justice among its 'Consolidated Priority Organisation Targets' which, it said, included the world's most dangerous smugglers of narcotics.

Last month, Golding told Parliament that he would not comment on specifics of the Coke case based on an agreement with the US government.

Justice Minister Dorothy Lightbourne also claimed that the Government would not yield to pressure from the opposition People's National Party and extradite a Jamaican citizen without weighing all legal options.

The Government claimed that it had written to US officials requesting more "solid information" to support the allegations before the extradition request could be signed.

Rowe, who represented another alleged leader of the Shower Posse, Vivian Blake, in his extradition case 12 years ago, claimed the Golding administration's stance is unique.

"There has never been a situation where documents have been submitted and the arrest was not made," he claimed.

"There have been cases where the documents have taken a long time to go through the Jamaican court system, but in this case there has not even been an arrest."

Rowe is a lecturer at the University of Miami's School of Law. He has practised law in the US for almost 30 years.