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LETTER OF THE DAY - The Coke time bomb

Published:Thursday | March 4, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor,

The Christopher 'Dudus' Coke extradition issue is little more than a time bomb, slowly ticking away, held squarely in the would-be-confident hands of the current prime minister's administration. As it stands now, the whole rotten matter is at best a shameful embarrassment to the good citizens of Jamaica.

The problem is that in his refusal to sign the order for extradition, Bruce Golding's motivation inevitably comes into question. His legal and political advisers, though guiltless and innocent as they certainly must also be, are bound to be held suspect of corruption by intimidation or extortion.

True, Golding's recent refusal to sign the papers sending Mr Coke to the US to face a grand jury indictment may, on the surface seem a rational, even admirable move to protect the rights of an innocent Jamaican citizen. But through his failure to comply voluntarily, Mr Coke has allowed his own and the prime minister of his own nation's personal reputations to be tarnished by the suspicion of guilt, corruption and a continuation of injustice.

After all, it is not the US that is being labelled by international organisations as being a nation where corruption runs rampant. It is not the US that has one of the world's highest per capita murder rates, and indeed, in this sad, tragic case, when the unanswered question is not guilt or innocence, but "who is protecting whom?" then in the end, the entire nation suffers a damaging loss of face.

Holding up progress

If Mr Coke is innocent, which both nations presume he is, at least until proven otherwise, then isn't it really the system of justice and trial by jury, a system both nations devoutly believe in, and not Mr Coke or the Jamaican prime minister, that must eventually be held responsible for ensuring the conclusion of or the thwarting of these same efforts to convict him?

In other words, we can hold up the progress of law by technicalities, but when it comes to final justice, we all know that what goes around comes back around and in this case, what comes back may be far worse that what goes.

I am, etc.,