Tue | Dec 5, 2023

US should 'wheel and come again'

Published:Saturday | March 6, 2010 | 12:00 AM

The Editor,

With reference to the issues concerning the extradition of Christopher Coke, I notice by the comments that a majority have already tried the case through anger, bias, sentiments and fear. However, I join the few who bemoan what this case has become.

The International Narcotics Control Strategy Report has removed the case from the Attorney General's Departments of the USA and Jamaica to the streets for judgement, to the bewilderment of our own AG. And it would seem to me that the resultant local sentiments were the anticipated and desired outcome of the report, notwithstanding the opinions of the learned lawyers like Rowe (USA), etc.

Against the popular position

Respectfully, I beg to disagree with the popular position that this case should simply be handed to the courts and that the PM has taken on the role of defence lawyer and judge for Coke. As lawmakers, it is the Government's responsibility, where appropriate, to explain and defend the laws of Jamaica from Parliament, especially in this case, where the Americans have taken the case to the streets in violation of the agreed process. In addition, we should assume that the PM spoke under the advice of our attorney general - herself a well-learned attorney-at-law.

Second, as Jamaicans, most of us would like to see the end of this case and the dismantling of at least this garrison. But this is not the wild west. If we succumb to vigilante justice - 'sign the paper and ship him out', we will sink to the level of the vigilantes, prosecuting without a fair trial. (I trust that the Rev Dr Devon Dick will notice that this was how Jesus was railroaded.) We must demonstrate that we dwell above the fray.

Finally, this (Dudus) case is not supposed to be politicised and sentimentalised as some of us are doing. If the primary evidence in the case is illegal wiretaps, then it is neither legal in the USA nor in Jamaica. As such, it is inadmissible in court and cannot be presented as the case. So before the USA submitted for this extradition, they should have used the information obtained from the wiretap to entrap Mr Coke, rather than present the illegally obtained information as their case. This is the learned position of the chief lawmakers in this land. It should be the position of Eric H. Holder Jr, AG of the USA, also. Even the USA can be incorrect. As they say in Jamaica and without prejudice, the USA should 'wheel and come again'.

I am etc.,