Sign the request
The Editor, Sir:
As the legal debate about whether or not the Jamaican government should honour the extradition request from the United States for Tivoli Gardens strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke, where is the voice of reason from the legal experts at Norman Manley Law School at the University of the West Indies (UWI), Mona? Where are the experts in Department of Government at UWI, Mona?
A public university should be free from political underpinnings. A public university is supposed to be a free marketplace of ideas, where faculty and students are free to speak the unspeakable and challenge the unchallenged. It would appear that the deafening silence is born out of fear. It is high time for UWI to rise above and be actively engaged in an international relations issue that impacts the well-being of Jamaicans at home and abroad.
The prime minister's assertion that the evidence the US acquired to prosecute Coke was illegally obtained is a moot point. The assertion is akin to ascribing the judicial process unto himself, which contradicts both constitutional tradition and common sense. As the country grapples with mounting economic uncertainty, while it petitions the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for economic relief, it is worth mentioning that the US has the majority vote on the IMF board of governors. Let us not jeopardise our relationship with our key trade ally.
If Christopher Coke is the strongman that he is reputed to be, why is he afraid to face his accusers? In the midst of the Great Depression in 1932, President Franklin D. Roosevelt said in his first inaugural address, "The only thing we have to fear is fear itself." Most Honourable Prime Minister, I implore you, for the benefit of all Jamaicans, please take heed. Do what is just and honourable and sign the extradition request.
I am, etc.,