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Simpson Miller, Matalon named as defendants in 'Dudus' case

Published:Tuesday | April 20, 2010 | 12:00 AM

Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter

West Kingston strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke and Opposition Leader Portia Simpson Miller have been named as defendants in the motion filed by the Government on the controversial handling of an extradition request from the United States for Coke.

The motion, which names Minister of Justice and Attorney General Dorothy Lightbourne as the claimant, was filed last week Thursday. Three 'presidents' are listed as defendants in the claim. They are Coke, who answers to the name 'President' or 'Prezi'; Simpson Miller, who is the president of the People's National Party; and, Joseph Mayer Matalon, president of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ). Matalon is named as a defendant on behalf of the PSOJ.

Lightbourne is asking the court to declare what she can take into account in deciding to issue the authority to proceed in extradition matters.

The hearing has been set for May 5.

Coke is named as a defendant because he is the subject of the request and so would be an interested person in the pro-ceedings. The other defendants are named because of views expressed on the issue.

The Government is contending that the United States (US) illegally obtained wiretap evidence that was being used to prosecute Coke.

There have been heated debates since the US issued its request in August last year for Coke's extradition. He is wanted on charges of drug and firearm trafficking.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding has previously said in Parliament that the Government would only sign the request if the US was able to provide further and better particulars indicating why Coke should be sent there to stand trial.

The prime minister said recently that he decided to send the matter to court in the interest of the public.

Prominent constitutional lawyer Dr Lloyd Barnett is representing the Government.