Court documents explain Matalon, Simpson Miller, 'Dudus' issue
Barbara Gayle, Staff Reporter
Minister of Justice and Attorney General Senator Dorothy Lightbourne in court documents has outlined the reasons why she named West Kingston strongman Christopher 'Dudus' Coke and the other two defendants in the motion she filed last week, seeking declarations concerning the controversial handling of Coke's extradition request.
The United States (US) government wants Coke extradited to face charges for conspiracy to distribute cocaine and marijuana and conspiracy to illegally traffic firearms.
Lightbourne says Coke, 41, is named as a defendant because he is the person in the extradition request. The other two defendants are named because they questioned the minister's authority to decline the extradition request.
May 5 has been set for the first hearing in the matter and prominent constitutional lawyer Dr Lloyd Barnett is representing Lightbourne.
The attorney general, who is the claimant, stated in the claim form filed by attorney-at-law Dr Adolph Edwards on April 14 that the first defendant is Coke and he is a citizen of Jamaica, resident in Jamaica "who is named as the accused person in the extradition request and is hereinafter referred to as 'the accused person'."
Right or authority questioned
Joseph Mayer Matalon for and on behalf of the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica is the second defendant in the claim. The reasons for naming the PSOJ as a defendant is that it is a "national organisation of public sector associations, companies and individuals that seeks to influence national policy issues, regarding the political, legal, social and economic system in Jamaica and has issued a public statement which questioned the right or authority of the minister to decline the said extradition request, and he (Matalon) is cited as a representative of the said organisation."
Portia Simpson Miller is named as the third defendant. The claim form states that "The third defendant is the Leader of the Opposition within the Constitution of Jamaica and, along with other leaders of the Opposition party, has also questioned the right or authority of the minister to decline the said extradition request."
Lightbourne says she "desires that the court should make declarations so as to clarify the nature and extent of the claimant's duties, power, discretions and/or authority, as the minister responsible for extradition".
Lightbourne is seeking the following reliefs.
- A declaration that by virtue of the provisions of the Extradition Act and in particular sections 8 and 9 ,the claimant as the responsible minister has the authority and discretion to decide whether or not to issue an authority to proceed after receiving an extradition request from an Approved State.
- A declaration that in the exercise of her authority and discretion, the claimant is entitled to consider whether the evidence furnished with the request is sufficient to justify the issue of a warrant for the arrest of the accused person under section 9.
- A declaration that the minister is entitled and under a duty to decline to issue an authority to proceed where the extradition of the accused person could not lawfully bbe made, or would not in fact be made in accordance with the provision of the Extradition Act.
- A declaration that the said authority and discretion of the minister apply to the request no 296 of the Government of the United States of America dated August 25, 2009 for the extradition of Michael Coke, aka Michael Christopher Coke, Paul Christopher Scott, Dudus, President, Presi, Short Man and General (the accused person).
- A declaration that the evidence supplied in support of the said request was obtained in contravention of the Constitution of Jamaica; the Interception of Communications Act; and orders of a Judge of the Supreme Court of Jamaica.
- A declaration that the minister in the exercise of her authority and discretion is under a duty and is entitled to take into account each of the following:
- (1) the terms of the Extradition Treaty between the Government of the United States of America and the Government of Jamaica, signed on June 14, 1983 and any breach of the Extradition Treaty by the requesting State;
- (2) a breach of any Treaty agreement or arrangement made with the Requesting State or between agents of the contracting parties made by agents of the Government of Jamaica and agents of the Government of the Unites States or between the said Governments;
- (3) whether a substantial part of the evidence furnished with the said request has been procured, passed on or provided in contravention of the Interception of Communications Act;
- (4) whether a substantial part of the evidence furnished with the said request has been supplied and used in breach of any agreement between the contracting parties and/or the agents of the Government of Jamaica and the requesting State;
- 5) whether a substantial part of the evidence furnished with the request has been procured in breach of any order made by a Judge of the Supreme Court of Jamaica;
- (6) whether a substantial part of the evidence furnished with the request has been obtained in breach of the accused person's fundamental rights to the protection of law, freedom of expression, respect for privacy and privacy of property and communication which are guaranteed by sections 13, 19 and 22 of the Constitution of Jamaica.A declaration that where the minister is of the opinion that the Requesting State has acted in breach of the Treaty pursuant to which extradition of a person is being sought or in breach of any agreement between the Requesting State and Jamaica, pertaining to extradition , the minister is authorised and/or under a duty to deny the request to issue the authority to proceed.