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Dudus Extradition Delayed for Economic Reasons?

Dudus Extradition Delayed for Economic Reasons?

Dudus Extradition Delayed for Economic Reasons?

By Karl Pearson on Friday, June 4, 2010 - Comment

Prime Minister Golding tells parliament "there were some serious issues that the country had to face that had to be protected."

The Jamaican Gleaner reports this week that the decision to proceed with the extradition notice on Christopher 'Dudus' Coke to the US was delayed for 9 months due to economic reasons.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding is said to have hinted that the Jamaican economy would have suffered a catastrophic collapse had police been sent to arrest Coke in 2009. He is quoted in the paper as having told parliament
"Last year was a very challenging year, not just for this Government but for the country. We had to take some decisions last year and we had to do some things, otherwise we don't know where we would have been this year." The paper goes on to report that Golding told Parliament that while his administration pursued the extradition for Coke by taking advice from eminent legal minds, "there were some serious issues that the country had to face that had to be protected. The position that we are in today, in terms of how we have managed to position the economy to give us a chance to survive the onslaught of the last two years, if we had taken decisions that we are being maligned for not taking, we would not have been there."

Last year Jamaica was forced to enter into a borrowing relationship with the International Monetary Fund because the world recession was crippling major parts of the economy. Downturns were experienced in the bauxite sector, the stability of tourism was threatened and payment for goods and services was stifled and it was felt that the things that the government did last year to help stabilise the economy could not have been done on the heels of the civil disturbances that erupted on the on the news of the extradition signing.

Questions are also being raised as to the manner of the extradition process after Justice Minister Dorothy Lightbourne gave the authority to proceed against Coke. In the face of growing public disquiet Golding went public and informed the nation in a broadcast of his intent to arrest Coke. This is being seen by some as a major flaw that allowed the alleged crime boss time to fortify his defences. Peter Bunting, the opposition spokesman on national security, said in Parliament on Tuesday "He vacillated on giving the authority to proceed and then telegraphed the eventual issuing of the arrest warrant, which frustrated the normal extradition process." Golding said in reply that the execution of the warrant for Coke would not have been a "simple matter". He also added that he had taken advice from the security forces who told him of the enormity of the problem that might result when they were to move to arrest Coke.

At present the whereabouts of Christopher 'Dudus' Coke is still unknown and although a relative peace and calm has been restored to Tivoli Gardens, where Seventy-three civilians and one soldier died in last week's disturbance, the security for more than 60 prominent Jamaicans has been significantly increased against fear of reprisal.

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