Golding denies tipping off `Dudus’ about extradition

(Jamaica Observer) Prime Minister Bruce Golding today denied that he was responsible for tipping off Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke about an extradition request for the former Tivoli Gardens strongman.

When asked by attorney representing the People’s National Party Patrick Atkinson at this morning final sitting of the Dudus/Manatt commission of enquiry if he was the one who tipped off Coke to the request, the prime minister promptly responded, “No”

Former police commissioner Hardley Lewin has alleged that Coke was tipped off soon after the extradition request was received by the Jamaican government.

When Golding was questioned about whether Lewin had anything to do with tipping off Coke, he said Lewin was the one who had the information before both he and security minister Dwight Nelson.

Golding said he spoke with Nelson about the allegation.

He also said he had not spoken to Coke up to a year and a half before the extradition request was sent to Jamaica.

Security forces who raided an office Coke occupied in Tivoli Gardens during the May 2010 incursion found a copy of the extradition request during a search.

Golding said he did not know how the document found its way into Coke’s office.

Meanwhile, Golding refused to withdraw an earlier claim he had made that Isiah Parnell, the Charge d’affaires in the United States Embassy, had been harassing justice minister Dorothy Lightbourne over the request, despite being informed by Atkinson that harassment by telephone was a criminal offence.

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