Golding denies ‘Dudus’ hand in Manatt fee

(Jamaica Observer) Prime Minister Bruce Golding yesterday again denied that Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke paid the US$50,000 fee to United States law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips over the request for his extradition to the US on gun and drug trafficking charges.

“I’m prepared to say absolutely no,” said Golding.

The prime minister made certain to add that his answer was based upon information he received from the JLP treasury.

Golding’s denial came under continued cross-examination from Queen’s Counsel KD Knight, representing the People’s National Party, during the Dudus/Manatt Commission of Enquiry at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston.

It has been rumoured since the engagement of the firm became public knowledge last year that the money for the fees was put up by Coke, an ardent supporter of the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) whose former power base of Tivoli Gardens is located within the constituency of the prime minister.

The JLP, which claims to have hired the lawyers on its behalf rather than that of the Government, has denied that Coke had anything to do with the payment.