PM Says Coke Enquiry Should Be Completed Early 2011


A Commission of Enquiry into the handling of the extradition of Christopher Coke, as well as the engagement of the US law firm, Manatt, Phelps and Phillips, should be completed early next year.
Prime Minister Bruce Golding informed the House of Representatives Tuesday (October19) of the membership of the Commission, its Terms of Reference and that a full report is expected to be submitted to the Governor General by February 28, 2011.
The Commission will be chaired by veteran Attorney-at-Law Hon Emil George O.J. and will also comprise retired Civil Servant and member of the Industrial Disputes Tribunal (IDT), Hon. Anthony Irons O.J. and another veteran Attorney-at-Law, Donald Scharschmidt.
“The specific terms of Reference of the Commission are to enquire into issues relating to the extradition request for Christopher Coke by the Government of the United States of America; (as well as) the manner and procedure in which the request was handled by the Government of Jamaica and the role and conduct of the various public officials who handled the extradition request,” Mr. Golding said.
The investigations will also examine whether there was any misconduct on the part of any person in any of these matters and, if so, to make recommendations for the referral of such persons to the relevant authority or disciplinary body for appropriate action.
Mr. Golding announced October 12 that the Government would establish the commission, in response to requests from the Opposition People’s National Party and interest groups.
Coke was extradited to the United States in June. He was wanted by the American authorities on alleged drug and gun running charges. The Prime Minister said Manatt, Phelps and Phillips was contracted by the ruling Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to lobby US officials on extradition issues.

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