KINGSTON – Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne, maintained that there was no corruption in her handling of the Christopher Coke extradition case, as she continued testimony at the Commission of Enquiry at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston on Tuesday March 15.
Cross examined by Attorney at Law, Patrick Atkinson, who represents former National Security Minister, Dr. Peter Phillips, she also denied that she was motivated to have the extradition request withdrawn by the U.S. government.
“My position most certainly was not to have the request withdrawn by the United States of America,” Senator Lightbourne told the enquiry.
Asked if it was appropriate for the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to set up a meeting between the Government of Jamaica and U.S. government agencies on the issue, said she was not sure.
“I see that other countries and other parties and other governments do lobby. There is nothing wrong with lobbying. Apart from that, I cannot say whether if it was or not (appropriate),” Senator Lightbourne said.
Chairman of the Commission, Emil George, called an early adjournment to the morning’s proceedings, after attorney for the Opposition People’s National Party (PNP), Senator K.D. Knight, refused to yield to him, bringing a premature end to the pre-lunch session.
This followed Attorney for Prime Minister Bruce Golding, Hugh Small, questioning allegations of corruption made by Mr. Atkinson against the Government in its handling of the extradition request. Mr. Knight objected to Mr. Small’s argument, explaining that the question of corruption was central to the enquiry.
The session started late, as the three Commissioners met with the attorneys to discuss a request from Mr. Small for discussions on a schedule for Prime Minister Golding’s appearance at the hearing.
The Commission of Enquiry continues today March 16, with Senator Lightbourne making her eight appearance.
CONTACT: LATONYA LINTON