Chairman of the Commission of Enquiry into the handling of the Christopher Coke extradition request, Queen’s Counsel, Hon. Emil George, has instructed that the Attorney General’s (AG) Department provide memoranda relating to the extradition proceedings by Monday January 31.
Counsels present at the enquiry on January 27 raised questions about the absence of the memoranda, which would have played a role in the day’s proceedings.
Division Director at the Attorney General’s Department, Curtis Cochrane, in explaining why the documents were not present, said that the international parties need to be consulted before disclosure.
“These memoranda are bilateral and tripartite agreements between Jamaica and her international partners. It would be expected that before any steps are taken towards disclosure, we would like to discuss the matter with our partners, who were involved in the signing of these documents. This process has begun; Ambassador (Evadne) Coye (Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade), has written to the relevant parties and we are awaiting a response,” Mr. Cochrane said.
Chairman George, at Monday's January 24 sitting, instructed that representatives of the AG Department be summoned to clarify matters pertaining to several Memoranda of Understanding arising in the matter.
Mr. George noted that a statement submitted by Solicitor General, Douglas Leys, made reference to the memoranda in the extradition proceedings. The issue was also brought to the attention of the Commission following testimony by Ambassador Coye.
Mr. George lamented that the Commission had not been furnished with copies, was not aware of the documents’ whereabouts, or the AG Department’s position on the matter.
He argued that Mr. Leys’ reference to the documents in his statement, suggested his familiarity with them and that the Attorney General’s (AG) Department would “presumably”, have copies.
The hearing was adjourned until Monday (January 31), when the representatives of the AG Department are expected to be present.
CONTACT: LATONYA LINTON