Deputy Solicitor General, Lackston Robinson testified yesterday February 28, that he was concerned that the constitutional rights of a Jamaican citizen were breached, in the extradition request for Christopher Coke.
Mr. Robinson was testifying before the Commission of Enquiry into the extradition request for Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke by the United States of America, being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, in downtown Kingston.
Under cross examination by Attorney, Sherrian McGregor, who is assisting Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding’s lead counsel, Hugh Small, Mr. Robinson stated that Section 22 of the Constitution of Jamaica prohibits the interception of the conversations of citizens.
He, however, admitted that this right is not absolute, as it can be abridged. “The Interception of Communications Act abridges that right and allows for a person’s telephone conversations to be intercepted in specific circumstances outlined in the statute,” he said.
Mr. Robinson also testified that the Interception of Communications Act specifically outlines the persons who are authorised to intercept communication and to whom to disclose that communication.
The authorised officers include the Commissioner of Police, Head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force’s Internal Security or National Firearm and Drug Unit, Chief of Staff of the Jamaica Defence Force and Head of the Military Intelligence Unit.
Earlier, Mr. Robinson testified that he received a file outlining the extradition request from Solicitor General, Douglas Leys, in August 2009, and after reviewing it, he submitted his opinion on the matter to Mr. Leys in a Memorandum.
Mr. Robinson said he developed several questions and submitted them to his office, where they were sent to the United States government.
According to the Deputy Solicitor General, he accompanied Mr. Leys to Washington D.C. on December 15, 2009, where he attended a meeting with the US Justice Department on December 17.
Prior to this meeting, Mr. Robinson said he was introduced to representatives of a United States-based law firm, called Manatt, Phelps and Phillips.
Mr. Robinson told the Enquiry that at that meeting, the Manatt representatives expressed an interest in representing the Jamaican Government. However, he testified that Mr. Leys declined the offer at the time, but said their assistance might be needed in the future.
He emphasised that at no time was there any indication that the US law firm was representing the Jamaican Government.
CONTACT: ATHALIAH REYNOLDS