Former Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips was back in the witness chair, as the Commission of Enquiry into the extradition request for Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke continued yesterday, at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown, Kingston.
Dr. Phillips continued to be questioned on aspects of the Memoranda of Understanding that he signed in 2004 during his tenure as National Security Minister.
Under questioning from People’s National Party (PNP) Attorney, K.D. Knight, Dr. Phillips maintained that the MOUs he signed were designed to assist in curbing criminality in Jamaica and were not intended to trample on the rights of citizens.
Dr. Phillips said the MOUs dealt specifically with narco-trafficking, gun-running, money laundering and violent crimes associated with such offences.
Under cross examination by Attorney at Law, John Vassell, who is representing Minister of National Security, Senator the Hon. Dwight Nelson, it was argued that sections of the MOUs violated Jamaican law.
Mr. Vassell asked the former Security Minister whether he agreed that any agreement that made provisions for interception, which are inconsistent with the Interception of Communications Act, could be considered a breach of Jamaican law.
Dr. Phillips responded that he believed the Attorney was speaking of an agreement that did not exist, as the Memoranda in question “explicitly state that they must be in conformity”.
Mr. Vassell further questioned whether Jamaican law required that the dissemination of the information acquired must be limited to the parties set out in a court order.
Dr. Phillips replied that he believed that Jamaican law stated that the information can be disseminated to the authorised officers generally for their use.
Meanwhile, Senator Nelson, who testified last week, returned to the witness chair where he was cross examined for a short time by Mr. Knight. He is expected to return today February 23.
Deputy Solicitor General, Lackston Robinson will also testify tomorrow. The written statement of former General Secretary of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), Hon. Karl Samuda will be submitted to the Commission by his attorneys in the morning, and he is expected to testify on Friday February 25.
CONTACT: ATHALIAH REYNOLDS