Former Minister of National Security, Dr. Peter Phillips, was again the main subject of cross examination yesterday as he continued his testimony before the Commission of Enquiry into the extradition request for Christopher "Dudus" Coke at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.
Dr. Phillips, in giving his testimony, said that the coffers of Government did not benefit from the signing of the controversial Memoranda of Understanding (MoU).
“If my memory serves me correctly, they speak to a commitment of monetary payment, which was to establish a particular facility,” he said under questioning from Attorney-at-Law, Hugh Small, who is representing the Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding.
He informed that the country received US$3.2 million from the United States Government to acquire equipment to establish a facility to boost wiretapping capabilities.
It was also revealed that the country received an undisclosed sum from the British Government.
“They (MoUs) related to expenditures to be incurred by one agency to establish a facility; that was an addition to the existing network of facilities that facilitated the joint operations of the Government of Jamaica, along with our partners, to combat narco-trafficking, gun running, and other forms of organised crime, in which, both countries or all the countries concerned had an interest,” Dr. Phillips said.
Mr. Small questioned the former Minister as to whether any funds associated with the MoUs flowed into the consolidated fund, to which Dr. Phillips responded in the negative.
“Did it flow to any other funds, any other accounts of the Government of Jamaica?” Mr. Small asked.
“Not to my knowledge and understanding,” Dr. Phillips answered.
The attorney also asked whether any of the telecommunications providers at the time (Cable and Wireless and Digicel) were party to the agreement.
“No,” responded Dr. Phillips.
The former Minister and Member of Parliament also testified that neither himself nor the former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of National Security, Gilbert Scott benefited from funds under the MoUs.
Dr. Phillips is expected to be further cross examined during Tuesday’s February 22 sitting of the Commission, while Minister of National Security, Senator Hon. Dwight Nelson is also slated to return to the witness seat tomorrow, as well as Deputy Solicitor General, Lackston Robinson.
The Commission is still awaiting a written statement from former General Secretary of the Jamaica Labour Party, Hon. Karl Samuda, following which he will also give a verbal testimony.
CONTACT: ATHALIAH REYNOLDS