Chairman of the Commission of Enquiry into the extradition of Christopher Coke, Emil George, Q.C., has informed that he had written to Manatt, Phelps and Phillips regarding a representative of the United States law firm giving evidence before the Commission.
Addressing lawyers at today’s (March 1) sitting of the Commission, Mr. George said he received a letter from the law firm’s attorney, stating that “the government is their client and therefore they need a ‘go through’ from the Government.”
“Manatt’s ability to communicate is limited by the principles of confidentiality and attorney client’s privileges. In order for Manatt to provide a statement regarding such matters, it would be necessary to obtain a written waiver from Manatt’s client, the Government of Jamaica,” the letter said.
However, Attorney-at-law for Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, Hugh Small, Q.C., said the government had no part to play in giving permission to the law firm.
“There is no relationship of client and attorney between the Government of Jamaica and Manatt, Phelps and Phillips,” Mr. Small said.
Attorney-at-law representing the Jamaica Labour Party, Frank Phipps, Q.C., said he would “have to consult and (then) give instructions on this matter.”
Meanwhile, Deputy Solicitor General, Lackston Robinson continued his testimony at the Enquiry.
Under Cross examination by Patrick Atkinson, Q. C., the Deputy Solicitor General said he had limited participation in the extradition of Christopher Coke. He informed that he met with Minister of Justice, Hon. Dorothy Lightbourne and Solicitor General, Douglas Leys, and gave them his opinion on the merits of the extradition of Mr. Coke.
The Commission of Enquiry is scheduled to continue tomorrow (March 2) at the Jamaica Conference Centre, with the testimonies of Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon Karl Samuda, and Minister of Justice and Attorney General, Senator Dorothy Lightbourne.
CONTACT: LATONYA LINTON