Minister of Industry, Investment and Commerce, Hon. Karl Samuda’s appearance before the Commission of Enquiry into the extradition of Christopher Coke, today (February 15), was cut short after several attorneys raised objections about the questions being asked by Queen’s Counsel, K.D. Knight.
The Commission had summoned Mr. Samuda to appear to authenticate a press release issued by him in the capacity as General Secretary of the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), in May 2010.
A certified copy of the press release was entered into evidence, but Mr. Knight, who is representing the People's National Party (PNP), attempted to question Mr. Samuda about an investigation he conducted into the Manatt, Phelps and Phillips matter.
However, Attorneys-at-law, Hugh Small, Frank Phipps and Patrick Bailey objected, arguing that the Industry Minister was not before the Commission for that purpose.
“My concern is whether we are going outside what I understood Mr. Samuda was here for. My understanding was that he was being requested to identify and to validate a statement issued by him some time ago in relation to this matter. It appears to me we are going outside of what I understood his limited function to be and I am wondering whether it would be fair to take him outside of that, considering that we don’t have any statement from him,” Mr. Bailey said.
He further suggested to the Commission that if Mr. Samuda is to be questioned about his investigations into the Manatt, Phelps and Phillips affair, he should be asked to submit a statement, so that “we know what he is likely to say and we can come prepared if necessary to also join in the cross examination."
Chairman of the Commission, Queen’s Counsel Emil George then ruled that Mr. Samuda was to discontinue his testimony and should provide a statement as soon as possible.
Mr. Samuda is to re-appear before the Commission to give his testimony and to be cross-examined by other attorneys.
CONTACT: LATONYA LINTON