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Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding clarified Monday night that the Jamaican Government has never refused the United States’ request for the extradition of Christopher Coke.
“It (the Government) has simply asked the US authorities to provide additional information that would enable the Minister to issue the authorisation in compliance with the terms of the treaty,” Mr. Golding said in his broadcast to the nation.
He noted that in the controversy that has ensued, the Government sought the opinion of eminent lawyer, Dr. Lloyd Barnett, who advised that the issues were not sufficiently settled in law, and therefore the Attorney General should seek a declaration from the Court before exercising her authority.
The Prime Minister said that he had to wrestle with the potential conflict between the issues of non-compliance with the terms of the treaty, and the unavoidable perception that because Mr. Coke is associated with his constituency the Government’s position was politically contrived.
“I felt that the concepts of fairness and justice should not be sacrificed in order to avoid that perception. In the final analysis, however, that must be weighed against the public mistrust that this matter has evoked and the destabilising effect it is having on the nation’s business,” he pointed out.