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The Prime Minister, the Hon. Bruce Golding, has reassured Jamaicans that his Government had no contract with the American law firm, Manatt, Phelps & Phillips (MPP), regarding the request for Christopher Coke’s extradition to the United States.
Mr. Golding told senior editors attending a briefing co-hosted by the Press Association of Jamaica (PAJ) at Jamaica House on Tuesday September 14, that the Government had challenged the firm to produce evidence of his Government engaging their services, but all they could point to were some e-mails and certain meetings with Government officials.
However, he said that the e-mails recently made public in the press, showed no proof of the Government engaging the US law firm.
“There is nothing in the e-mail correspondences that represent any engagement by the Government of their services,” the Prime Minister said.
Regarding the contention that representatives of the firm met with officials of the Government of Jamaica, Mr. Golding said he found it hard to believe anyone could have engaged the firm’s services on behalf of his Government without confirmation.
Mr. Golding also noted that there is a clause in the contract with the firm, which stated that they represented Harold Brady & Company “and no other person”, although they suggested later on that they were contracted by Harold Brady & Company on behalf of the Government of Jamaica.
The Prime Minister suggested that MPP’s insistence that it represented the Government of Jamaica may have been to cover up its negligence.
Turning to the issue of Solicitor General Douglas Leys’ involvement with the e-mails to MPP and Mr. Brady, Mr. Golding said that while the Solicitor General could have been “more meticulous” in his interactions with MPP, in terms of the basis on which they were involved, he saw nothing wrong in his actions.
“Perhaps greater care could have been taken,” Mr. Golding suggested.