Speech

Queen’s Counsel, Hon. Emil George, has set a Friday afternoon (Jan. 21) deadline for the submission of outstanding statements pivotal to the Manatt/Coke Commission of Enquiry, which is being held at the Jamaica Conference Centre, downtown Kingston.

Mr. George, who is Chairman of the Commission, on Monday (Jan. 17) complained that   statements from some key players involved in the extradition request of Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke had still not been submitted.

The Commission had set January 7, 2011 as the deadline for statements to be handed in, but Mr. George noted that some persons have disregarded that deadline.

Some of the key players, who have not yet provided statements are: Attorney General and Justice Minister, Hon. Dorothy Lightbourne; Solicitor General, Douglas Leys; Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), Paula Llewellyn; and former Police Commissioner, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin.

Mr. George, however, told Monday’s sitting of the Enquiry that the DPP would have been subpoenaed later that day.

He further said he is also expected to receive statements from Mr. Leys and Miss Lightbourne before Friday.  

Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding, Opposition Member of Parliament, Dr. Peter Phillips and Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Foreign Trade, Ambassador Evadne Coye, were among those who complied with the deadline. Ambassador Coye gave testimony on the first day of the enquiry.

The People’s National Party’s (PNP) lead attorneys, Queen’s Counsel K.D. Knight and Patrick Atkinson called for an adjournment of the proceeding on the grounds that the outstanding statements were critical to the continuation of the enquiry.

Mr. Knight said the outstanding statements were from people, who were involved in the matter and are needed for him to properly plan his approach to cross-examination.

However, Mr. George disagreed with Mr. Knight’s suggestion and said the enquiry should continue with the testimony of Ambassador Coye.

The Commission of Enquiry was established by Prime Minister, Hon. Bruce Golding last October to probe the events leading up to Mr. Coke’s extradition, including the hiring of the U.S. law firm, Manatt, Phelps and Phillips.

It is being chaired by Queen’s Counsel Hon. Emil George, assisted by retired Permanent Secretary, Anthony Irons, and Queen’s Counsel Donald Scharschmidt.

The Government has earmarked approximately $40 million to fund the enquiry, which is expected to conclude its hearings on February 28, 2011.

The enquiry has been adjourned until Thursday at 9.00 a.m.

CONTACT: ATHALIAH REYNOLDS