Statement by Commissioner of Police Owen Ellington Regarding the Arrest of Christopher Coke


The security forces wish to confirm reports that Christopher Lloyd Coke, in respect of whom the police are holding a warrant of arrest for the commencement of extradition proceedings, was arrested this afternoon at four.
He was arrested by a party of policemen manning a vehicle checkpoint along the Mandela Highway and they were acting on intelligence. Coke is being held now in a secure facility and the security forces are taking every step possible to ensure his safety and wellbeing while he is in our custody.
The legal proceedings will commence immediately, once we are able to settle on the issue of legal representation and reach an agreement with the Director of Public Prosecutions on where the hearings will be held, a court date will be set, and we anticipate that we can achieve that within 48 hours.
The security threat level for members of the Jamaica Constabulary Force, the security forces actually, has been raised to the level that they were on the 21st of May this year. This means that our members have been alerted to the possibility of attacks on their persons or patrols on the road and our facilities, and we are urging members to raise their level of anticipation and alertness and remain professional while executing their duties.
The circumstances of Christopher Coke’s arrest today will be the subject of investigations at the very highest level and, in this regard, we are appealing to the Rev. Al Miller to make contact with the police because we have an interest in interviewing him.
This afternoon, before coming down here, I spoke with all my senior officers and I asked each individually if they were party to any discussion or agreement for the bypassing of the legal processes for Coke to be turned over to U.S. Marshals. Each officer responded in the negative. I would like to have Mr. Miller in so we can have discussions with him and we would advise him to have his attorney accompany him.
I would like to appeal to the families, friends and sympathisers of Christopher Coke to remain calm and to allow the law to take its course. I also [would] like to assure the citizens of Jamaica that the situation remains normal, there is no need for alarm and they can get about their normal businesses in the usual way.
We would also like to reassure the country that we will continue our efforts to defeat organised crime and to restore law and order in this country while, at the same time, turning around the crime and security situation.
Finally, I would like to appeal to the members of the public to continue to give us their support, by way of information and intelligence as we continue our difficult, yet rewarding, task of securing this country.
Let me also use the occasion to thank and congratulate all the men and women of both forces, the Jamaica Defence Force and the Jamaica Constabulary Force, for their professionalism, discipline and commitment to duty displayed over the last several weeks as we dealt with this complex and difficult matter, and as we continue on our quest to defeat organised crime and restore law and order in this country. Thank you very much.

JIS Social