Saturday, April 2, 2016

Tivoli COE: The Capture of Christopher “Dudus” Coke

Christopher “Dudus” Coke was captured on June 22, 2010. The public was given scarcely any details on the operation. The published photograph of Coke wearing a female wig—the camouflage Coke was alleged to having been wearing in the company of Reverend Al Miller,drew substantial public (derisive?) commentary.

The testimony of CDS, Major General Stewart Saunders before the Western Kingston Commission of Enquiry on June 23, 2015 gives some insight into the capture:
  • Intelligence reports had placed Coke in St Ann and a number of operations had been launched to capture him. The reports were unable to verify his exact location.
  • On June 22,2010 Coke left St. Ann. Intelligence resources picked up Coke somewhere in the region of Ewarton, Bog Walk entering the Gorge.
  • Reports also indicated that Coke was in the company of Rev. Al Miller and that he was on his way to the US Embassy in Kingston.
Interestingly, it was the Chairman himself who examined the Major General on the circumstances surrounding the capture of Coke. The following excerpts are telling:

Commissioner: Am I getting the sense that on the 22nd of June Coke was probably about to surrender?
Major General Saunders: I don’t know if I could accept that as a fact. It is highly probable that he was about to do that.
Commissioner: You are saying that there were reports that he was on his way to the Embassy with Reverend Miller?
Major General Saunders: Yes, I also had reports previously that he wanted an opportunity to hand himself over to the JDF as opposed to the police. So there is no way that I could have verified those set of things.

Unresolved Issues:

i) Reverend Merrick “Al” Miller is currently being tried on charges arising out of the circumstances of the capture.The trial proceedings have not given any further insights into the circumstances surrounding the capture of Coke. Miller has always maintained that he had made the Police High Command well- aware his mission and subsequent actions.COP Ellington has consistently refuted this claim.

ii) The Tivoli COE did not to deal with the numerous questions surrounding the exact location in St Ann that Coke sought refuge. Indeed the probability of Coke hiding out at the Government house in St. Ann was never explored.

iii) It seems that in any attempt to unearth the truth about the circumstances leading to the capture of Coke the evidence of Reverend Miller would have been critical. Steps ought to have been taken to facilitate such testimony.

Update: Rev. Dr Merrick "Al" Miller found guilty.

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