Sunday, August 14, 2016

Tivoli COE: Tipping off Coke seemingly of no moment

The alerting of Christopher "Dudus" Coke to the imminent extradition request by the United States has featured in two COE; firstly in the Manatt COE and now the Tivoli COE. Regrettably, not much light has been shed, even though Manatt COE generated much heat on the topic.

The Tivoli COE  failed to further the investigation and therefore added nothing to the pool of information already in the public space. Garnett Roper writing in The Gleaner, Sunday, August 14, 2016 noted that there is no mechanism to hold those of the political class accountable for abuse of power, bad governance and "announcements that tipped off Coke so that Tivoli could be armed and barricaded and 300 gunmen recruited to declare war on the Jamaican state".

The "tipping off" formed the basis of ToR (N) and ToR (O) and was disposed of in Chapter 12.[See our posts: Tivoli COE: Diddly Squat (1) and Tivoli COE: Diddly Squat (2)] Nevertheless, there is a rather curious treatment of the evidence of the then Prime Minister, especially in light of the rather hostile treatment meted out  in Manatt COE to the proposition that a number of individuals had the information and identified individuals had possession of the authenticated documents during the period under review.

Chapter 12, Part 2  focusses on the authenticated/confidential documents relating to Coke's extradition purportedly found at the offices of the Presidential Click. Interestingly, there is a sub-heading Mr. Bruce Golding with the following:

12.26   In the course of his evidence-in-chief, Mr. Golding was questioned with specific reference to Term of Reference (O).He told the Enquiry that he had learnt, from media reports, that copies of affidavits and other confidential documents relative to the extradition request, were found at Coke's offices. In answer to Mr. Braham Q.C., Mr, Golding said that he had no knowledge of the circumstances under which the documents came to be at Coke's offices.

12.27     But Mr. Golding further said-
            
 "I am not sure what documents were found but documents relating to Mr. Coke's indictment    were universally available. They were posted on the website of the Southern District Court of New York two days after the extradition request was received. I myself became aware of that listening to a radio station quoting from documents and indicating how they had sourced it. I went on the website myself and the documents were there to be downloaded."

Without more, the Commissioners engineered the following Finding

12.30    We find that Mr, Golding had no personal knowledge of the documents relating to the request for Coke's extradition. We also accept that Mr. Golding saw documents relating to the Coke's indictment on the website of the Southern District Court for New York. Since the documents were freely available on the website to the world at large, any person
 (including Coke ) could have downloaded them.

Maybe it is just a typographical omission; but there is a world of a difference between having no knowledge of the circumstances under which the documents ( whatever they might have been ) came to be at Coke's offices and "having no personal knowledge of the documents relating to the request for Coke's extradition". Surely Bruce Golding had personal knowledge of the documents relating to the said extradition.

The Commissioners elected to shrugg off the foundations unearthed in the Manatt COE . Since Coke himself could have downloaded the documents from the said website, then that's the end of the mater.

 Suppose the documents found were copies of authenticated documents that went through the official governmental channels.Probably that is why they are conveniently missing, lost or destroyed.

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