Judge throws out Dudus’ JR request

| 10/06/2010

(CNS): Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke has failed in his legal battle to get a judicial review of the decision to extradite him to the United States. Jamaica’s Chief Justice Zaila McCalla, who heard the application, said a case for the alleged drug lord’s extradition to the United States would have to first be made out in the Resident Magistrate’s court. Her ruling came as members of the security forces intensified their efforts yesterday to apprehend the former West Kingston area leader. Coke has been on the run since 24 May, when security forces raided the barricaded community of Tivoli Gardens to execute the warrant and restore law and order to the area, following attacks on security personnel from gunmen loyal to Coke.

McCalla said in her 22-page opinion delivered on Wednesday, 9 June, that in accordance with the procedure laid down in the Extradition Act, on apprehension or surrender of the applicant (Coke), he would be taken before a Resident Magistrate’s Court for a hearing.

“If a prima facie case for his extradition is made out, the resident magistrate is required to advise him of his right to apply for habeas corpus within 15 days, to enable the matter to be brought before the Supreme Court," McCalla wrote.
“There are no exceptional circumstances in this case that would entitle this court to grant leave to apply for judicial review. I do not agree that there are no alternative remedies available to the applicant as there are alternative remedies available to him under the Extradition Act," the chief justice told Coke’s legal team.
Justice Minister Dorothy Lightbourne, who gave the authority to start extradition proceedings, had said in her ruling that, had Coke subjected himself to the jurisdiction of the court, he would have been able to avail himself of alternative remedies under the Extradition Act  other than applying for judicial review.
In applying for the judicial review, Coke’s lawyer cited Lightbourne’s nine-month refusal to sign the extradition request and her taking the matter to court herself to block the process before making an about-turn under public pressure.
Don Foote, who appeared along with attorney Paul Beswick, for Coke said that the ruling would be appealed.
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  1. Mat says:

    Some are made criminals and remain that way because they are never satisfied with what life has offered them or by what they acquired through honest gain. Their god is money and "self." Happiness is based on what they feel, what they get, walking over other people in order to get it, and not surrendering all to the Everlasting Lord. And then there are those who are made criminals because they have to – their "basic human needs," such as, food, water, clothing, and medical care are not met. The government is too busy on other matters and "within itself" has become corrupt and out-of-touch with the people. There are no welfare programs in society to help them, no free education, nor free health care. Poverty has made them into criminals. A mother would steal for bread and water to nurse her children; it is not stealing for the sake of just acquiring and fattening "self." It has no element of greed. "President Coke" may be the devil, he may be a criminal because all he thinks about is himself, but to many in Tivoli Gardens, Coke is a Robin Hood – doing what government has failed to do for its own people. I just hope those who are in government and in high places, learn a lesson from this: 

    1. If you don’t take care of your own people, they will find ways on taking care of themselves illegally; and

    2. If you don’t continually send out the message for parents and guardians to properly raise their children to become selfless, many will grow up "selfish" and look out for themselves alone, comitting crimes to satisfy their egos.

    But you can all take what I said as nonsense and see for yourselves the consequences, because if things continue as it is, the consequences upon Jamaica and Cayman will be grave ones if these things are not nip in the bud.

    May God help us


  2. Caymanian to the Bone says:

    I believe we have our own problems creeping up on us here in Cayman which  can become just as bad as whats happening in Tivoli if it is not nipped in the bud.   If a person robs a place with a gun, they are no better than Coke.