Tag Archives: Daryl Vaz

Wikileaks 3, Jamaica Labour Party 0

James Robertson resigned as Minister of Energy when he lost his visa. Then Wikileaks gave us this cable: http://wikileaks.org/cable/2007/09/07KINGSTON1470.html

Here’s a snippet:

26.(C) In 2004, Robertson was named along with fellow JLP
members, Shahine Robinson and Horace Chang, as being
involved with money laundering and organized crime by local
sources.  According to DEA sources he was involved with
Norris Nembhard, a drug kingpin awaiting deportation to the
U.S.  The source alleged that RobertsonQs father, Ishmael
Robertson, was forced to hand over acres of land to settle
his sonQs drug debts to Nembhard.  Robertson has also has
had frictions with fellow JLP stalwarts in the past.  In
2003 he defeated Babsy Grange as Deputy Leader, and caused
her to lose her composure and shout expletives from the
podium during a party conference.  In the past he also was
critical of Bruce Golding for not standing up to Seaga
earlier and for walking away and forming the new party
instead of fighting it out.  These past frictions maybe the
reason why Robertson was given the most minor Cabinet post
of all 18 nominees.  However, because of his long service
and current rank within the party, Golding was unable to
completely bypass him for the Cabinet.

Christopher “Dudus” Coke shocked many Jamaicans by not going to trial, pleading guilty and then begging for mercy. Best line from Mr Coke:-

“I’m pleading guilty because I am,” said Coke, who faces up to 23 years in prison when he is sentenced in December. 

We’ve always heard that the baddest Jamaicans crumble when faced with real time in a real U.S. prison. So we hear it and so it go…..

And now, Bruce Golding is also “pleading  guilty because I am”…….Maybe he could have survived the Manatt/Dudus enquiry, but not the confirmation by Wikileaks that he lied, lied and lied some more…..

So congratulations Bradley Manning and Julian Assange. You are locked up in America and locked down in England, and taking down politicians and dons across the globe.

Take it away, Tom Lehrer:

We will all go together when we go…

Now here in Jamaica we can have fun trying to figure out the real connections between these three men (….did Dudus send message for Bruce to resign?….. did Harold Brady play his card ?…..did James say he’s not going to prison if he can possibly sell out everyone he’s ever known or ever met ?…..) and speculate on who’s next:

Who’s Next


 

 

 

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The Manatt Dudus Enquiry: Just not cricket

Dorothy Lightbourne backed up by JLP Senator Hyacinth Bennett and Minister Babsy Grange

The Minister of Justice and Attorney General Dorothy “Dodo” Lightbourne has been the sole witness testifying this week. She horrified cricket fans around the world by her stubborn refusal to play the game.

Not only did she refuse to even try to bat, she behaved as if she knew nothing at all about how the game is played……

Here follows the list of her transgressions:-

(1) Dodo attacked people who were, and are, her subordinates, and who were, and are, public servants (i.e. hold positions in the civil service, as opposed to being political appointees like Dodo).

She insisted that Lisa Palmer-Hamilton, the Deputy DPP, had a faulty memory and was likely wrong about everything concerning her first “Dudus” phone call to Dodo. This was particularly mean spirited as it was obvious that Lisa Palmer-Hamilton was playing the game during her testimony, and allowing her Minister every possible out by repeatedly saying that “memories can be faulty”. It was left to K.D. Knight to explain to Dodo that Ms. Palmer-Hamilton was protecting her, Dodo, when she refused to insist on her own and Lt. Col. Cole’s testimony  being correct…..

She blamed her Solicitor-General Douglas Leys for not telling her about Manatt AND insisted that he had testified in support of her statement. Douglas Leys’ lawyer, Oliver Smith, had to point out to her that his client had, in fact, contradicted her testimony.

She said that Jeremy Taylor, Deputy DPP (in charge of extradition matters) had incorrectly advised the U.S. government as to the best procedure to use to extradite Dudus AND had then acted inappropriately by expediting the processing of the extradition request. Lord Gifford representing the DPP’s office could not conceal his distress at this attack on his client. He must have regretted counseling his clients (Taylor and Palmer-Hamilton) to embarrass the Minister as little as possible…..

Tip for playing the game, Dodo:

When you’re the captain, it is your job to lead the team, NOT to single out team members for blame while boasting about how you personally did nothing wrong…..Where criticism cannot be avoided, it is proper to maintain that the team member was a. doing their best regardless b. will certainly do better next time.

(2) Dodo stubbornly insisted on refusing to answer questions

Dodo ignoring K.D.

K.D. Knight took the approach of laboriously going through every step taken by Dodo in handling (or rather not-handling) the extradition request. His effort was obviously aimed at showing that Dodo was simply taking orders, didn’t know the law, and had no intention of allowing Dudus to be extradited.

Dodo aided him in this effort every inch of the way. When she wasn’t blaming her subordinates, she was insisting that she had sought and relied on their advice. When K.D. tried to ascertain when, if ever, she had used her own understanding, she lowered her voice, appealed to the Commissioners and insisted he was being rude. Although she could not explain herself, she kept insisting that she did too know the law….

Tip for playing the game, Dodo:

We can’t all be Brian Lara, but we can all attempt to use the bat. Please note that your fellow Senator, Minister of National Security Dwight Nelson, successfully preserved his wicket by continually saying “I can’t recall”. While he may not have scored any runs, he avoided being called “Out”. This is all that is being asked of you, Dodo.

(3) Dodo spitefully brought up something that happened 30 years ago and embarrassed both her supporters and her coaches

K.D. Knight is good at getting witnesses upset. This is why he is a good lawyer and good at cross-examination. His efforts to mock Dodo’s brains, knowledge and abilities succeeded when Dodo, with an air of triumph, made a personal attack on  K.D. and  told him she had resented him for more than 30 years for saying, circa 1980, “All Labourite fi dead”. Oh dear. Dodo then had to be sent back to the pavilion, not once, but twice, while someone tried to get her to play the rules.

Tip for playing the game, Dodo:

Sledging is a part of the modern game. It is designed to upset you so that it is easier to get you out. I’m sure you’ll recall how John Vassall made Peter Phillips splutter with rage when he was being cross-examined. By overreacting to K.D., attacking him personally, and forcing the umpires to stop play, you did not help your team. By ignoring the advice of your coaches – Dr Lloyd Barnett, Dr. Adolph Edwards, Frank Phipps et al – you embarrassed them and made yourself look spiteful and small-minded.

K.D Knight outside the Enquiry room

After reiterating your “I hate K.D. Knight” position at the Enquiry on Thursday afternoon, you then withdrew your comment on Friday morning, presumably at the request of the Prime Minister….This episode told us a lot more than we needed to know about you, and likely told us all we need to know about your role in the Manatt Dudus affair.

Next week, let’s hope you can recognize the sledging for what it is, and focus on your own game.

So, Dodo, the World Cup is on and I hope you are able to catch a few of the matches over the weekend.

No one is expecting you to be able to lie bare-faced like your Cabinet colleagues, Daryl Vaz and Bruce Golding. However, it would be nice if you brushed up on a few of the rules of the game. Remember, you are batting not only for yourself but for your team, the JLP.

Do not embarrass them by making it look like you should never have been selected.

And please remember that as rude and out-of-order as the PNP’s captain K.D. Knight may seem, he is only playing the game.

The Manatt Dudus Enquiry: In the dark and out of the loop….

The Commission of Enquiry continues, but even K.D. Knight could not provide much to laugh about this week. It was mostly sort of dull and devious, without even a hint of the spirit of Fling The Bottle.

Giving testimony this week Feb 28 to Mar 3, 2011 :-

Lackston Robinson, the Deputy Solicitor-General

 

If Solicitor-General Douglas Leys was a sad, bewildered witness, consider the unfortunate history of Mr. Robinson. He filed suit against the Government in 2002, after the PNP Solicitor-General Michael Hylton refused to allow him to act as his deputy on the grounds that Mr. Robinson was “not fit for the job“. This odious assessment of Mr. Robinson was backed up the Chairman of the Public Services Commission (PSC), Daisy Coke, who said he was “inappropriate for the post”.

The legal battle between Mr. Robinson and his employers dragged on for years, and was only settled in August 2007 when the Supreme Court ruled that the PSC had breached the rules of natural justice when it retired Mr. Robinson “in the public interest”. The Supreme Court ordered that he be reinstated and paid damages for loss of  salary and benefits. However,  by December 2007, the PSC still had NOT reinstated Mr. Robinson and was trying to transfer him out of the Attorney-General’s offices.

But all was not lost for Lackston Robinson. The new Prime Minister Bruce Golding rode to the rescue, fired the Public Services Commission, made sure that Mr. Robinson became Deputy Solicitor General, and appointed Lackston Robinson’s old pal, Douglas Leys, as his boss and Solicitor-General.

Great, right ? Justice is finally served ! Yeah, right. Michael Hylton, Daisy Coke and the PNP government are long gone, but it turns out Lackston Robinson’s friends are just as bad as his enemies.

Lackston Robinson represented by R.N.A. Henriques came to the Commission to give evidence that:

  1. The extradition request for Dudus Coke submitted in August 2009 was flawed because the evidence was illegally obtained and therefore Dudus’ rights were breached when he was extradited. Robinson still doesn’t know why, and has never been told, on what basis the Minister of Justice signed the extradition order.
  2. He, Lackston Robinson, was never shown the MOU’s in full and was only shown one paragraph of one MOU by his boss, Douglas Leys.
  3. He didn’t know anything about the hiring of Manatt in September or December 2009 and he never, in fact, saw any of the emails between Douglas Leys, Harold Brady and Manatt, Phelps and Phillips even though Douglas Leys claimed to have copied him on the emails.

Lackston Robinson was kept in the dark and out of the loop by his bosses (Leys, Lightbourne). End of his testimony and end of his sad story….. But perhaps he can take comfort in the fact that Douglas Leys and Dorothy Lightbourne were themselves being kept in the dark and out of the loop by the Prime Minister himself.

For example, Douglas Leys was busy considering hiring Manatt in December 2009 when Manatt had already been retained and paid by Harold Brady, Bruce Golding and Daryl Vaz back in September 2009. And Dorothy Lightbourne spent nine months making public legal pronouncements about Dudus’ constitutional rights and how she would not sign the extradition order, only to have the PM announce on national television that he “had told her to sign the extradition order” and she signed it….

Friendly banter with Karl Samuda


Next up was Minister Karl Samuda, former General Secretary of the JLP. Karl Samuda is the very definition of a good old boy and his presence caused K.D. Knight and Patrick Atkinson to revert to being good old boys themselves.

After a small show of antagonism early on, the questions and answers proceeded very much as if being conducted over a few drinks and among old friends. As part of the all-lads-together good fellowship, Samuda became the first of his JLP colleagues to admit to knowing Dudus. He also jokingly encouraged Patrick Bailey, the lawyer for Ronald Robinson, to see if the JLP would pay his fees.

Commissioner Emil George repeatedly said he could not hear what was going on between Minister Samuda and the lawyers cross-examining him, only to be told that it was just some friendly banter……

Lieutenant Colonel Patrick Cole : I did not speak to that woman

For some reason, Lieutenant Colonel Cole, the legal officer for the JDF, was recalled to give evidence again. He gave the same evidence as before and with the same calm politeness. Love that JDF discipline! It is one of the many pieces of conflicting evidence at the Enquiry. The Senior Deputy Director of Public Prosecution, Lisa Palmer-Hamilton, and Lt. Col. Cole, agree that he never spoke to the Minister of Justice and A.G. Dorothy Lightbourne on August 25, 2009 (the day the extradition request for Dudus was received) but Dorothy Lightbourne is insisting that this conversation took place…It’s still not clear (to me, anyway) why this is is such an important piece of evidence…

The lady-in-chief, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General Dorothy Lightbourne

This witness has only given evidence for one day so far. It was a very long day as her lawyer, Dr. Lloyd Barnett, led her through her testimony. So only a few observations:

There’s a reason why she’s known as Dodo….she is clearly somewhat slow for the lawyer who acts as chief law officer for the Government of Jamaica, especially a government filled with so-sharp-they-might-cut-themselves chaps like Daryl Vaz and James Robertson…..

In addition to being a little dim, she thinks it shows her in a good light to claim that she  had to constantly remind her staff about “proper behaviour and proper procedure“. According to her, from Day One of the Dudus saga, she was admonishing Lt. Col. Cole, Solicitor-General Douglas Leys and numerous other functionaries on how to behave and how to do their jobs. In short, she was the nagging-nitpicking-boss-from-hell …..no wonder everyone kept her in the dark and out of the loop.

Everyone but Dodo understood that the Coke extradition had to be handled carefully and quickly. The JDF, the JCF and the DPP’s office were ready to arrest him the same day the extradition request arrived, while, for his part, the Prime Minister showed zero inclination to rely on the legal skills of Dodo and Douglas, and hired Manatt less than 2 weeks later.

Next week: More Lady-in-Chief…

 

The Manatt Dudus Enquiry: Who is who and what is what

The Lawyers

Hugh Small defending the Prime Minster: His beautiful suits are always just slightly the wrong hue (pun intended),  and he disdains playing to the gallery. Super competent but since the Prime Minster has already admitted to hiring Manatt, it seems that Hugh Small’s job is to convince us that it wasn’t such a bad idea after all…..So far in the service of lying about Manatt and Dudus to the Jamaican public, it turns out that Bruce also lied about the roles of the poor saps serving in his government.

K.D. Knight representing, and representing, the PNP: The star of the show, Mr. Knight has flawless taste in suits, ties, and personal grooming, and he regards himself as the principal entertainer at the enquiry. He’s giving us full value for money with careful cross-examinations punctuated by tantrums and confrontations with the Commissioners, safe in the knowledge that his client can only benefit from the piles of smelly laundry being brought out for airing.

Frank Phipps representing the JLP: Frank Phipps is  a curious figure with his oh-so-British references to “Alice in Wonderland” bound to flummox any observers born into post- Independence Jamaica. Unable to compete with K.D. Knight in the fashion stakes, out-Britished by the presence of  Lord Gifford (an actual Brit) and slighted by the P.M. in his choice of legal counsel, Mr. Phipps alternates between bemoaning the lot of the poor citizen (deprived of our constitutional rights apparently) and being just plain nasty to, and about, whomever is giving evidence. His glory days may be behind him, but he’s determined to give as good as he gets. He’s getting plenty from K.D. Knight.

Dr. Lloyd Barnett representing Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Dorothy Lightbourne: Careful, fussy, and correct Dr. Barnett serves to remind us of the enormity of what is going down. His client Dorothy Lightbourne, who probably never had an idea in her life, is going to take the fall for the lies and evasions of Prime Minister Golding et al. Well, Dr. Barnett has had a rough time of it so far, what with all the witnesses (Lisa Palmer-Hamilton-DPP’s office, Leys, Lieutenant Colonel Cole-JDF) busy refuting every single thing in the Attorney General’s statement.

The Witnesses


The sad case of Solicitor General Douglas Leys: This gentleman spent most of his time on the stand on the verge of tears. Quite understandable when we consider the struggle in 2007 between the Prime Minister and the Public Services Commission over who would get the Solicitor General’s job. In the end, the Prime Minister fired the Public Services Commission who insisted on the appointment of Stephen Vasciannie, and gave Douglas Leys the job instead. Now, the Enquiry reveals why. The lawyers have taken Douglas Leys apart and shown the competent, but not-too-bright bureaucrat who was easily manipulated by politicians (Golding, Vaz, Lightbourne) , led by the nose up the Manatt garden path and shoved into the pile of horse manure that was “there’s something wrong with this extradition order”…….

The very worthy Dr. Ronald Robinson: This gentleman deserves our respect. He resigned after being used as a scapegoat and a fall-guy for the Manatt affair. Unlike Douglas Leys, Dr. Robinson had no fear of showing that he’s maybe a bit of a dunce and was certainly way too trusting. The more Hugh Small pressured him about “accounting officers”, and “where did you send your receipts” the more convincingly clueless Dr. Robinson became. Yes, he should have realized what was going on, but, in fact, he just didn’t get it. Seems like he was just pleased and proud to be doing his PM’s bidding and excited to be in D.C.  with the big boys. As a finishing touch to his I’m-just-a-dolt testimony, he actually offered his tourist pics as evidence……

The soldiers, the sailor, the lawyers from the DPP: These witnesses collectively provided the appetizers for the lawyers and the Commissioners in the first weeks of the Enquiry. The soldiers (Saunders and Cole) acquitted themselves like men; the sailor (Hardley Lewin) opposed the whole pack of liars as he has since he resigned as Commissioner of Police in 2009; and the lawyers from the DPP (Taylor, Palmer-Hamilton) were a credit both to their boss, Paula Llewellyn and their lawyer, Lord Gifford.

The very Teflon Daryl Vaz, Minister Without Portfolio: Love him or hate him, Daryl Vaz could win an Oscar any day of the week.  Known for his arrogance, he consistently answered all questions respectfully and with a loud “Yes, sah!”. He came to testify at the Enquiry  without a lawyer, and went on to deny  ever having met Mr. Christopher Coke aka Dudus. With the possible exception of his elder and better, Bruce Golding, it is unlikely that this small island has ever produced a more bare-faced liar. Yes, sah! You the best, Daryl Vaz!

Ambassador Evadne Coye, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: If I went to church, this is a lady I would expect to meet there. Responsible, prudent and very proper, call her a bureaucrat, or call her a public servant, Ambassador Coye is the reason why this enquiry will likely damage the JLP for a good 20 years to come. Trying to do her job properly has led to her being harrassed and harried on national TV – not a nice end for anyone’s career.

On the stand this week (Feb 14- 18): The enquirer in chief, Peter Phillips

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Will he stay or will he go ? Bruce Golding lies and apologizes one more time…..

E-lie Golding with friends James Robertson and Daryl Vaz

So the dust has more less settled on the Dudus affair. After Harold Brady revealed in October 2010 that the Prime Minister had asked him to set up the whole deal with Manatt to protect Dudus and prevent his extradition; and that Minister Daryl Vaz handled the money and payments;  the Prime Minister finally caved and announced a Commission of Enquiry .

Traditionally, Commissions of Enquiry take forever and thereby allow guilty parties to relax and exhale, knowing that by the time the Commission reports most people will have forgotten what they were so exercised about at the time (see the enquiry into the 2008 police killings in Tivoli …….)

It is clear that the Manatt/Dudus/Brady Enquiry is going to follow this long established pattern. The Enquiry won’t even start until January 17, 2011 making it almost impossible to finish by the supposed deadline of February 28, 2011…….. In the meantime, we can all refresh our memories by reading some of the pertinent letters and emails (thanks to the Gleaner for archiving these documents!)

What is particularly amusing (or annoying) about this Commission of Enquiry is that we are not supposed to need it. The Prime Minister has assured us on several occasions that he has already made a full confession. And if he knows he hasn’t yet told the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth, then why doesn’t he just have another press conference, tell us how it really went, and save everybody a lot of time and money ? Most likely, the only thing we don’t know is who paid the bill for the law firm of Manatt, Phelps and Phillips . And the PM has already told us that he’s NOT telling us……….

Bruce sits on a vendor

via badgals-radio.comvia badgals-radio.com

Out of the ashes of Tivoli we have a big decline in the murder rate (murders have fallen below 80 a month for the first time since 2002). Peter Bunting, the Opposition spokesman on National Security, has insisted  that the dismantling of the Tivoli garrison (referred to as the Shower Posse for the benefit of the US media) is the main reason that crime has declined. So if Bunting is right, we should:

  1. be eternally grateful to Bruce for undoing what Seaga and his pals like Dudus’ daddy, Lester Lloyd Coke aka Jim Brown, had wrought, and,
  2. such gratitude should  translate into a second term

After all, no one but the M.P. for West Kingston could have ordered the security forces to dismantle the garrison. Right ?

Right. Except for the niggling detail of all the effort, lies, money and political capital expended apparently to prevent what now seems to be an overwhelmingly positive outcome :-

  • Dudus gone to New York – he’s now the problem of the American rather than the Jamaican justice system
  • the police re-establishing control of previous no-go areas all over the island;
  • and most importantly our shameful murder rate is at last declining.

So is Bruce (aka Bruised, E-lie, Red Ras’) to be (A) thanked and congratulated on his Machiavellian skill in outmaneuvering the criminals that controlled his constituency; OR

(B) is he just what he appears to his detractors :-

a man so determined to get power and remain in power that  he was – and is– prepared to cooperate with anyone who is able to deliver one or the other (Daryl Vaz and James Robertson to become the leader of the JLP; Christopher “Dudus” Coke to become, and to remain, the M.P. from West Kingston; Harold Brady and  Manatt Phelps and Phillips to save his patron, “Dudus” Coke; the US DEA and the Obama administration to be allowed to remain Prime Minister even after trying their patience with  his increasingly desperate attempts to protect Dudus).

Well, it appears that many in the JLP think that their Prime Minister is a desperate man, and therefore, while receiving their apparent support (he is, after all, the first JLP Prime Minister since 1989) he no longer has their confidence. Hence Bruce protege, Minister Daryl Vaz,  failed in his bid to become General Secretary of the party. That’s a pretty big “No Confidence” vote…..

And Bruce has shown what he thinks of his other champion, Minister of Mining and Energy, James Robertson, accused of all sorts (soliciting murder, attempted murder, conspiracy to send Dudus to Venezuela – see Johnson, Ian, Request for asylum in the U.S..) by removing the West Kingston power-plant-to-be from Robertson’s Energy portfolio.

According to our political weather-vane, Mark Wignall, it is already all over for Bruce and the JLP. There are only so many scandals any administration can ride out, especially with an economy in decline.

But, to my mind, a continued decline in crime in general, and murder in particular, might be enough to give E-lie and friends a second term.

Time will tell, I guess, even tho’ the Commission of Enquiry mostly likely won’t…..
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