Tag Archives: Jamaica

Read the cables yourself: Cables from the US Embassy in Kingston now available on Wikileaks website

While the Gleaner is much to be thanked and praised for publishing articles on the US Embassy cables (made available to the world by Wikileaks), most of us would rather read the cables ourselves and make up our own minds about the contents.

 

The Gleaner for some reason is leaving out the juicy bits (yes, Phillip Paulwell is the corrupt senior PNP politician that the US Embassy hoped would not be in Portia’s Cabinet…..) and the funny bits (yes, the US Embassy describes the JLP as being the party of the “middle class intelligentsia”…..).

The currently available cables from Embassy Kingston are here:


Anyway, for those of you short on time some of the cables are excerpted below. Enjoy.

Source tells US Embassy that Peter Phillips has PNP leadership election locked up in early 2006:

Sample from cable:

According to
XXXXXXXXXXXX, Patterson persuaded Davies to enter the race to
provide a more promising (and palatable) alternative than
Blythe to Phillips and Simpson Miller, and because Patterson
harbors long-standing grudges against both Phillips and
Simpson Miller.  Patterson, he explained, has never forgotten
that it was Phillips who conveyed then-Prime Minister Michael
Manley's 1991 request for Patterson's resignation as Finance
Minister after Patterson was found to have improperly waived
fuel import duties for a PNP crony who was also the local
manager for a multinational petroleum company.  As for
Simpson Miller, she earned Patterson's ire by daring to run
(unsuccessfully, as it turned out) against him to succeed
Manley in 1992, and by frequently missing or arriving late to
Cabinet meetings over the years, which Patterson viewed as a
lack of respect for his authority.

 

After Portia wins the February 2006 PNP leadership election, US Embassy hopes that she won’t appoint Paulwell to her Cabinet:http://wikileaks.org/cable/2006/03/06KINGSTON542.html

Gleaner story on this cable from Friday, May 27th, 2011: http://jamaica-gleaner.com/gleaner/20110527/lead/lead1.html
Sample:

Canadian DCM Brian Burton told DCM 

March 16 that Hylton had visited his boss, Canadian High
Commissioner Claudio Valle, earlier that day to ask Valle
whether the U.S. Ambassador and the British High Commissioner
had intended to convey a message to Simpson Miller.
According to Burton, Valle, who knows Simpson Miller well
from two previous tours in Jamaica and who planned to have a
one-on-one conversation with her about corruption concerns,
responded frankly to Hylton's inquiry.  Valle bluntly
confirmed to Hylton that the Canadian, U.S. and U.K. missions
are indeed concerned about Paulwell's reputed illicit
activities and associations, and by the possibility that he
(or others like him who supported Simpson Miller's campaign)
could hold sensitive positions, or wield influence, in her
government. Burton added that Hylton did not seem surprised
by Valle's remarks.

 

US Embassy in Kingston speculates on the 2007 election:

Sample from cable:

f the JLP Wins: How will the U.S. accommodate a closer
relationship?
--------------------------------------------- ------------ 

7.(C)  A JLP victory would represent a sea change in
Jamaica's political direction.  As outlined Reftel (F),
across a broad spectrum of issues-- from Venezuela and Cuba
to trade liberalization, market-driven development,
anti-corruption efforts, and Iraq-- the fundamental
orientation of the JLP is more consonant with U.S. policies
than that of the current Government.  In private discussions
with DCM and Emboff, Golding and other JLP officials have
stated that, upon taking power, they will look to the U.S.
for advice and assistance in areas as diverse as: 

-- harnessing remittances to boost economic development
-- biofuels
-- expansion of microfinance
-- reform, clean-up, and training/equipping of the Jamaica
Constabulary Force (JCF)
-- financing infrastructure development. 

In short, the expectations of a newly-elected JLP Government
would be high; the U.S. might well have difficulty meeting
them.  Washington should accommodate to the extent possible
Golding's request for a visit (Reftel D) to discuss areas of
potential cooperation, and begin thinking about what sort of
response we would be able to make to a request for enhanced
engagement by a more U.S.-oriented JLP Government, should
that come to pass.

 

Sharon Hay-Webster shenanigans mentioned in this August 2009 cable:

http://wikileaks.org/cable/2009/08/09KINGSTON611.html

Sample:

One PNP MP representing South Central St. Catherine, visited Embassy Kingston on July 31 to renounce U.S. citizenship, only to withdraw the renunciation four days later.  Nevertheless, over a week later the Jamaica Gleaner published an article on the MP's renunciation
with no mention of its withdrawal, suggesting that the MP intends to leave the public impression of having renounced U.S. citizenship.

 

Audrey Marks visits the U.S. Embassy to urge them not to pressure Bruce re Dudus in this September 9,  2009 cable:

Sample:

4. (C) The CDA stressed to Marks how important it is to the
USG that the GOJ observe its treaty obligations and cooperate
in Coke's extradition. Normally such extradition requests are
executed within two to three weeks of the issuance of a
diplomatic note. The CDA emphasized the USG's expectation
that the GOJ will not refuse the extradition request on a
technicality that had not been cited in similar extradition
requests.  CDA also noted that the extradition request on an
earlier indictment for Mark Clark had not been acted upon.
He expressed his hope that inaction would not be the norm for
extradition requests.

 

Ken Baugh, Minister of Foreign Affairs repeats the message in September 9, 2009:

Sample:

Nevertheless, Baugh assured EmbOff,
the GoJ would "meet its obligations under the Extradition
Treaty," although "due process" would have to be followed.
(Comment:  Baugh did not offer a specific timeframe.  His
concerns of possible civil unrest did not strike EmbOff as a
mere pretext for GoJ delay in arresting Coke; on the
contrary, his fears are well-founded.  End Comment.)
PARNELL

 

Ken Baugh, Ronald Robinson and Evadne Coye  hem and haw over the extradition with Parnell in a busy September 2009:

Sample:

7.(C) ChargC) then noted that a failure to extradite Coke would
represent "a serious step backward."  One of the reasons for
security concerns in Jamaica's "garrison" communities was precisely
because Coke and others were importing firearms and trafficking
drugs.  ChargC) asked whether the GoJ took the position that
extradition treaty provisions only applied to lesser criminals;
Baugh replied that anyone found guilty should be dealt with
according to law, and then noted that the "technical aspects" of
the Extradition Treaty must be decided by the Solicitor General and
Ministry of Justice, bearing in mind the GoJ's duty to ensure that
the rights of individual citizens were protected.  ChargC) then
pointed out that several years ago the Jamaican courts had ruled
that there was no requirement that extradition requests name
witnesses.  Baugh said he would be surprised if the Solicitor
General and Ministry of Justice were unfamiliar with the court's
previous rulings vis-C -vis extradition requests.  Baugh then raised
concerns over a recent lawsuit by a Jamaican who had been
extradited to the USA, filed on the grounds that extradition
procedures had not been followed properly.  ChargC) noted that a
number of extradition requests in which witnesses had not been 

named had been successfully processed by the GoJ; the U.S. was
disappointed that the GoJ had not moved more expeditiously and
positively in the Coke case, but would continue to look for ways to
move forward.

 

This is the cable filled with the most fun facts as the Embassy details Peter Phillips and Bruce Golding’s stand-off in Parliament in December 2009 (see if you can count how many lies Bruce told to the Manatt-Dudus Enquiry based on this cable alone….):

Sample:

According to Phillips's sources, the
Golding administration has been quietly reaching out to friends in
the U.S. Congress and the administration through backchannels to
try to circumvent the Departments of State and Justice and to make
their case to the White House.  Phillips also told Emboff that many
key JLP stalwarts - Minister of Finance Audley Shaw, Minister of
Education Andrew Holness, Minister of Housing Horace Chang, and
Minister of Foreign Affairs Kenneth Baugh among them - have
expressed to him their dissatisfaction with the Golding
administration's handling of the Coke extradition request, but that
they're unlikely to break with Golding over the issue, nor would he
expect any JLP MPs to cross the aisle over the issue

The US Embassy thinks things are looking up for Bruce and the JLP in January 2010:
Sample:

7. (SBU) Having spent most of 2009 lambasted by critics as
ineffective and indecisive, PM Golding and the GOJ now find
themselves in an unfamiliar position - riding a wave of policy
successes.  Meanwhile, the tragedy of the Haitian earthquake has
offered the PM a rare opportunity to rise above the bitterness and
rancor of party politics and to present himself as a regional
statesman and humanitarian, shepherding CARICOM's relief efforts
and working closely with the Secretary and the USG.  Nevertheless,
it remains to be seen whether the GOJ will take advantage of these
policy achievements to finally impose order on the nation's fiscal
 affairs, draw down its crushing debt burden in order to free up
resources for private investment, and rekindle economic growth.
Perhaps more troubling is the GOJ's recent recalcitrance in
granting U.S. extradition requests, suggesting a lack of
seriousness in addressing Jamaica's crime problems, or even the
possibility that garrison dons and criminal elements have
"captured" the GOJ.

 

Those 2004 MOU’s get a mention as Bruce makes more excuses to delay the extradition in February 2010:

Sample:

4.      (C)  Post requests that Department move forward with
diplomatic note addressing the GOJ's concerns regarding use of
wiretap information using talking points outlined in
McDonough/Parnell e-mail of February 3.  Charge has raised the
matter of disclosure of the 2004 MOU between UK/GOJ/DEA with UK
High Commissioner, and expects to get UK's views of MOU disclosure
on February 10.
Parnell

 

N.B. We know that there are other cables (lest we forget Lorna and the salad or Mayor McKenzie worrying about the “vacuum” ) but it is not clear if we will ever get all of them “onetime”….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

The Manatt Dudus Enquiry: Who the cap fit, mek dem wear it…….

 

Prime Minister Bruce Golding answering K.D. Knight

Well, it’s more or less all over. K.D. Knight ended his cross-examination of Prime Minister Golding with his now familiar summing up: his suggestions getting more and more outrageous, his voice rising, his furious glare becoming more and more fixed on the witness.

Here’s the already-famous clip of K.D. accusing the Prime Minister of being “pathologically mendacious” (via Afflicted Yard).

 

As befitting the Prime Minister’s role in “sanctioning” the hiring of the U.S. law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips and thereby triggering the whole debacle, K.D. Knight finished by suggesting that the Prime Minister “should pack your bags and go!”

The day after the “showdown” K.D. Knight and the Prime Minister were back to being old friends and joking around. When Dodo’s lawyer, Dr. Adolph Edwards, was fixing up his client by showing the Prime Minster various documents supporting Dodo’s testimony and asking him if he was “aware of” them, K.D. kept intervening to urge the Prime Minister not to answer such boring questions……. Later, he intervened on the pretext that the witness “was under intense pressure”….

The Prime Minister laughed heartily, obviously needing the comic relief because:

A little earlier in the proceedings, Patrick Atkinson had drawn blood. He reminded the Prime Minister that the previous day he had told the Enquiry that he received a visit from the U.S. Ambassador Brenda LaGrange-Johnson on the afternoon of 29th October 2007, and during that visit she told him that a Grand Jury in New York had indited Christopher Coke.

The Prime Minister took the bait and confirmed the date and the conversation. Then Patrick Atkinson produced a statement by Dodo where she talks about listening to a tape made by one of the co-operating witnesses cited in the extradition request. On the tape the witness says he received a phone call from Christopher Coke on the evening of 29th October 2007 and Coke said someone had advised him that he had been indited in the United States……..Atkinson asked the Prime Minister if he had any comment on this coincidence…….Not surprisingly, he didn’t.

This was a bombshell and one understands why Hugh Small decided not to re-examine his client at the end of the afternoon and the end of his testimony. Nothing could dress that wound.

And pursuing the matter would only open a whole new can of worms……For example, why did Christopher Coke sit down in Jamaica for two years after his inditement in the U.S. and wait for the extradition request to arrive ? Was it because he had every assurance from the Prime Minister that the request would never be granted ????

It’s all over now

So, apart from the Commission sitting one more day (next Friday April 8, 2011) for housekeeping matters, and the actual submission of the report by the Commissioners (yawn), the Manatt Dudus Commission of Enquiry has come to an end.

Local advertisers are already capitalizing on the Enquiry’s popularity by using legal rhetoric to sell banana chips. And, with any luck, someone should already be at work making a documentary from all that great JIS footage.

Here’s my list of losers at the Manatt Dudus Commission of Enquiry:

Wrong and strong

Minister of Justice and Attorney-General Dorothy “Dodo” Lightbourne insisted on blaming all her subordinates (from her secretary to the Solicitor-General) for everything that had gone wrong with the handling of the extradition request.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding insisted on his integrity, truthfulness and concern for constitutional rights each time he was presented with evidence of his lies, evasions, prevarications and devotion to taking whatever was the most expedient course at the time.

Most pathetic

Lackston Robinson, the Deputy Solicitor-General, who, despite being at the heart of the conspiracy, was not even granted the dignity of being a co-conspirator.

Most boringly self-righteous

Peter Phillips, former PNP Minister of National Security, seemed to lack both a sense of humour and a sense of proportion. To hear him rage on the witness stand, one would never guess that he had spent the last 25 years fully immersed, and fully participating in, the muck and corruption of Jamaican politics.

Least imaginative liar


Minister of Justice and Attorney-General Dorothy “Dodo” Lightbourne was easily the worst liar of the many that appeared as witnesses. As her lies were exposed and contradicted by her own testimony and the testimony of others, she was unable to come up with anything new. By the end, it was pure tedium listening to her deny having read the legal opinions written on her behalf, deny having known of Dudus’ association with the JLP, deny not understanding any of the laws she was supposed to be administering…..

Worst defense of a lousy client

Dr. Lloyd Barnett and Dr. Adolph Edwards for Minister of Justice and Attorney-General Dorothy “Dodo” Lightbourne. Yes, the lady was hardheaded, ignorant, impossible and I’m sure she never listened to you, but still, guys: lousy defense

And here are the winners:-

 

Best defense of a lousy client

 

Oliver Smith defending Solicitor-General Douglas Leys. Talk about a hard worker and inventive lawyer. Oliver Smith grabbed the spotlight with the email from Dodo to Harold Brady and Douglas Leys, and provoked Frank Phipps into ordering a raid on his client’s offices.

Most enriched

Commissioners Anthony Irons, Emil George and Donald Scharschmidt will be receiving US$350 per hour for the approximately 4 months that the Enquiry has taken (including the preparation of their report due by May 2011). Nice work if you can get it….

Best deportment

Commissioner Anthony Irons. The only one of the 3 Commissioners who was not a lawyer, Commissioner Anthony Irons never opened his mouth for the entire proceedings. He also displayed zero interest in any of the testimony, while manfully remaining awake the entire time.

 

Legend in his own lifetime

K.D. Knight. Respect due. Will spend the rest of his life trying to hide from his hordes of female admirers.

 

 

 

Next ?

 

Some persons (I am not among them) will be eagerly awaiting the report of the Commissioners. With heavy heart, but with keen anticipation, I await :-

(1) The response of the U.S. Embassy to all the Prime Minister’s rhetoric about the behaviour of the Charge d’ Affaires Isiah Parnell and the amending of the Extradition Treaty

(2) The trial of Christopher “Dudus” Coke in New York

(3) More Ministers of the current JLP Government seeking to outdo and wildly surpass the corruption of the last PNP Government

And, just because it has all been so much fun, here’s:-

Video of Minister of National Security Dwight Nelson failing to recall…….

 

(via Infamous Reddz)

and Entertainment Report’s classic take on the early days of the Enquiry

( via Infamous Reddz)

 

The Manatt Dudus Enquiry: Tell us another one, Prime Minister

To date, the Enquiry has been fascinating and compelling TV. It has shown us the nuts and bolts of the extradition process and exposed some of the workings of the Government.

The lawyers and witnesses have uncovered, or tried to keep covered, various matters of importance (principally, who did what when……). That has been compelling viewing too.

Commissioners Anthony Irons, Emil George and Donald Scharschmidt arriving at the Enquiry

The worst moments so far have all involved politicians placing the blame on public servants/civil service employees. This week began in the same vein.

The first witness was Marcia Beverly, a Consultant/Advisor in the Ministry of Justice, who was responsible for the physical receipt and documenting of the extradition request. She confirmed that everything was done as usual by Deputy DPP Jeremy Taylor (the poor relatively junior lawyer who Dodo says is responsible for the “whole debacle”).

Later on in the week the “missing” log book turned up and Lord Gifford was able to show that Jeremy Taylor had given an accurate account of what happened on the day the extradition request was received i.e. everybody except Dodo did their routine tasks routinely…..

Next up was Verna McGaw, one of Dodo’s former secretaries (K.D. Knight put in evidence that Dodo has had more than 20 secretaries since taking office in 2007…..). She testified that Dodo had sent an email to Solicitor-General Douglas Leys and Harold Brady about the extradition request on September 16, 2009. This was the bombshell (or rather, hand grenade) that scattered the remaining splinters of Dodo’s credibility. Dodo’s own testimony had already done the permanent damage to public perception of her intelligence, abilities and her character.

Then Dr. Adolph Edwards, Dodo’s lawyer along with Dr. Lloyd Barnett, had the thankless task of trying to show that McGaw was not a credible witness.

Having done with the ladies, we waited for the main course, the pork and yam of the Commission of Enquiry being the cross-examination of the Prime Minister himself. He it was who hired Manatt, he it was who set up the Enquiry.

As K.D. Knight began his cross-examination it became clear that the Enquiry had fully descended into the realm of Jamaican party politics. The Prime Minister came there to lie and defend his activities on behalf of Christopher “Dudus” Coke and the JLP.

Prime Minister of Jamaica Bruce Golding

Hugh Small, the Prime Minister’s lawyer, was there to make sure that any attempt to expose the lies of the Prime Minister would be met with cries (or whines) of disrespect. K.D. Knight, the lawyer for the PNP, was there to remind us that the Prime Minister was lying about the whole Dudus extradition matter and the hiring of the U.S. law firm, Manatt, Phelps and Phillips.

Turns out we didn’t need reminding because the Prime Minster came to the Enquiry to assert the following impossible-to-choke-down-lies:

He did NOT hire, on September 6, 2009 (16 days after the request for extradition had been received) the U.S. law firm, Manatt, Phelps and Phillips to lobby the U.S. Government to delay (or prevent) the extradition of his West Kingston constituent, Christopher “Dudus” Coke. More likely ? He DID hire MPP to ensure that Christopher “Dudus” Coke would still be around to deliver votes for the JLP in the 2012 election (or that Christopher “Dudus” Coke had time to leave the island for Venezuela or other unextraditable points south)

Manatt was hired because (16 days after the request for extradition had been received) the Prime Minister already knew that Coke’s constitutional rights had been violated and was determined to start high level negotiations to prevent the violation of Coke’s constitutional rights. More probable ? He knew that thwarting the combined efforts of the Jamaican security forces and the U.S. DEA would require money and high level contacts

Manatt was hired because (16 days after the request for extradition had been received) the Prime Minister had already been advised by “two foreign diplomats” that there was no point in trying to deal with the U.S. Embassy in Kingston. More likely? The U.S. charge d’affaires Isaiah Parnell had already made it clear to Dodo that the U.S. wasn’t going to listen to any crap

Nobody in the Jamaican justice system (Lightbourne, Leys) who was handling the extradition request was privy to the Prime Minister’s efforts to use Manatt to protect Christopher “Dudus” Coke’s constitutional rights. More likely ? The Prime Minister, Dodo and Harold Brady cooked up the whole fiasco circa August 2009 as soon as they knew for sure about the extradition request

In any case, the testimony of Dodo, Douglas Leys, and various civil servants, have already confirmed what most Jamaicans already suspected:-

As conspiracies go, this one was large, employed all sorts of numbskulls (Brady, Robinson, Lightbourne, Leys et al) and was spectacularly unsuccessful (73 dead plus Mr. Coke extraditing himself…).

To my mind, the only fig leaf left to cover the Prime Minister’s incompetence and denial in the Dudus’ affair is that his predecessor as leader of the JLP, Edward Seaga, had great success in the 1980’s in protecting Christopher Coke’s father, Lester Lloyd Coke aka Jim Brown, from the wrath of the U.S. authorities. Mr. Coke Sr. bounced around between Jamaica and the U.S. with the apparent full knowledge of both the U.S. and Jamaican governments. One minute he was in jail in the U.S., the next minute he was in Kingston being released by the Jamaican Supreme Court into the arms of gun saluting supporters.

So, possibly, Bruce Golding thought that the same could be done for his son. As Ian Boyne pointed out, perhaps the Prime Minister “doesn’t recall” that the Soviet Union collapsed more than 20 years ago and “the war on drugs” and “the war on terror” have long since replaced anti-Communism as the main planks of U.S. foreign policy.

Jamaica is of zero strategic importance today – Castro’s Cuba notwithstanding – and only of concern inasmuch as it is a transhipment point for drugs into the United States. Even cunning old Eddie Seaga would get short shrift from the U.S. authorities nowadays.

Poor old K.D. Knight, poor old Hugh Small

K.D. Knight representing the PNP

For the past couple of weeks K.D. Knight has looked worn and weary, as first Dodo, and now the Prime Minister have tried his temper and his patience. For his part, Hugh Small has become progressively more whiny and fixated on “the people watching this Enquiry all over the world”…… Both gentlemen are showing their age (70+).

Hugh Small representing the Prime Minister

Only Frank Phipps, who was as old as the hills when he came to the Enquiry, is not much the worse for wear after weeks of testimony and cross-examination.

Frank Phipps representing the JLP

With the Prime Minister on the witness stand, much of the interest has gone out of the proceedings. Hugh Small has successfully prevented K.D. Knight from tripping up the Prime Minister, but it is not as if the Prime Minister is going to say anything new. When he contradicts himself or Dodo he just, like Dodo, continues to assert his truthfulness and love of Christopher Coke’s constitutional rights. Truth and facts be damned, disregarded, dissed, skated over…

Naturally, the Prime Minister is a much better liar than Dodo and the bigger the lie, the more angrily he defends it.

From time to time, the Prime Minister attempts to joust with K.D. by scoring points or making smart replies. This sometimes works and the JLP supporters in the room reward him with laughter, but most times the PM’s timing is off and his jokes fly right over the heads of his supporters, hit the wall and fall flat on the floor…..

Poor old Jamaica

Well, this Enquiry is almost over. It has introduced most of us to the workings of a small part of the government and our judicial system. It has delighted us with the skills of K.D. Knight, John Vassall, Lord Gifford, Frank Phipps and the other distinguished lawyers. It has reminded us (if we needed it) of the high quality of many of our public servants (hats off to the DPP’s office, the JDF and JCF) and of the dismal quality of many of our politicians (take a bow Bruce, Dodo, Dwight, Ronald).

If only we could look forward to flinging these rascals out at the next election….If only we didn’t have Bobby Pickersgill, A.J. Nicholson and Omar Davies sitting behind K.D. Knight day after day to remind us that they, the in-power-far-too-long-PNP, are our only alternative……

Grand finale next week: More from the Prime Minister on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday

FYI:

Terms of Reference for the Enquiry

The Governor-General has today been advised to appoint a Commission of Enquiry to enquire into and report on the issues relating to the extradition request for Christopher Coke by the Government of the United States of America, the manner and procedure in which the said extradition request was handled by the Government of Jamaica, the circumstances in which the law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips was retained and its role in relation to the said extradition request and the role and conduct of various public officials and private persons and organizations in relation to any or all of the aforesaid matters.

The specific Terms of Reference of the Commission are:

To enquire into:

The issues relating to the extradition request for Christopher Coke by the Government of the United States of America;

The manner and procedure in which the said extradition request was handled by the Government of Jamaica and the role and conduct of the various public officials who handled the extradition request;

The circumstances in which the services of the law firm Manatt Phelps & Phillips were engaged in relation to any or all of the matters involved, by whom were they engaged and on whose behalf they were authorized to act;

Whether there was any misconduct on the part of any person in any of these matters and, if so, to make recommendations as the Commission sees fit for the referral of such persons to the relevant authority or disciplinary body for appropriate action.

The Commissioner shall make a full and faithful report and recommendations concerning the aforesaid matters and transmit the same to the Governor-General on or before February 28, 2011.

The Commission shall be comprised of:

Hon. Emil George Q.C., O.J. (Chairman) (Attorney-at-Law)

Hon. Anthony Irons O.J. (Retired Permanent Secretary)

Mr. Donald Scharschmidt Q.C (Attorney-at-Law)

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

 http://ws.amazon.com/widgets/q?ServiceVersion=20070822&MarketPlace=US&ID=V20070822%2FUS%2Fthecomplete01-20%2F8003%2F1853b806-80d7-40ca-bf5d-9faa906a0654&Operation=GetDisplayTemplate Amazon.com Widgets

Reading between the lines with Lorna Golding (and Dudus Coke)

UPDATE December 2010 Wikileaks shows Lorna confiding in US Embassy officials about how the PNP and U.S. Congressman Charlie Rangel are conspiring against Bruce and the JLP ! Whispering in Hillary’s ear !!!!
Most hilarious moment ? Lorna “requested that President Obama “reach out” to the Prime Minister as a means of “bigging him up” (i.e., raising his stature)”………

We couldn’t make this stuff up etc….. etc……..
—————————————

Lorna Golding

Lorna Golding, sister of JLP MP and Minister of Labour Pearnel Charles and wife of  Prime Minister Bruce Golding, has urged us to “Read between the lines” when we consider his confessions, namely that he authorized the hiring of the U.S. law firm Manatt, Phelps and Phillips (after having insisted that he and his government had nothing to do with it).

Since then PM Golding has stopped stalling the extradition process and turned over the U.S.  request for Christopher “Dudus” Coke to the Jamaican legal system.

Okay, so let’s go ahead and read between the lines with Lorna :-

Is it that Bruce received a reminder from ‘Dudus’ that he,  Dudus, made him, Bruce, the M.P. for West Kingston  ? And can make him the “former M.P. of West Kingston” anytime…..

Did Dudus remind Bruce of the long agonizing months between Edward Seaga’s announcement that he would resign as Leader of  the Opposition in July 2004 to the old boy’s actual departure in January 2005 ? Those moments when it seemed that Seaga was going to give his seat to Desmond McKenzie and nothing could stop him, leaving Bruce out in the cold with no constituency, no seat, no chance to become Leader of the Opposition…….

Is that what we should remember, Lorna ? The days when  Daryl Vaz and James Robertson had to go into Tivoli and make whatever deals necessary with men that knew, trusted and liked Desmond McKenzie and did not know, like or trust Bruce Golding ? All so  Bruce could one day be the JLP’s  Prime Minister…….

Or should we read between the lines and stop feeling sorry for Bruce, who having sold out to Dudus so he could be PM,  has now turned around and sold out Dudus in order to remain PM for a few more weeks and months ?

Approving the extradition order for Dudus  was  the cross…. Now we’re waiting to find out what’s the DOUBLE CROSS.

Please take your pick and place your bets:-

(1) Dudus left town (and Jamaica) long ago.  Bruce’s confession last Tuesday  (May 11, 2010) was just another episode in his life long soap opera “Looking for Love in All the Wrong Places”…..In Episode 120, after being rejected yet again, Bruised lashes out at Dudus on national TV……..

(2) Bruce waited to “confess” until Kingston was full to the brim of U.S. DEA agents and Columbian hit men (wishing to protect their supply lines) and is trying to scare Dudus out of Tivoli into the arms of  one or the other….. (This can still work…..)

(3) Dudus is already “sleeping with the fishes’ ….. Bruce has an agreement with one or two Dudus wannabees and the joke is once again on Tivoli residents and Jamaicans everywhere who are busy defending and condemning a dead man…..

(4) Embarrassed JLP donors (e.g. Wayne “No Visa” Chen, Gordon “Butch” Stewart ) tried to force Bruce to resign, and so now he’s threatening to give them what the duck got :- another confession, this time in Parliament, so Peter Phillips can “make him” tell the whole truth, and nothing but the truth….

Please to leave your DOUBLE CROSS picks  in Comments !

Why are we waiting, Prime Minister Golding?

The current Prime Minister of Jamaica seems to deserves our sympathy. He is out of options. Massive cuts in government expenditure must take place so that the government and the economy can continue to function at some basic level.

The IMF is said to be asking for at least 25,000 job cuts.

Air Jamaica will cost US$200 million to divest and/or some unnamed amount to keep it limping along.

Yes, there is nuff on PM Golding’s plate. But there are some things we can’t give him a bligh on:-

(1) Nothing has been done re the extradition of “Dudus”. Nothing except to give “Dudus” another government contract. How long can this go on without totally destroying the credibility and authority of the Prime Minister and his government ?

It is one thing for us, the voters, to gossip wildly and to continuously speculate and assert that we know which politician and which businessman is corrupt and in bed with the dons.

It is quite another for the Prime Minister to prevent the extradition of a man whom nobody, but NOBODY, is asserting has gained his power, influence or fortune by legal means. (Bunny Wailer, in case you are wondering, says he’s never met “Dudus” and is defending him based on some strange idea that the people of West Kingston need “Dudus” to rule over them, so he should be pardoned, not extradited….. Great musician Bunny Wailer. Nuff said ).

So what is the Prime Minister waiting for ? Someone to kill “Dudus” so he doesn’t have to deal with the matter ?

(2) When will there be an announcement of a by-election in East Rural St. Andrew, the constituency currently held by JLP M.P. Joseph Hibbert ? There is no question that Mr. Hibbert is guilty. He has admitted taking money from Mabey and Johnson, the British bridge building company, which subsequently received a no-bid contract from the Jamaican Government. Our Contractor-General concurs with Mr. Hibbert, and with the UK courts, that Mr. Hibbert took the money and is corrupted.

We are being told some bullshit that just because the company has been found guilty in the U.K. and just because the UK government is going to make the company pay the Jamaican government 5 million pounds in compensation for the corruption of our officials, and just because the said corrupted official is, by his own admission, Joe Hibbert, M.P. for East Rural St. Andrew, all of that doesn’t mean that Joe Hibbert is totally compromised and should resign immediately, or resign yesterday, whichever comes first…..

Then today, October 15, 2009, we hear that our Commissioner of Police Hardley Lewin is being pressured to resign. Probably because he doesn’t like the Prime Minister who is presiding over the non-extradition of “Dudus” and the non-resignation of Joe Hibbert, complaining that the Jamaica Constabulary Force isn’t doing enough to combat crime……. Yeah, right.

All I can think is that Prime Minister Golding is under the impression that it is imperative for him and his government to stay in power.

Hence nothing must be done to endanger his standing in his own constituency (the extradition of “Dudus”) and nothing must be done to endanger his slim majority in Parliament (the resignation of Joe Hibbert and the holding of a by-election).

At some point the Prime Minister should consider whether he wanted to govern Jamaica so he could make the island safe for the rule of the dons, and ensure that the likes of Kern Spencer and Joseph Hibbert can sit in Parliament no matter how corrupt they are……..

And we, the voters, have to consider if sort-of-free-health-care and sort-of-free-education are enough reason to allow this deeply disappointing government to serve out a full term……..