Tag Archives: Oliver Smith

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: Insults ! Bombshells! Dirty tricks!

As the Prime Minister begins to testify and the end of the Enquiry looms, we can start to consider what the whole spectacle has contributed to Jamaica apart from a couple of months of must-see-TV.

Well, so far the Enquiry has contibuted new insults and fun phrases to the Jamaican lexicon.

Patrick Atkinson, addressing Hugh Small :

Go and buy a tie ! Twit !

Dodo and Dr. Adolph Edwards to Patrick Atkinson:

Mr. Coke extradited himself.

K.D. Knight to witnesses, the Commissioners and fellow counsel on innumerable occasions:

No! No! No!

K.D . Knight to Dodo:

When would reason have so fled from me……

Dorothy Lightbourne, repeatedly, to all lawyers cross-examining her:

That is so.

That is not correct.

There was a snowstorm coming.

Minister of National Security Dwight Nelson repeatedly to K.D. Knight:

I can’t recall.

I don’t recall.

All the lawyers to all the witnesses:

Isn’t it true…..?

I suggest to you….

I’m sure there’s more.

More Miss Lightbourne

The cross-examination of Dorothy “Dodo” Lightbourne, Minister of Justice and Attorney-General continued this week. It was excruciating to watch. When K.D. Knight finished his cross-examination, Patrick Atkinson (representing Peter Phillips) started work. When he was done, Oliver Smith (representing Solicitor-General Douglas Leys) began. When he was done, it was time for the JDF ‘s attorney Linton Gordon to begin.

By this time Dodo was insisting that she had (1) never done anything wrong ever, (2) took no responsibility for anything ever, and (3) when pressed, was doubling down on blaming any and every one who ever had the misfortune to work for her.

After a brief intermission where John Vassall, representing Dwight Nelson, fixed Dodo up for a couple of hours with lots of nice questions allowing her to reiterate her “legal arguments” without contradiction, it was time for Lord Gifford to cross-examine Dodo.

 

Lord Gifford representing the Office of the DPP

Lord Gifford’s cross-examination was much praised the next day for its apparent contrast with the more aggressive questioning of K.D. Knight and Patrick Atkinson. However, Dodo managed to frustrate him just as she had frustrated everyone else.

Far from getting her to withdraw her allegations that his client Jeremy Taylor, Deputy DPP, had given bad advice to the U.S. and was responsible for the whole debacle (the deaths of 73 people in Tivoli), Lord Gifford only made her more vehement and more determined not to take any blame whatsoever.

He ended by being as rude to her as an English gentleman could manage. Sample lines:

Minister, does your knowledge of criminal law extend to….? (Translation: You ignorant fool! K.D. was right to say that you completely misunderstand the law!)

Minister, try to concentrate on what I’m asking…(Translation: Answer the question, you incredibly stupid woman!)

Well, Dodo’s testimony was finally over and we were able to contemplate the last-minute bombshells detonated by Oliver Smith and Hugh Small:-

The Sept 16, 2009  email from Dodo to Douglas Leys and Harold Brady

Although it seemed impossible that any more holes could be blasted in Dodo’s testimony by the cold hard facts, Oliver Smith produced an email which indicated that Dodo was briefing Harold Brady, the JLP’s acknowledged point man on the extradition, 3 weeks after the request was first received. Boom !!!! Only totally contrary to all her previous testimony re Brady……

Oliver Smith

The letter from Manatt to Dodo

K.D.Knight had asked for the letter that Dodo had written to Manatt (telling them they had been employed by the JLP) and Manatt’s reply. However no one questioned her on them, and Oliver Smith asked that the reply from Manatt not be read out as he had not had a chance to cross-examine Dodo or his client about it.Too bad for him and his client that on Friday morning Hugh Small read out the reply from Manatt anyway.

The reply, which reiterated that they had been employed by the Government of Jamaica, mentioned that they, Manatt, had been in email correspondence with Solicitor-General Douglas Leys since September 2009….Boom!!!…Big hole in Douglas Leys credibility right there. He had testified that he didn’t know that Harold Brady was involved, or that Manatt had been hired, until December 2009….Before he might have seemed a dupe and a patsy…..now looking more like a co-conspirator……

And now we come to:

Dirty tricks and bad mind (Frank Phipps section)

Frank Phipps has spent a lifetime in the criminal justice system in Jamaica and he has a first class knowledge of how witnesses can be intimidated.

Early on in the proceedings he attacked Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin by exposing his wife.

This week he showed us that that was not so much a slip-up as a Mode of Operating (MO).

After Oliver Smith had produced his bombshell email, everyone (K.D. Knight, Patrick Atkinson, Oliver Smith, Lord Gifford) asked the Commissioners to call the secretary who had sent the email to testify at the Enquiry. Moments after the Commissioners had agreed to do this, Frank Phipps said that the poor lady ought to lose her current job.

While we can understand why Frank Phipps, as the lawyer for the JLP, wants to discourage witnesses from giving evidence against his clients (in this case, prominent JLP member Dorothy Lightbourne) his objection was unlikely to have any effect on the Commissioners who already knew who the secretary was, and that she was employed to them.

It seems that the outburst had only one purpose : to intimidate not only the secretary, but also anyone else who might be thinking of providing evidence to the Enquiry.

This little incident was just the appetizer for the afternoon. Oliver Smith came back after lunch to say that his client, Solicitor-General Douglas Leys, was prepared to make his computer and his email account available to the Commissioners so that the authenticity of the email could be verified. Well, who told him to say that ???!!!

Frank Phipps and Dodo got to work and, minutes later, 5 officers from the Cyber unit of the Jamaica Constabulary Force were at Douglas Leys’ New Kingston office trying to seize his computer. The police subsequently apologised and there is to be an investigation.

Oh, wait ! Same afternoon we also had the “manila envelope” scare happening between the news that the secretary would be testifying and the police going to the Solicitor-General’s office.

Yeah, so not surprising the first day of the Prime Minister’s testimony seemed sort of boring after the day before. Hugh Small led the Prime Minister through his testimony as if they were playing hopscotch. Not sure why Small wanted to jump from one thing to another as he did, but I guess all will become clear.

The press were so desperate that they had to make news out of the Prime Minister and K.D. Knight having a friendly chat during “elevenses”. As I recall, the Prime Minister and Karl Samuda were the only members of the JLP to attend the funeral of K.D. Knight’s son in 2007 shortly after the JLP had taken office.

At the time, there was no reason to think that K.D. Knight would ever again play a prominent role in Jamaican politics. He had declined to run again in the 2007 General Election, and was returning to his law practice. So when the PM and Samuda took time to go to the funeral, you can know that was a sign of genuine affection and respect for K.D.. Expect it to be reciprocated.

Next week: Mrs. Beverly (Ministry of Justice) and Verna McGaw (former secretary to Dodo), followed by more from the Prime Minister