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Entries in Bruce Golding (6)


Christopher Dudus Coke: Arrives in US


Christopher Dudus Coke the "Don" of Tivoli Gardens, Jamaica went before a Manhattan, NY court to plead not guilty to various drugs and illegal gun trafficking charges that could see him spending the rest of his life in prison. 

It was almost a year ago, on August 28,2009 that an extradition request was issued and presented to the Jamaican authorities. See the details here. 

The government of Jamaica and in particular the Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, delayed granting the request, resulting in strained relations between the U.S. and Jamaica.

In the end, bowing to political pressure, the Prime Minister signed the warrant for the arrest of Christopher Dudus Coke. When the police moved to execute the warrant they met stiff resistance from the Tivoli Gardens community where Dudus was believed to be staying, resulting in the government declaring a State of Emergency. 73 civilian died during this operation. Christopher Dudus Coke went into hiding.

Finally, after a month-long manhunt, Dudus decided to give himself up. He solicited the help of a well-known pastor and while en route to the U.S. embassy was captured in a roadblock on June 22,2010.

Christopher Dudus Coke was remanded in custody by U.S. District Judge Robert Patterson after his not guilty plea in the Manhattan courtroom. He is being represented by a team of lawyers, including Frank Doddato and Russel Newfeld, who plans to seek bail even though prosecutors want to keep him in jail.

Judge Robert Patterson set a new hearing for June 28,2010 at which time a decision will be made on whether to grant bail or not. 


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Christopher Dudus Coke: Captured


It's Over! Christopher Dudus Coke has been captured by the Jamaican authorities. It happened about 4:00pm on June 22, 2010 on Mandela Highway just outside the capital, Kingston.

According to reports Coke was on his way to surrender himself at the U.S. embassy, in the company of a respected preacher --- the Rev. Al Miller, pastor of the Fellowship Tabernacle --- when the vehicle in which he was traveling ran into a police roadblock. It appears as if the police had prior knowledge of Dudus' plans. Police Commissioner, Owen Ellington told reporters that they were "acting on intelligence" when the vehicle was stopped.






Coke, who was reportedly wearing a wig at the time, was transported to the Spanish Town Police Station where he was held for just over two hours before being transported by Jamaica Defence Force helicopter to an undisclosed location.

The capture of Christopher Dudus Coke after a month-long manhunt has been costly:

  • Strained relations with the U.S. 
  • A State of Emergency declared (and is still in effect) 
  • 73 lives lost in a police raid on Tivoli Gardens 
  • An embattled Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, who faces an uncertain political future 

Reaction in Tivoli Gardens, Dudus' community has been mixed. Most people expressed relief that Dudus had been captured alive and showed continued support for the "Don". A throng of people -- among them the elderly and the very young -- sang pro-Coke songs and made expletive-filled, anti-Bruce Golding comments as they marched through sections of the community.

"We love wi Prezi same way. No matter what dem do we nah let down Prezi!" shouted one woman, while referring to Coke by one of his aliases.

"A him turn in himself. A him a di real big man," shouted another.

"Him school nuff a wi and give nuff a we place to live and tek care of the homeless," said Kimoy.

Tivoli Gardens resident Ina Bernard was also "glad him go in alive because a kill dem did come fi kill him, eno".

Relief fi know say him safe and dem no kill him," said one woman requesting anonymity.


The pastor, Rev. Al Miller,  that Christopher Dudus Coke turned to for help in surrendering to the U.S. authorities, is now the subject of police interest. They have issued a request that Miller turn himself in for questioning -- with his lawyer.

Miller said Coke contacted him and requested his assistance to be taken to the U.S. Embassy in Kingston.

"I, therefore, made arrangements with his lawyers because he wanted to go ahead with the extradition process. So we communicated with the US Embassy, because that's where he said he would feel more comfortable," Miller told The Gleaner.

Miller was one of the unofficial mediators and was instrumental in getting Coke's brother, Leighton (also known as 'Livity'), and sister Sandra to turn themselves in to the police for questioning. Miller said Coke has faith in him.

"He trusts me. It's no different from the others. I have carried in a number of people in the last couple of weeks," he said.

Miller said he was not concerned that his link with one of the region's most dangerous fugitives might cause his reputation irreparable damage.

"They can say anything. It's what is facts, truth and what is right that matters," he said.

According to the Jamaica Observer Miller turned himself into the police for questioning. Whether or not he will face charges is unknown.

"We can only confirm that he has turned himself in. We are not prepared to say much more at this time," head of the Constabulary Communications Network, Inspector Steve Brown told the Observer.

Now that Coke is in custody authorities say that every effort is being made to present Coke "before a magistrate within 48 hours" of his capture to face proceedings.

For more background material on the Dudus controversy see the articles below:

  • Christopher Dudus Coke: Wanted 
  • Will Christopher Dudus Coke be Extradited 
  • Christopher Dudus Coke: Still Wanted
  • Christopher Dudus Coke: Extradition Approved
  • Christopher Dudus Coke: State of Emergency


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    Christopher Dudus Coke: State of Emergency


    If there was any doubt as to the power and influence of Christopher Dudus Coke --- who controls a section of Kingston, Jamaica, known as Tivoli Gardens --- that has been put to rest.

    • Parts of Kingston are under a State of Emergency 
    • Two police stations have been attacked 
    • A third one, in Hannah Town, was set ablaze. 

    Armed gunmen who were responsible for those unprovoked attacks on the police stations have been joined by many residents of the barricaded West Kingston community in declaring their support for Christopher Dudus Coke. The message to the security forces and the government was clear: Try to arrest "Dudus" and there will be all out war.

    The unrest began after the Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding, declared that an arrest warrant had been issued for Christopher Dudus Coke who is being sought by U.S. authorities on gun-trafficking and drug charges. It took 9 months of procrastination by the government before the decision was finally made to grant the request for the extradition of Coke to the U.S. to face those charges.

    In responding to the unrest and declaring a State of Emergency for parts of Kingston, the Prime Minister said security forces would be "moving swiftly to bring the current situation under control".

    "Criminal elements bent on violence and mayhem will be detained," he said in a televised address.

    "What is taking place is a calculated assault on the authority of the state that cannot be tolerated, and will not be allowed to continue."

    Prime Minister Bruce Golding stressed that Kingston “is not being shut down,” and schools and businesses outside the battle zone will be open.

    Police Commissioner Owen Ellington said “scores of criminals” from gangs across the Caribbean island had traveled to West Kingston to join the fight.

    “It is now clear that criminal elements are determined to launch coordinated attacks on the security forces,” he said.

    Police said the attacks were unprovoked and called for all “decent and law-abiding citizens” in the troubled areas to immediately evacuate their homes and said security forces would ferry them out safely.

    While the U.S. sees Christopher Dudus Coke as a dangerous criminal involved in the international drug trade, in Tivoli Gardens he is a leader or "Don" who provides for the welfare of the community. Many see him as a benefactor who for many years has ensured their safety and is mainly responsible for sending their children to school and putting food on their tables.

    Hundreds of residents of West Kingston took to the streets last week to voice their support for Dudus:

    "After God, then Dudus," read one placard. "Jesus died for us so we will die for Dudus," read another, and these were not idle sentiments.

    "Leave 'Dudus' alone. Him a law-abiding citizen," many of them shouted as they assembled outside the Denham Town Police Station.

    Many of the supporters who came out in defense of Dudus were women who were very vocal in their praise of Coke's benevolence and said they were prepared to die for the man who is wanted by the U.S. as a dangerous criminal. An article in the Jamaica Observer explores the connection between the women and men of influence in their communities.





    Christopher Dudus Coke himself has had very little to say. While the uproar in the streets continue and his lawyers fight the extradition order in the courts, he has kept a very low profile. According to the Jamaican newspaper The Gleaner: 

    Dudus "is not one of those flashy dons who one sees at every dance or nightclub 'flossing' with bottles of high-priced liquor and scores of scantily dressed girls in his entourage."

    He is also not one of those dons who crave the attention of the media while flaunting power.

    "You know that I don't talk to the media," is the stock response from Dudus on the few occasions journalists have been able to get close enough to ask him questions. But make no mistake, Christopher Dudus Coke wields enormous power.

    In another article The Gleaner takes a look at how the Prime Minister owes his position to Dudus. Without his approval Bruce Golding would not be the representative from West Kingston nor the Prime Minister.

    "The power-sharing framework between the man who formally represents the West Kingston constituency in which Tivoli Gardens is located, and the man who really runs the place, is just as fascinating."

    The article traces the history of the links between politics and the streets and where the real power resides. For more background material on the Dudus controversy see the articles below:


  • Christopher Dudus Coke: Wanted 
  • Will Christopher Dudus Coke be Extradited 
  • Christopher Dudus Coke: Still Wanted
  • Christopher Dudus Coke: Extradition Approved

    What happens next? Will the securities forces try to storm the barricaded Tivoli Gardens community? Will Christopher Dudus Coke give himself up? Will Bruce Golding be forced to resign as Prime Minister? No one really knows the answers. All we can do is hope that things don't get worse before they get better.....more to come.

    UPDATE: Christopher Dudus Coke: Captured 

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    Christopher Dudus Coke: Extradition Approved

    The government of Jamaica has decided to approve the request from the United States for the extradition of Christopher Dudus Coke on drugs and gun charges. The decision ends 9 months of tension between the two countries over the status of the request.

    For a detailed history of the Christopher Dudus Coke controversy see the following articles:

    In a speech televised to the Jamaican nation on May 17, 2010 the Prime Minister, Bruce Golding, said in part:

    I crave your understanding, the government has never refused... never refused... the request for the extradition of Christopher Coke. It has simply asked the US authorities to provide additional information that would enable the Minister to issue the authorization in compliance with the terms of the treaty. In the controversy that has ensued, we sought the opinion of one of Jamaica's most eminent lawyers, Dr. Lloyd Barnett, who advised that the issues involved were not sufficiently settled in law, and therefore the Attorney-General should seek a declaration from the Court before exercising her authority.

    I wrestled with the potential conflict between the issues of non-compliance with the terms of the treaty and the unavoidable perception that because Coke is associated with my constituency, the government's position was politically contrived. I felt that the concepts of fairness and justice should not be sacrificed in order to avoid that perception. In the final analysis, however, that must be weighed against the public mistrust that this matter has evoked and the destabilizing effect it is having on the nation's business. Accordingly, the Minister of Justice, in consideration of all the factors, will sign the authorization for the extradition process to commence.

    Click here for a complete transcript of the speech

    The very next morning Jamaica's Attorney General Dorothy Lightbourne signed the extradition order and passed it to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Paula Llewelyn who immediately secured the warrant for Coke's arrest from the court.

    Senator Tom Tavares-Finson who had acted as Christopher Coke's lawyer, served notice that he will be withdrawing as Coke's attorney. He had been criticized publicly for defending Coke while at the same time holding a position in the government. He will be replaced by attorneys, Jacqueline Samuels Brown and Paul Beswick.

    Prime Minister Bruce Golding had come under heavy criticism for his government's delay in signing the extradition request, which had been issued in August 2009. It was evident that his procrastination was a source of frustration for the American authorities which issued a scathing report on Jamaica's role in the international drug trade.

    Prime Minister Bruce Golding also faced domestic pressure from the parliamentary opposition the People's National Party (PNP) and many other organizations which felt that he was doing everything he could to protect Christopher Dudus Coke for political reasons. Coke was not only a strong supporter of the Prime Minister's party, the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP), but was also in control of the Prime Minister's constituency of Tivoli Gardens where he (Coke) is regarded as a "Don" and is unanimously respected and beloved by the people who live there.

    In fact, there lies a huge problem for the government if and when they attempt to execute the arrest warrant. There is bound to be civil unrest and quite possibly armed opposition from the people of Tivoli Gardens if the security forces attempt to take Christopher Dudus Coke into custody.

    According to Reneto Adams, a retired senior superintendent of police, even if Coke could be taken into custody there would have to be massive security arrangements put in place:

    "If he is arrested, the Government would have to deploy added security in key strategic places. You would also have to house him at Up Park Camp and certain routes on which he would be driving would have to be closed down. We are looking at an extensive operation because this man has great influence," said Adams.

    "It will be a maximum security plan with all kinds of persons involved: people from the intelligence arena, people from the strike force, obviously some snipers will be in place," he added.



    In the meantime residents of Tivoli Gardens are preparing for the worst. Upon hearing of the arrest warrant for Christopher Dudus Coke, Tivoli Gardens has been turned into a fortified community with roadblocks erected at all main entrance points. However there has been no signs of violence so far and after initial apprehension it appears as if businesses in the downtown area are least for now.

    UPDATE: Jamaica declares State of Emergency!

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    Christopher Dudus Coke: Still Wanted

    Christopher Dudus Coke is still wanted and the Jamaican Government's failure to turn him over to the U.S. authorities, who have been seeking his extradition since Aug. 2009, has strained relations between the two countries.

    In the recently released INCSR 2010 (International Narcotics Control Strategy Report), which identifies and reports on countries involved in drug trafficking, Jamaica was singled out for being reluctant to carry out extradition requests "for a major alleged narcotics and firearms trafficker" as outlined on page 274 of the report:

    While cooperation between Government of Jamaica (GOJ) and U.S. Government (USG) law enforcement agencies remained strong, delays in proceeding with the significant extradition request for a major alleged narcotics and firearms trafficker who is reported to have ties to the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, and subsequent delays in other extradition requests, have called into question Kingston’s commitment to law enforcement cooperation with the U.S. While cooperation between Government of Jamaica (GOJ)and U.S. Government (USG) law enforcement agencies remained strong, delays in proceeding with the significant extradition request for a major alleged narcotics and firearms trafficker who is reported to have ties to the ruling Jamaica Labour Party, and subsequent delays in other extradition requests, have called into question Kingston’s commitment to law enforcement cooperation with the U.S.
    The scathing report on illegal drugs in Jamaica states that both the business sector and politics have been compromised by the drug trade and "Porous sea and air ports serve as direct export locations of marijuana and cocaine to the United States":
    Jamaica’s murder rate per capita reached 1,672 in 2009 making it one of the highest in the world. The difficult economic situation has spawned a significant increase in aggravated crime such as larceny, robbery, and rape. This, in turn, has placed a national spotlight on increasingly brazen criminal activity throughout the country which continues to threaten civil society. A particular focus of concern has been the increasing activity of organized crime, which permeates both the legitimate business sector as well as the political sector. The “guns for ganja” trade exacerbates the problem as undocumented handguns continue to flow freely into the country. Recent assessments indicate that approximately 70 percent of the illegal firearms entering Jamaica originated from the U.S.
    Leaving no doubt that the U.S. is displeased at the delay in turning over Christopher Dudus Coke, the INCSR implies that Coke is being shielded from extradition because of his ties to the JLP (Jamaica Labour Party) which currently controls the government.
    Until August 2009, the extradition treaty between the USG and the GOJ had been actively and
    successfully used by the United States to extradite suspected criminals from Jamaica. Extradition requests were routinely and timely processed by Jamaican political and judicial authorities. The GOJ’s unusual handling of the August request for the extradition of a high profile Jamaican crime lord with reported ties to the ruling Jamaica Labor Party, which currently holds a majority in parliament, on alleged drug and firearms trafficking charges marked a dramatic change in GOJ’s previous cooperation on extradition, including a temporary suspension in the processing of all other pending requests and raises serious questions about the GOJ’s commitment to combating transnational crime. The high profile suspect resides in and essentially controls the Kingston neighborhood known as Tivoli Gardens, a key constituency for the Jamaica Labour Party. Jamaica’s processing of the extradition request has been subjected to unprecedented delays, unexplained disclosure of law enforcement information to the press, and unfounded allegations questioning U.S. compliance with the MLAT (Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty) and Jamaican law.

    Bruce Golding in the House 

    The Prime Minister of Jamaica, Bruce Golding, in response to the report rejected U.S. claims and questioned the legitimacy of the extradition request. He claimed that some of the evidence used to justify the U.S. request was obtained by secretly and illegally recording communications.

    The request for the extradition of Coke was received on August 25, 2009. There were aspects of the case and the procedures employed that were abnormal and the Government, consistent with the provisions of the Extradition Treaty, sought clarification and additional information...In one important respect, however, it was found to be in violation of the law. The Interception of Communications Act makes strict provisions for the manner in which intercepted communications may be obtained and disclosed. The evidence supporting the extradition request in this particular case violated those provisions. So serious an offence is this violation that the penalty provided by law is a maximum fine of five million dollars, or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding five years, or to both such fine and imprisonment. The law further requires that for intercepted communication to be admissible in any criminal proceedings it must have been obtained, disclosed and used in accordance with these provisions. This was not done in this case. This was highly irregular.

    Prime Minister Bruce Golding also said that there had been meetings with U.S. authorities regarding this matter both in Jamaica and Washington, D.C. where the government of Jamaica has remained constantly engaged with the US authorities on the matter.

    The Jamaican government has indicated that if the U.S. had other evidence, the procurement and disclosure of which were not in violation of Jamaican law, the minister would be prepared to accept that evidence and issue the necessary authority to proceed. No such evidence has up to now been presented.

    In questioning the assertions in the INCSR about the reluctance of Jamaica to live up to its international agreements, the Prime Minister said:

    The US Narcotics Control Strategy Report accuses the Government of "unfounded allegations questioning US compliance with the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty and Jamaican law", and has questioned the Government's commitment to law-enforcement cooperation with the US.


    We respectfully reject these assertions. The minister of justice, in authorising extradition proceedings, has a duty to satisfy herself that they conform to the provisions of Jamaican law. As minister and, especially, as attorney general, she cannot authorise processes which she knows to be in violation of Jamaican law.

    Wayne ChenKarl Samuda

    So what is next? In a move widely interpreted as sign of displeasure, the U.S. revoked the visa of Wayne Chen, Chairman of the state-run Urban Development Corporation. There has been no explanation for the revocation and Karl Samuda, General Secretary of the governing Jamaica Labour Party, has refuted reports that members and affiliates of the Party have also had their United States visas revoked.  

    The Christopher Dudus Coke affair also caused problems in Parliament with accusations flying back and forth between the Government and the Opposition over the reluctance to sign the extradition warrant. 

    Aside from the political arena, other groups have joined the call to place the matter of the extradition of Christopher Dudus Coke before the Jamaican court system. The contention that the extradition request from the the U.S. is flawed by evidence obtained by illegal wiretaps is a matter for the courts to decide.

    • The Jamaica Council of Churches (JCC)
    • The Independent Jamaican Council for Human Rights (IJCHR)
    • Jamaicans for Justice (JFJ)
    • The Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica (PSOJ)
    • Families Against State Terrorism
    • And the Parliamentary Opposition

    Have all joined together in opposition to Bruce Golding's decision to keep the issue out of court:

    "The (extradition) matter should go before the courts," was the blunt declaration of the Reverend Peter Garth of the umbrella church group, which usually stays out of such issues.

    "The council is troubled by the seeming trend to reduce or curtail judicial authority, and warns that there are constitutional implications," declared the Arlene Harrison Henry-led IJCHR.

    "We embark on a dangerous road when the executive authority usurps judicial functions by making decisions about evidence. As such, decisions can only be properly made by the court after a full public hearing of all issues, and after the hearing of all parties"

    "We fully support the position of the IJCHR and believe the Dudus matter needs to be placed before the courts," asserted Dr Carolyn Gomes, executive director of JFJ.

    "In fact, we believe that it is a breach of the principle of separation of powers for the executive to assume the duty of the judiciary," Gomes added. "We have always argued that the court is the final arbitrator, and we have sought to defend the rights of all Jamaicans in a court of law."

    In reality the Dudus affair has been a huge headache for Prime Minister Bruce Golding. Christopher Dudus Coke, no matter what anyone says, is not an ordinary citizen of Jamaica. He controls the area known as Tivoli Gardens from which the Prime Minister derives his political power and support. To be seen as "giving up" Dudus to the Americans would not only be unpopular in Tivoli Gardens it would be tantamount to political suicide. On the other hand to be seen as being uncooperative with the American authorities over this matter, leaves him open to charges of being a corrupt politician under the influence of an internationally wanted criminal. There are no good options for Bruce Golding.

    In the meantime Christopher Dudus Coke has other things on his mind. It's his birthday! And in the style and pomp of the beloved Don that he is, he plans to throw a party. He will celebrate his 41st birthday with an elaborate two-day bash in the community that treats him like a king - Tivoli Gardens.

    Where he will be for birthday number 42 is anybody's guess.


    Also See: Dudus Wanted and Dudus to be Extradited? also Dudus Extradition Approved!<<----


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