Manatt helped to draft joint release between Jamaica, US?
BY PAUL HENRY Crime/Court co-ordinator email@example.com
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
LAWYERS for the US-based law firm Manatt, Phelps & Phillips may have had a hand in the drafting of a press release the Government of Jamaica intended to release jointly with the United States Government during the height of the Christopher 'Dudus' Coke extradition debacle.
This was alluded to by Ambassador Evadne Coye, the permanent secretary in the foreign ministry, during cross-examination at the commission of enquiry into the Government's handling of the Coke extradition request of August 2009.
Christopher 'Dudus' Coke
Coye had testified previously that Solicitor General Douglas Leys, in January last year, wanted Kingston to issue a joint statement with Washington on the extradition stand-off which had strained relations between both countries.
"Are you aware if anyone from Manatt had anything to do with the drafting of the press release?" asked Queen's Counsel Patrick Atkinson.
In response, Coye said she did not know at the time. But pressed further, Coye said she has since heard it being said that Manatt had a hand in the drafting of the release.
With his line of questioning, Atkinson, who is one of the lawyers representing the Opposition People's National Party, sought to establish that Manatt had been working for the Government of Jamaica, contrary to the position of Prime Minister Bruce Golding. Golding had said that the US firm was hired by the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) to lobby Washington on Coke's extradition.
Coye also reiterated her previous evidence that the Jamaican delegation of Leys, herself and deputy solicitor general Lackston Robinson had been acting on behalf of the Government of Jamaica when it met on December 17, 2009 with the US Justice Department representatives to discuss Jamaica's concerns about apparent breaches in the gathering of wire tap information on Coke, under the Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty.
Coye also testified that no lawyer for the JLP was present during the many meetings when the matter of the breach was being discussed nor had the party expressed an interest in the matter.
Also yesterday, the commissioner circulated an agenda which showed that Golding will give evidence before the commission on Monday, February 7.
The commission continues today.
Read more: http://www.jamaicaobserver.com/news/Manatt-helped-to-draft-joint-release-between-Jamaica--US_8325721#ixzz1CikbVNSF
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