Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding has accused critics of his handling of the extradition of a drug criminal, as ‘undermining his government’. News reports in the US have alleged that Golding is considered “known criminal affiliate” of the fugitive Christopher “Dudus” Coke.
Fighting in the capital Kingston has seen more than 60 people killed since soldiers stormed Coke’s bastion in Tivoli Gardens in an unsuccessful bid to arrest him for extradition to the United States, where he faces drug-trafficking and gun-running charges.
Tivoli Gardens is represented in Parliament by Golding. Prime Minister Golding had initially refused to agree to a US request to extradite Coke, but changes his mind a week ago and ordered his arrest on 17 May.
In a statement, the Prime Minister’s office dismissed an ABC News report that US officials considered him an “affiliate” of Coke and a report in the Independent newspaper that the drug criminal’s gang was on the payroll of Golding’s Jamaica Labour Party (JLP).
“Prime Minister Bruce Golding has categorically denied and dismissed as extremely offensive, reports on the US-ABC network which describe him as ‘a known criminal affiliate of hunted drug lord’, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke,” the statement said.
“Mr Golding says he is also outraged by an article in The Independent, a UK newspaper, that the ‘drug gang was on (the) payroll of Jamaican Prime Minister’.
“He said both publications, by seeking to link him personally with the alleged drug kingpin, were clearly part of a conspiracy to undermine the duly elected government of Jamaica.”
The Gleaner newspaper reports today that local morgues are under pressure to accomodate the mounting casualties and are appealing for post mortems to be carried out promptly.
Filed under: International Politics |