ACCUSED Jamaican drug lord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke will have to wait a while to know whether the damning wiretap information against him will be thrown out or allowed to remain as part of the evidence in his upcoming New York trial.
Yesterday, Judge Robert R Patterson reserved judgement on an application brought by Coke’s legal team asking for the wiretap evidence be excluded from the trial.
The application was opposed by the prosecution.
Patterson declined to set a date for the ruling, which should be made ahead of Coke’s September 12 trial in the United States District Court in the Southern District of New York.
Should the wiretap information be allowed in the trial, this could spell a big blow for the defence which has been fighting tooth and nail to keep out the damning information in which Coke is captured allegedly making drug deals with persons in New York. A ruling against the prosecution could potentially weaken its case.
Yesterday, arguments were made that, among other thing, the wiretap information violated Coke’s constitutional rights and that the information was illegally obtained by the United States from Jamaica.
Prosecutors have maintained that the intercepted information was legally obtained as a result of two secret memoranda of understanding
(MOUs) signed between former National Security Minister Dr Peter Phillips and United States law enforcement agencies.
The former Tivoli Gardens don is to face trial on drug-trafficking and gunrunning charges. If convicted, Coke faces a possible sentence of life behind bars.
Still, Coke has refused to cop a deal that would guarantee him a lighter sentence. On a previous occasion, Coke’s lawyer Stephen Rosen told the Observer that Coke would not be turning against his “Jamaican brothers”, by entering a plea deal.
Coke has been awaiting trial since his extradition to the United States last year June on charges that he had, for over a decade as head of the deadly Shower Posse, operated a drug-trafficking and gunrunning syndicate that carried out the illicit trade between Jamaica and the US. His apprehension followed a bloody resistance in Jamaica in May last year during which he fled Tivoli Gardens and remained on the lam for about a month.