FORMER Commissioner of police, Rear Admiral Hardley Lewin says Prime Minister Bruce Golding’s call for the identity of the cop who acquired evidence against Tivoli Gardens strongman Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke to be revealed is a massive red herring.
Golding had stated in parliament that the wiretap evidence was acquired in breach of the island’s Interception of Communications Act and demanded that the cop’s identity be revealed so he could be charged.
But Lewin, who spoke hours ago at the RJR Editors Forum, said the cop broke no laws and operated with the full approval of his superiors.
The cop is now in protective custody in the United States.
“I am going to change his name to Constable Red Herring,” Lewin said. “Constable Red Herring did his job with the full knowledge and approval of his chain of command. I am satisfied that all actions taken were in conformance with Jamaican law and protocols and I stand by and defend those actions.”
The Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) has argued that the cop was not authorised to disclose any information in his possession arising from interception of Coke’s telephone conversations as ordered by the court. The state contends that the court never intended by its various orders that the information would be released to anyone other than the authorised officers.
Coke is wanted for narcotics and arms running by the United States authorities who have requested that the Jamaican government extradite him to face the charges in a New York court.
Coke is the reputed don of Tivoli Gardens, a community that lies within Golding’s parliamentary constituency of West Kingston. Coke is a JLP supporter. The evidence was handed over to US authorities during Lewin’s tenure as police commissioner and included recorded conversations between Coke, other persons and a cooperating witness about ‘dealings’ in narcotics and firearms.