Court releases Simpson Miller, Matalon from extradition row

Portia Simpson Miller and Joseph Matalon argued that it was legally wrong to name them as defendants when all they did was express an opinion on the Coke extradition matter.

JUSTICE Roy Jones this morning gave defendants Portia Simpson Miller and Joseph Matalon leave to withdraw their names as defendants in a Supreme Court motion brought by Justice Minister Dorothy Lightbourne.

Lightbourne is seeking several declarations from the court regarding her powers as minister in the Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke extradition issue.

Justice Jones had reserved judgement on the applications when the case was heard last Wednesday.

The minister has the option of having her application be heard ex parte — that is, without anybody else being heard but her.

Simpson Miller, Jamaica’s opposition leader, and Joseph Matalon, the Private Sector Organisation of Jamaica boss, had asked to be removed as defendants after being joined with Coke in the matter brought by Lightbourne.

The defendants had argued that it was legally wrong to name them as defendants when all they did was express an opinion on the Coke extradition matter.

Coke was not represented in court, as he had not been served any court documents.

The United States government last August requested the extradition of Coke to face charges associated with trafficking in drugs and guns.   Lightbourne has stubbornly refused to sign the authority to proceed, raising concerns from various sectors of society regarding her motive.

Prime Minister Bruce Golding, in whose West Kingston constituency lies Coke’s stronghold of Tivoli Gardens, has held that the wire-tap evidence against Coke was illegally obtained by the US.

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