THE US State Department yesterday denied knowledge of any document referring to Prime Minister Bruce Golding as an affiliate of Tivoli Gardens don Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke.
In his daily press briefing in Washington DC, Assistant Secretary Philip J Crowley said he was not aware of a report cited by ABC News in an article on its website, http://abcnews.go.com, Tuesday that made serious claims against Golding.
The article had also claimed that the Kingston Public Hospital was taken over by criminals loyal to Coke, who is wanted in the United States to answer charges related to drug- and gun-running. That claim was eventually dimissed by Health Minister Rudyard Spencer and staff at the hospital.
But responding to questions about the article yesterday, Crowley said he was “not familiar with the report cited in that story”.
“We certainly support the efforts of the Government of Jamaica to strengthen the rule of law and arrest Christopher Coke. The Government of Jamaica and the prime minister have taken bold steps in the last few days, and we continue to work closely with the Government of Jamaica to counter illicit trafficking,” he told journalists.
“I would just simply say we here at the State Department (have) no information to substantiate that report,” he emphasised.
He lauded Golding for the steps he had taken in the past week to serve an arrest warrant on Coke.
“…To us, actions speak louder than words. It is the prime minister who signed (authorised) the arrest decree and it is under his leadership that the Government is aggressively pursuing the arrest of Mr Coke,” Crowley added. Earlier in the day, Golding angrily denied and dismissed as “extremely offensive” the ABC News report, which was still on its website at Observer press time last night.
He also expressed outrage at a report in The Independent (United Kingdom) newspaper, which he alleged was trying to link him personally with Coke. He said both reports “were clearly part of a conspiracy to undermine the duly elected Government of Jamaica”.