US sees window of opportunity to resolve dispute

Risesmart.comPAUL Beswick, one of the lawyers representing Tivoli Gardens strongman, Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke, yesterday met with the charge d’affaires Isiah Parnell at the US Embassy in an effort to reach an agreement on the contentious extradition matter.

Speaking on Nationwide last night, Beswick said a “window of opportunity” had opened up during the meeting which both he, on behalf of Coke, and the United States are pursuing to “peacefully resolve” the matter.

Unconfirmed reports are that both parties are likely to strike a deal that would see Coke waiving his rights to an extradition hearing in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court and head straight to the US where he would face trial on drugs and gun-running charges.

Such an agreement would avert widespread bloodshed, should an attempt be made by the security forces to extract Coke from his heavily barricaded Tivoli Gardens stronghold.

The police had on Friday called for Coke’s lawyer to turn him in. But Don Foote, the lead attorney in the matter, told the Observer then that this was not a consideration due to the fact that Coke had launched an effort in the Supreme Court challenging the decision of Justice Minister Dorothy Lightbourne to commence extradition proceedings against him, after nine months of procrastination.

Yesterday Foote got defensive when asked by the Observer if his client was in the island and if he was in touch with him.

“I’m not going to answer that. Don’t ask me that,” Foote insisted.

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