Jermaine McCalpin, Gleaner Writer
MANHATTAN, New York:
Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke should in two months get his hands on some of the evidence that constitutes the legal arsenal of the United States government in its quest to convict him of drug smuggling and the trafficking of illegal guns.
Coke, a strongman who was toppled from his Tivoli Gardens throne by the Jamaica army and extradited
last Thursday after a monthlong manhunt, will also have to prove that he can bankroll his preferred legal team from untain-ted funds.
Like his court hearing in Kingston last week, yesterday’s session at a Manhattan federal court ran approximately 15 minutes.
Russell Neufeld was accompanied by Coke’s potential legal team – Frank Doddato, Steven Rosen and Nicolas Matassini – the latter telling The Gleaner that he would be the frontman of the defence triumvirate if Coke could present proof, in 30 days, that his money was clean.
Matassini said he was the lead counsel in the defence of Norris ‘Deedo’ Nembhard, a Jamaican who was extradited and convicted of drug-smuggling and money-laundering charges.Dudus all but presidential
Though there were the standard security checks at the courthouse, there was little indication that this was the preliminary appearance of a man described by the United States as one of the world’s most dangerous drug kingpins.
Coke, who is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Centre – a block away from the courthouse – entered the room in navy blue prison overalls, his slow, deliberate gait a contrast to the swagger of the one-time ‘President’, as he was known across Jamaica. He said nothing during the session.
Neufeld complained to Judge Robert Patterson, who presided over yesterday’s hearing, that his client had not been granted permission to receive government documents that were crucial to the case. The judge set August 25 as the date for him, Coke’s lawyers and prosecutors to conference. The evidence should be with his legal team before then.
Coke’s next court hearing will be on September 7.
After yesterday’s session, Doddato told The Gleaner “the ball is now in play”, and that Coke was optimistic, despite the frustrations associated with his detention.
“He’s a real gentleman, completely different from what has been reported in the media. He’s in very good spirits.
“He’s not happy with being segregated and he expressed his love for Jesus,” Doddato said, adding that the legal team spent two hours with Coke on Sunday.
The calm vista seen through the windows of the 24th floor – of the Brooklyn Bridge, with the Manhattan Bridge in the distance – was worlds away from the high-rises of Tivoli which, last month was turned into a bloody battleground which claimed 74 lives.
courthouse was not bereft of Jamaican flavour, as about 35 supporters of Coke, including friends and family, insisted – before and after the hearing – that their man was innocent.
One woman, who gave her name as Susan and claimed that she once lived in Tivoli, said she had stopped cooking to come to court because she has known Coke since he was a child.
“Justice is going to prevail. We a go support him to the end. God a go do it fi him. Good over evil, mi seh!” said the woman.
Most of Coke’s supporters said they were from the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens and other sections of the Tristate Area.
Another friend of Susan’s interrupted: “Di man have fi get a good lawyer. Prepaid lawyer nah go work,” obviously in reference to fears that less-pricey state lawyers may handicap Coke’s defence.
Even during the hearing there was a brief sideshow. As a thick silence hung in the courtroom at 4:05 p.m. EDT (3:05 p.m. Jamaica time) – the start time – it was broken by the shrill ring of a cellphone. A family member was quickly escorted out of the room.
When the hearing ended, a relative, who, like others, requested anonymity, said: “Them nah treat him right. Him cyaah get no visit. Them treating him like an animal. He has only been accused, not convicted, so why treat him like a criminal?”
Added an aunt: “He’s my nephew and I support him. I know he’s going to get through this trouble and trial. We not going to leave him. And I hope Jamaica supports him and stands by him.”
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Original Gleaner Article
Reporting from Kingston, Jamaica — Ova di wall, Ova di wall
Put yuh AK ova di wall…
Blood a go run
Like Dunns River Fall.
Blood flowing like waterfalls. Brains floating like feathers out of a torn pillow. Women submitting to the whims of neighborhood “dons.”
The images are typical of dancehall, a popular Jamaican music style that has sparked a furious debate over whether it merely reflects an increasingly violent society or somehow contributes to the mayhem.
Some of dancehall’s most popular performers, including Elephant Man, who wrote “Ova di Wall,” use hyperviolent lyrics that chronicle the exploits of “badmanism,” the cult of gun-toting gangs. Some are also criticized as misogynistic and anti-gay.
The national debate has intensified in the aftermath of lethal police raids last month in the Tivoli Gardens slum that is the home turf of Christopher “Dudus” Coke, the alleged drugs and arms trafficker whose violent lifestyle is glorified in dancehall lyrics.
Community leader Henley Morgan, a pastor who runs a social outreach program in the lower-class Trenchtown district where reggae legend Bob Marley grew up, worries that the extreme songs of dancehall, a successor to ska, rocksteady and reggae, could be “dictating the culture.”
“This is music that is coming out of what we call garrisons, or ghettos that have been politicized. Violent dancehall has a lot of profanity, glorifies guns and degrades women,” Morgan said. “Not all dancehall promotes violence, but it’s the songs with raunchy lyrics that get played.”
Youths interviewed recently seemed torn between their enjoyment of a genre that is perfect “jumping up,” or dance, music and their aversion to the lyrics’ often explicit messages.
“These are things the Jamaican middle class doesn’t want to hear, but they happen in our society,” said Adrian Demetrius, a 20-year-old telemarketer who was interviewed one Saturday night amid the din of a popular dance club here called Quad. “Dancehall is just bringing it to the mainstream.”
As the music’s influence has grown, Jamaica’s Broadcasting Commission has tried to impose rules on radio stations to limit explicit language. But dancehall’s enormous popularity has frustrated those efforts fueled competition among the island’s radio stations to play the most outrageous tunes, said Donna Hope, a Jamaican music expert and professor at the University of the West Indies.
Hope said the music is a reflection of inner city reality and a product of “the social environment from which it has emerged.”
“It’s the old chicken-and-egg question that doesn’t have a clear answer,” said Hope, who has written several books on Jamaica’s musical heritage. “I don’t believe the simplistic analysis that music is responsible for social violence. If we have a huge bloody set of incidents, you can be sure they will be documented in music, just as, I assure you, the Tivoli Gardens operation soon will be.”
Many performers write songs that glorify gang dons like Coke in exchange for patronage and local gigs, music journalist and lecturer Dennis Howard wrote in a recent issue of Jamaica Journal magazine. But the relationships are highly competitive and can turn deadly. Two Kingston performers, Oneil Edwards and Mad Cobra, were shot in early May under mysterious circumstances; Edwards died.
“Enough is enough,” Barbados Education Minister Ronald Jones said to local reporters in March after authorities denied Jamaican artists Vybz Kartel and Mavado permission to perform. Jones insisted that there was a link between dancehall music and increasingly aggressive behavior exhibited by young people in Barbados.
Don McDowell, a 40-year veteran of the music business as a Kingston studio owner and music producer, agrees with that viewpoint.
“Jamaica’s popular music needs a cleansing, a move away from the promotion of drug use, explicit sexual content and violence,” said McDowell, who is now also a Christian preacher. “Dancehall is not the root cause of violence and declining moral standards, but it is a contributor.”
Even some dancehall practitioners think that some songs’ suggestive violence may have gotten out of hand. Performer Michael Davey, whose stage name is Powerman Stone, said in an interview outside the popular Mix Up Studios:
“If you take a man to the top of the building and you say ‘jump,’ he won’t do it. But if he hears it in a piece of music, it somehow fascinates him.”\
*Original article click here http://www.latimes.com/news/nationworld/world/la-fg-jamaica-dancehall-20100613,0,3981690.story *
10 Days after the arrest warrant was signed for Jamaican Don, Chris Coke known as DUDUS he has still not been captured by Jamaican law enforcement. However, the upheaval in Jamaica has caused the death of more than 70 people and at one point 500 had been arrested. Most of them have been released, but the fact is that Dudus is nowhere to be found. Now CBS News in the United states has reported that he may be headed to Belize. Here’s that report.
Jay Dow, CBS News
Tivoli Gardens in Kingston Jamaica, a neighborhood still consumed in violence. For the last week, Jamaican Security Forces have been battling armed rebels who support this man, 40 year old accused drug kingpin Christopher Coke who investigators say runs the “Shower Posse” an international cartel with operations in several American cities including New York. But according to an internal intelligence document obtained by CBS News Coke and his cohorts, using fishing boats and small planes “may attempt to flee the violence and enter the United States illegally to fight another day and control Jamaican criminal activity in the United States.” The document also states Coke and his crew may attempt to go through Belize in Central America in order to sneak into the US and settle down in one of several major cities with established Jamaican criminal networks.”
Jay Dow, CBS News
“Coke who goes by the aliases ‘Dudus’, ‘Shortman’, and President is regarded by justice officials as one of the world’s dangerous drug lords. He is already the subject of a federal indictment and has a long history of operating with the kind of freedom that comes with cozy political connections.”
“Those connections to Jamaica’s Labour Party date back to the time when Coke’s father held the title of ‘Don’ in Jamaica’s mafia. He dies in a fire while in police custody.”
Patrick Maitland, Publisher – Street Hype
“Jamiacan police are known to be very brutal. He knows that perhaps they would want to kill him.”
“Back in Tivoli families are still mourning and in some cases trying to find their loved ones. So far over 70 people had died many of them civilians caught in the cross fire.”
*Original Article click yasso*
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