A lawyer says she's spoken to drug lord Christopher 'Dudus' Coke and says he's seeking sanctuary abroad
Hannah Harris Barrington said she talked to Christopher “Dudus” Coke seven times as loyalists barricaded his stronghold in the Kingston slum of Tivoli Gardens to block his extradition to the US. She said Mr Coke, 42, reputed to be head of the Shower Posse drug gang, feared that security forces wanted to kill him to prevent him talking about his ties to powerful politicians.
Mr Coke’s bastion is the constituency of Bruce Golding, Jamaica’s Prime Minister and Labour Party leader, who tried for months to shield him from extradition before ordering his arrest on May 17. “He wishes to seek political asylum. He told me he is willing to turn himself in,” Ms Harris Barrington, who had a practice in Deptford, southeast London, until two years ago, told The Times. “He is being persecuted because he gave Bruce Golding his seat in Parliament.
“He is willing to disclose all the infomation that he is going to be killed for. He is willing to tell me everything about the Prime Minister — how the Prime Minister came to become an MP from that area,” she said. With a huge military manhunt under way, which has already resulted in the deaths of 73 people in Tivoli Gardens and elsewhere, Mr Coke may have reason to worry. His father, Lester Coke, also known as “Jim Brown”, ran the Shower Posse during the “drug wars” in the 1980s in the US in which the gang was blamed for 1,400 murders. Despite his political connections, Lester Coke was eventually arrested, but died in a 1992 prison fire before he could be extradited to the US — amid speculation that powerful figures wanted to stop him talking about his political ties.
Ms Harris Barrington, the daughter of a Jamaican bishop, moved to the island from Britain in 2008 to become a lawyer, pastor and human rights acti-vist. She made contact with Mr Coke as the stand-off grew last weekend. She said that he appeared to be in Jamaica last Saturday because she arranged to meet him — although the meeting never took place.
She last spoke to him on Monday, as hundreds of soldiers stormed his slum redoubt. But she said she does not know his whereabouts. “He is willing to hand himself in, but not to Mr Golding because he is going to die. There will be some story — a prisoner is going to stab him or something,” she said.