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Jamaica: Wiretap Fears – Government Inks New Deal With US As Phillips’ MOUs Deemed Unconstitutional, Says Chang

Questions are being raised about the legality of extraditions that took place between 2004 and 2010 under Operation ANTHEM – the Peter Phillips-era electronic surveillance memorandum of understanding (MOU) with the United States and United Kingdom – and whether the State might be liable if plaintiffs like deposed Tivoli Gardens don Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke challenge the decisions in the courts.

The MOUs, which were signed in 2004, allowed for the eavesdropping on telephone calls to disrupt and dismantle transnational criminal operations.

Speaking to The Gleaner yesterday, attorney-at-law Peter Champagnie said the extraditions would be illegal if they were obtained on the basis of evidence extracted through the MOUs alone.

“It would depend on whether or not the process is dependent upon the surveillance alone, because you may have other bits of evidence, just like in the anti-gang thing. Remember, in some of the instances, some of them were no case because of the evidence they had. But in respect of other gang members, they had other evidence … so it could equally apply in this instance,” Champagnie said.

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