Las May, The Gleaner, Mar 19, 2010
Remember what the donkey said?: the worl nuh level. Translation: There’s no level playing field. While the Jamaican government is catching hell from all sides for not surrendering to the US’s request to extradite Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke on various charges, the most serious of which seems to be drug-running, India has practically given up on trying to extradite US citizen David Coleman Headley, who is accused of being the mastermind behind the 26/11 Mumbai attacks. Headley who has Pakistani roots is also accused of conspiring to target a Danish newspaper. He has pleaded guilty to all terror charges before a US court.
In spite of this the US refuses to extradite Headley to India. Neither will he recieve the death penalty. According to an India Today article:
49-year-old Headley, who faces six counts of conspiracy involving bombing public places in India, murdering and maiming persons in India and providing material support to foreign terrorist plots and LeT; and six counts of aiding and abetting the murder of US citizens in India, could have been sentenced to death if convicted.
But his plea agreement with federal prosecutors ruled out the death penalty and extradition to India, Pakistan and
Denmark, provided that he cooperates with the government’s terrorism investigations.
“Headley will cooperate in foreign investigation conducted in the US,” his lawyer John Theis told reporters after the hearing.
Headley, a Chicago resident who was arrested by the FBI’s joint terrorism task force on October 3 last year, told US District Judge Harry Leinenweber that he wanted to change his plea to guilty, in an apparent bid to get a lighter sentence than the maximum death penalty.
Son of a former Pakistani diplomat and a Philadelphia socialite, Headley, who was wearing an orange jumpsuit with hands and legs shackled, admitted guilty in all 12 counts during half an hour long hearing.
Meanwhile back home on the rock Police are worried that if Dudus is extradited the country’s 268 gangs will unite in protest and wage a war against ‘law and order.’
In its annual International Narcotics Control Strategy Report, the Barack Obama administration castigated Jamaica’s Golding administration for not handing strongman Coke to the US as requested. As the report noted:
The GOJ’s unusual handling of the August request for the extradition of a high-profile Jamaican crime lord with reported ties to the ruling JLP which currently holds a majority in Parliament, on alleged drug and firearms trafficking charges marked a dramatic change in GOJ’s previous cooperation on extradition, including a temporary suspension in the processing of all other pending requests and raises serious questions about the GOJ’s commitment to combating transnational crime.
For more on Headley read this New York Times article and watch the following videos. Interestingly Headley was also a heroin dealer under investigation by the DEA in the nineties.