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Ex Jamaica PM Bruce Golding testifies before fact finding panel examining bloody 2010 raid

REUTERS/Jose Varella

Brazil's President Luiz Inacio Lula da Silva shakes hands with Jamaica's Prime Minister Bruce Golding during a meeting at Itamaraty Palace in Brasilia

KINGSTON, Jamaica _ Former Jamaican Prime Minister Bruce Golding is testifying before a fact-finding commission examining a 2010 raid by security forces that killed some 76 civilians.

The West Kingston raid by soldiers and police was intended to capture a gang kingpin who ran a criminal fiefdom that seemed untouchable until Jamaica reluctantly agreed to act on a U.S. extradition warrant.

Golding’s administration resisted the U.S. request for nine months, arguing Christopher Coke’s indictment on drug and gun trafficking charges relied on illegal evidence. At the time, Golding represented the area in Parliament.

The U.S. described Coke as one of the world’s most dangerous drug barons. He controlled the Tivoli Gardens slum, long a bastion of support for Golding’s party.

Golding’s testimony on Monday comes two months after the commission was convened.

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