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Jamaica`s Coke Waives Extradition Hearing In Interest Of `Country`

CaribWorldNews, KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thurs. June 24, 2010: Accused Jamaican Shower Posse Leader, Christopher `Dudus` Coke, yesterday waived his right to an extradition trial in his homeland and instead said he was ready to face a trial in the U.S.

Coke told a judge in Kingston he made the decision since he `now believes it to be in the best interest of my family, the community of Western Kingston and in particular the people of Tivoli Gardens and above all Jamaica.`

At the hearing this morning, Coke expressed also confidence that he will be found innocent in a U.S. court and allowed to return to his family in Jamaica.

Coke was arrested in a car with a local pastor Tuesday at a police road block in St. Catherine, Jamaica. He had reportedly disguised himself by shaving his beard and wearing a wig. Coke`s arrest came some four weeks after Jamaica police and troops raided his stronghold of Tivoli Gardens last month, killing 73 civilians. If convicted, Coke faces life in a U.S. prison and millions of dollars in penalties.

Meanwhile, in a statement released to the media, he said he was deeply saddened by the lives lost in the fighting sparked by the threat of his extradition and he hopes his decision will lead to healing for the nation.