Coke ‘doubles up’ defence

Alleged
crime lord Christopher ‘Dudus’ Coke has added two more attorneys to his legal
team as he prepares to fight charges which could land him in prison for life.

Coke has hired Frank Doddato and
Steve Rosen, who join attorneys Steve Zissou and Elizabeth Macedonio in a
four-pronged legal attack.

Doddato and Rosen formed part of a
trio of lawyers who earlier on were planning to represent Coke, if he could
provide proof that the money he would pay them was clean. The other attorney
was Nicholas Matassini.

The former Tivoli Gardens strongman
is fighting gun and drug-trafficking charges to which he has pleaded not
guilty.

  Prosecutors have turned over more material to
Coke’s legal team this week

 The material includes statements and other evidence
collected by investigators. It is unclear whether the sealed packages that were
last week placed in the court’s vault have been given to defence counsel.

The case will again be mentioned on
16 November.

Zissou has expressed confidence
that Coke will be cleared of charges of conspiracy to distribute drugs and
firearms trafficking.

“We are very confident,”
said Zissou, despite claims by US prosecutors that they have at least nine
former cronies of Coke, plus recorded telephone conversations, to make the case
against him.

“I think we are going to
trial,” Zissou added in response to reports that Coke would seek to strike
a plea deal with the prosecutors.

If convicted on the narcotics
charge, he faces a maximum sentence of life in prison and a mandatory minimum
sentence of 10 years in prison, as well as a fine of up to US$4 million, or
twice the pecuniary gain from the offence. He also faces a maximum sentence of
five years in prison on the firearms-trafficking charge, and a fine of up to US$250,000,
or twice the pecuniary gain.

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