Sun | Oct 22, 2017

Gordon Robinson | You must be on Coke if you believe Al Miller

Published:Sunday | September 25, 2016 | 12:00 AM
Christopher 'Dudus' Coke
Al Miller said he felt betrayed after being taken to court and being convicted for his role in transporting then fugitive Christopher Coke.
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I know. Time to leave Rev Al alone. Except a man who acted solely at the behest of a mass murderer and drug don whom he actively hid from police during a road trip to nowhere continues to insist he's God's Jamaican representative who resolved a national crisis. Al continues to hold himself out as Jamaica's moral compass before packed congregations every Sunday despite the embarrassment of a stumbling, stammering, sham of a 'tell-all' press conference telling nothing. At that press conference, media once again played softball with Al.

Only the great Fae Ellington and young Kalilah Reynolds tried to hold him to account, only to be subsequently accused by a most self-righteous blogger of being "offensive and inappropriate". Jeez. I suppose it's OK for a convicted criminal to publicly undermine the judge's decision knowing she can't reply? At least Al could reply freely to Fae and Kalilah.

Al gave the false impression that he had express permission from Commissioner Ellington for his mission. Ellington has kept a respectful silence, but suggested we read Al's statement given immediately after the interception.

Al, interviewed on June 23 and 24, 2010 by detective inspectors Horace Forbes and Carey Lawes, was represented by Wentworth Charles and Leslie Campbell. Some extracts:

Q14: When was the last time you spoke to Coke?

A: On June 22, 2010.

Q16: Where was he at that time?

A: He was in the vehicle that we were travelling in.

Q17: What type of vehicle was it?

A: I can't recall.

Q18: Are you the owner of this vehicle?

A: No.

Q19: Who is the owner?

A: I don't know.

Q20: How did you come in possession of the vehicle?

A: I was asked to drive it.

Q21: By whom?

A: I don't know the name of the person who asked me.

Q22: Where were you when you got the instruction to drive the vehicle?

A: In the St Ann area.

Q23: What part of St Ann?

A: I don't want to answer that question.

Q24: Any particular reason why you don't want to answer that question?

A: ... Because of my pastoral responsibility that requires trust and confidence to be placed in me which I will not betray, as it is central to my function.

Q26: At the time you were asked to drive the vehicle, did you ask who the owner might be?

A: No.

Q27: Did you know if the vehicle was a stolen vehicle?

A: No.

Q28: Did you care that it might have been a stolen vehicle?

A: Yes, I would have cared, but I did not think about that at the time as I was on a particular mission, which was my focus at the time.

Q29: Was it a tinted vehicle?

A: Yes.

Q30: Do you own a motor vehicle?

A: Yes.

Q31: Is it a serviceable vehicle that can move up and down?

A: Yes.

Q32: What kind of vehicle is it?

A: I think it's a 2007 Toyota Auris motor car.

Q33: Is it a tinted vehicle?

A: No.

Q34: When last have you driven your vehicle?

A: Two hours ago.

Q38: How did you get to St Ann?

A: I was driven.

Q39: By whom?

A: Given my pastoral duties and the requirement for trust and confidentiality, I don't wish to answer that question.

 

IMPORTANT MISSION

 

Al's "mission" was so important that he blindly followed instructions from a stranger to drive a strange car.

Q58: What route did you take back from St Ann?

A: Moneague, Mount Rosser, Bog Walk, Spanish Town.

Q59: Did you know what would have been your ultimate destination?

A: At his request, he requested that we go to the American Embassy, and in our dialogue, I was trying to persuade him going to the commissioner's office, but his preference was the US Embassy.

Q60: Did you make contacts with anyone at either the commissioner's office or the US Embassy re the surrender of Christopher Coke?

A: Yes, contacts were made with both offices.

Q61: To whom the contacts were made?

A: I personally made contact with the US Embassy, but I am not prepared to give any names at this time. In the case of the commissioner's office, I personally made a call seeking to locate the commissioner.

Q62: What was the decision at the outset?

A: No decision.

Q63: When was the decision made for him to be taken to the embassy on the 22nd of June 2010?

A: No decision was made. A request was made by him to go to the US Embassy at the point of meeting.

So there it is. The issue of permission to take Dudus to the embassy NEVER arose with the embassy or the commissioner. It was Dudus' spur-of-the moment "request" upon which Al unhesitatingly acted.

" Q69: Were you forcefully taken from Kingston to St Ann to transport Mr Coke?

A: No.

Q70: While travelling to and from St Ann, did you feel threatened in any way?

A: No.

Q71: Is it true that when you were intercepted by the police on the Mandela Highway, they had to force you to make a stop?

A: No.

Q72: Prior to that, did you hear the siren from the police vehicle trying to stop you?

A: No.

Q73: Was Coke at any time during the trip from St Ann to Kingston wearing a wig?

A: I did not notice a wig but headgear."

Seriously? I hope media now realises how crucial to Rev Al's credibility is the DISGUISE worn by Dudus while travelling in a car with tinted windows and dubious antecedents driven by a chauffeur who focused solely on following orders. Al recognised how damaging to his story the wig was and wasn't conceding that detail any time soon. Is this evasive demeanour why two judges have rejected Al's testimony, one calling him "less than candid"?

 

Questioning, Day 2:

 

Q82: ... What has become of the vehicle you were driving?

A: I went back to pick up my car and the vehicle was returned.

Q83: At the time you were intercepted by the police, were these people in proximity to you?

A: I am unable to say.

Q84: Were you in possession of a cellular at the time the police intercepted you?

A: No.

Q85: Where did the persons who took the vehicle meet up with you?

A: Fairfield Avenue at my Church.

Q86: What time was that?

A: 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

Q87: Was there any prior arrangement for them to have met you there?

A: No.

Q88: Who got there first?

A: I did.

Q90: The persons that you met in St Ann, had you known them before?

A: No.

Q94: How were you contacted by Mr Coke?

A: Mr Coke did not contact me.

Q95: How were you contacted?

A: I was contacted by the telephone by parties unknown to me.

Quick chronology: Al is contacted by strangers; driven to St Ann to pick up Dudus. He asks no question; leaves his car and phone in Kingston; and follows these strangers dutifully. He meets Dudus. That's when Dudus, for the first time, asks to go to the embassy. Al meekly submits under the most suspicious circumstances imaginable without a query, doubt or demur.

Q105: Did you take your cell phone with you to St Ann on June 22?

A: No.

Q106: Why not?

A: I was asked not to.

Q107: By whom were you asked?

A: By the contact parties.

Q113: Do you recall telephoning [DCP Bent] recently?

A: Yes.

Q114: When was this?

A: On the evening of June 22 after the incident. This was somewhere around 5 p.m.

Q118: Do you recall the registration number of the vehicle you were driving when Mr Coke was apprehended?

A: No.

Q120:What did you discuss with [DCP Bent] in this conversation?

A: I just informed her of what had taken place at Mandela Highway and that Mr Coke was now in their custody and requested that she take all the necessary steps to ensure his safety.

Q121: Were you stopped by the police anywhere in the vicinity of Spanish Town on June 22?

A: Yes on Mandela Highway.

Q122: Was any attempt made by the police to stop you at Windsor Road on June 22 prior to you being stopped at Mandela Highway?

A: No.

Q123: At no point at Windsor Road did you observe the police with flashing light trying to stop you?

A: No. However, a police vehicle came alongside me, overtook my vehicle and stopped a car in front of me, and so I came around the vehicle, wound down my window, acknowledge the police and continued.

You be the judge.

Peace and love.

- Gordon Robinson is an attorney-at-law. Email feedback to columns@gleanerjm.com.