Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Al Miller's guilty verdict grave injustice

Published:Saturday | July 23, 2016 | 7:00 AM

THE EDITOR, Sir:

The Gleaner reported online, inter alia, that "The Reverend Merrick 'Al' Miller has been found guilty of a corruption charge arising from the 2010 capture of then fugitive Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. The verdict was handed down in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court a short while ago by Parish Judge Simone Wolfe-Reece.

"It comes more than six years after Coke was captured in a sport utility vehicle that was being driven by Miller along Mandela Highway in St Catherine in 2010, ending an islandwide manhunt for the drug kingpin. "Miller was initially charged with harbouring a fugitive and attempting to pervert the course of justice. The charge of harbouring a fugitive was dropped shortly after the trial began," The Gleaner report informs us readers.

I am extremely flabbergasted and filled with shock that Rev Miller has been found guilty of a corruption charge when he gave evidence that he was transporting Dudus to the United States Embassy for immediate extradition to the United States.

As a pastor, he was well within his right to be transporting Coke to the US Embassy at that time at the request of the fugitive. According to media reports, Miller picked up Coke at his (Coke's) direct request. Coke feared for his life if the police had captured him and, therefore, asked Pastor Miller, a distinguished clergyman, to safely take him to the embassy for immediate removal to the US.

Miller had categorically stated at that time when his vehicle was stopped by the police on Mandela Highway that he was taking Coke directly to the US Embassy in St Andrew, so it is shameful, scandalous, and ludicrous that Miller has now been found guilty of a corruption charge by the parish judge. Instead, Miller should be commended for performing a public service in seeking to transport Dudus to the embassy, where he would have felt safe. Coke feared that if the police had captured him, they would have savagely murdered him.

Justice has not been served in this case.

ROBERT DALLEY

robertdalley@outlook.com

St James