(Clovis cartoon from the Observer)
The letter excerpted below was written to the Gleaner on the intervention of Reverend Al Miller in transportation of a known international fugitive in a bid to bypass the local security authorities to take him supposedly to another jurisdiction that of the United States embassy, as you may know by now they were held in a raid on the Ferry stretch of road heading into Kingston with Dudus Coke attired in a wig as a disguise.
The GLBTQ angle:
This is the same Reverend gentleman who vigorously opposed the inclusion of the then proposed sexual discrimination clauses with the anti gay group the Lawyers' Chrsitian Fellowship, from as early as 2005/6 where they made representations via submissions to Parliament during the Charter of Rights debate and again in 2008 with public homophobic pronouncements on radio and pulpits, ironically here he is now under ominous circumstances involved in movement with a known criminal element. I am in agreement with the letter writer as far as I am concerned he has no business assisting a fugitve to escape local authorities who are eager to bring him to book. The police has issued a call for the Reverend to turn himself in for questioning and based on the law one cannot assist another person or group to flee the land bypasing our legal structure to another jurisdiction. He handed himself over on June 23rd at around 2pm but was released after over three hours of interrogation and is to return today June 24th for further questioning by the cops.
have a read of the letter below and decide for yourselves:
The Editor, Sir:
The Revered Al Miller must be reminded that despite his quite probably good intentions, he and Dudus are not beyond the laws of this land.
I say this as despite the alleged wishes of Dudus to be transported directly to the United States Embassy, Mr Miller had no right to assist a known fugitive to elude the local law enforcers while allegedly transporting him to a foreign land - which is exactly what the US Embassy represents in this instance.
In the circumstances, Miller should have used his influence with Dudus to persuade him that he could not assist the fugitive in breaking the laws of this country as he has apparently grown accustomed to doing in his fiefdom, Tivoli Gardens.
Breaking the law
If Dudus feared walking into a police station, the reverend could no doubt have brokered a private handover to someone in authority whom Dudus trusted, even it were the police commissioner himself.
If not, Miller should have held his ground asserting that he was there to assist with a handover in accordance with the Jamaican laws, not to assist an alleged criminal to break those very laws.
Miller must know that the end does not justify the means and his apparent aiding and abetting a known fugitive must be seen and condemned as such, despite his pontifications to the contrary.
I am, etc.,
Al 'blundered' from the Gleaner as well
The Rev Peter Garth, vice-president of the Jamaica Association of Evangelicals, agreed, adding: "There is no doubt that he (Miller) blundered."
Garth said Miller should have contacted Police Commissioner Owen Ellington once he was approached by Dudus. He said the pastor breached security protocol by transporting a fugitive.
"I believe he meant well, but what he did was clearly inappropriate. He should have gone to the police,"
The Rev Al Miller (left) and his lawyers, Leslie Campbell (centre) and Wentworth Charles, have last-minute discussions outside the Organised Crime Investigation Division offices in downtown Kingston moments before Miller was quizzed by cops. - Norman Grindley/Chief Photographer
Update (5:15pm) Reverend Al Miller has since been charged with harbouring a fugitive and perverting the course of justice the police high command has said they never authorised the Reverend to intervene in the matter at any stage or to assist Mr. Coke to bypass their systems to an overseas jurisdiction. The People's National Party in a statement concluded that they do not think the Reverend Al Miller is fit to continue to lead the moral movement with the Values and Attitudes project in the Office of the Prime Minister. He was bailed at 4pm and contends that what he did was right and he had to suffer the consequences.
The case should continue soon. He has not indicated if he will step down as a part of the Values and Attitudes program and the government as at the addition of this update has not indicated their interest in removing him.
Update: (June 27th 2010)
Jamaica Herald - Miller Slapped With Criminal Charges
"Was Reverend Al Miller working with the police? Or was he acting on instructions from Jamaica House where he has an office in his capacity as head of the National Transformational Programme?
Prominent Kingston-based attorney, Patrick Bailey is of the view that the popular churchman did not commit an offence when fugitive Christopher Coke was found in his car last Tuesday. But the police have answered the first question by charging Miller on Thursday, for harbouring a fugitive and perverting the course of justice, following two days of interrogation. Miller was offered bail in the sum of $200,000.
The second question remains unanswered. The clergyman maintained that he was only carrying out his pastoral duty in trying to help the nation at a time of crisis. But some critics have asked why did he not work with the police. Some of the Miller’s colleagues said it was not strange for ministers of religion to hand over wanted men to the police." Continue HERE
(Update July 28, 2010) - Al Miller's phone was tapped, court told
Peace and tolerance