Reports that controversial figure Dillian Johnson is seeking political asylum from the British, claiming threats have been made on his life, have been met with a measure of skepticism by the discerning public.
However, senior counsel Israel Khan said the police has a duty to investigate the allegations and find evidence either supporting or rejecting his claims.
“He said there is a conspiracy to murder him and whether he is lying or speaking the truth, he was actually shot. So this thing got to be investigated whether it is true or false and based on the findings something ought to be done,” Khan said.
Johnson has gone on record saying although he reported the matter to the TT Police Service, he did not feel he was being taken seriously, hence the reason for seeking protection from outside the country.
Johnson was shot by an unknown gunman while seated on his porch at his Springvale, Gasparillo home last December. Citing this as part of a conspiracy to murder him, he fled the jurisdiction for England last week in search of political asylum. Unconfirmed reports indicate that he has been granted temporary asylum and placed in a council flat.
Asylum seekers to the United Kingdom must prove that they cannot return to their country for fear of persecution, “or or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.”
Attempts were made to reach Foreign Affairs Minister Dennis Moses, but he did not respond to calls or voice mails left on his cell.
Contacted on the matter, TTPS corporate communications manager Ellen Lewis said Johnson was wrong in his thinking.
“There is an investigation into the allegations. It is being done by the Anti-Corruption Investigative Bureau (ACIB). He (Johnson) went in and he made a report to the police. He gave a sworn statement and based on allegations, those things are being investigated, whatever they might be. I don’t know what they are, but whatever is contained in his statement, is the subject of an investigation,” Lewis said in an telephone conversation on Thursday.
Johnson has made a number of damning statements against Chief Justice Ivor Archie, who is described as his close friend. The allegations range from claims that Archie was instrumental in helping him and others to get houses from the Housing Development Corporation (HDC) by fast tracking their applications. He also alleged that the CJ attempted to influence Supreme Court judges to change their State-provided security in favour of a private security company with which Johnson was employed.
The allegations have triggered off calls for Archie to resign by members of the legal profession and others for misbehaviour in public office. The Law Association (LATT) has also retained the services of two senior counsel to consider if there are grounds to refer the issue to Prime Minister Dr Keith Rowley for him to initiate Section 137 of the TT Constitution to have the CJ removed. Archie has denied the allegations made against him.
Several photographs, including one with Johnson wearing the official identification badge of a senior judicial officer has gone viral on social media.