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Monday 19 March 2018

Dillian gets asylum

Dillian Johnson

Dillian Johnson has sought and received asylum in the United Kingdom. That, at least, is the claim of his attorney, Thalia Francis-Brooks, who gave no supporting evidence for her statement.

Francis-Brooks called a media conference yesterday at the Hyatt Regency Trinidad in Port of Spain, in response to what she said were the “several requests” from reporters as to the whereabouts of her client.

She said Johnson had fled Trinidad because of fears for his personal safety “and to ultimately avoid becoming another murder statistic.”

Johnson was shot and wounded at his Gasparillo home on December 3. Later that month, he fled Trinidad to the UK where, Francis-Brooks said, he is now in a “protective environment.” He is also receiving medical care for a gunshot wound to his wrist, she added.

She chastised the TT Police Service (TTPS) for failing to act on his reports and fears of threats to his life. He had made two reports to the police, she said, one on December 9 to the Barataria Police Station, and another on December 13 and 14 to the Anti-Corruption Bureau. He was told, his attorney said, that he did not qualify for protection under the TTPS’s policy. She said the TTPS should re-examine that policy, and the sluggish pace of investigations was unacceptable.

When asked by the media if she had any validation from a UK agency to prove Johnson’s status, she said she would not comment on policy but “can say for a fact he was granted asylum, so yes, there was some credible threat to his life.”

Pressed for clarification, she said she would not comment any more on his asylum status. In fact, when asked about most things, Francis-Brooks said she had no comment or refused to answer the question—including questions about photographs on social media purported to be taken by Johnson as evidence of his close relationship with the Chief Justice. Archie has since denied the veracity of the photographs, claiming they were doctored. Francis-Brooks said she could not speak to their provenance nor if her client had taken or released them. She also dodged a question about whether she had seen them, saying she was not on social media.


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