It appears that Dillian Johnson, said to be a friend of Chief Justice Ivor Archie, has not been granted asylum in the United Kingdom. In a terse release yesterday, British High Commissioner Tim Stew said claims to that effect made Thursday by Johnson’s attorney, Thalia Francis-Brooks, did not come from the UK authorities.
“The British High Commission in Port of Spain has seen claims made by attorney Thalia Francis-Brooks. It is unclear where this attorney is obtaining her information but it is obviously not from the UK authorities,” Stew said.
Newsday repeatedly tried to contact Francis-Brooks on her cellphone, but did not receive a response.
Francis-Brooks called a media conference on Thursday for the sole purpose of informing the media that her client had been granted asylum after fleeing TT in fear for his life. Asked by the media to eleaborate, she adamantly refused. In fact, during the 17-minute long briefing, Francis-Brooks responded to almost all inquiries with some variation of “no comment.”
She was, however, asked specfically about the term “asylum,” and its technnical and legal definition as it applied to Johnson, as well as whether she had any validation from a UK agency to prove his status. Francis-Brooks said she was aware that asylum was a technical term, and while she would not comment on UK policy, she “can say for a fact he was granted asylum, so yes, there was some credible threat to his life.”
According to the UK government’s website uk.gov, to be eligible for asylum a person must be unable to live safely in any part of thier own country because they fear persecution there, and the average wait time for a claim of asylum to be processed is “within six months.”