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CJ—Allegations against me false

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Chief Justice Ivor Archie is publicly admitting he forwarded the names of people to the Housing Development Corporation for assistance to get state housing. But he says the list did not include Dillian Johnson.

As he broke his silence on allegations against him in the public domain yesterday, Archie also insisted there was no discussion with judges on the retention of a private security firm to provide security for judges.

In a press release, the CJ said in 2015 he forwarded the names of people he described as “needy and deserving persons” to the HDC, but insisted he has never “recommended Mr. Dillian Johnson for HDC housing.” He described the allegation as “patently untrue,” suggesting those saying otherwise were engaging in “purposeful mischief making.”

The CJ was referring to the allegation he approached the HDC to fast track applications for people, including a convicted fraudster Kern Romero. No mention was made of Romero in the CJ’s response.

On allegations he held discussions with Johnson on security for judges, the CJ said it was “false and indeed irresponsible to suggest that at any judges’ meeting, the Chief Justice or any other judge discussed the retention of any private security firm for the purpose of providing the said personal security.”

He said specialised units of the protective services and the Judiciary Security Unit “are the only entities responsible for assessing and implementing arrangements for the personal security of judges and magistrates.”

The CJ also responded to the shooting attack on Johnson at his Gasparillo home two weeks ago, noting there has been “discussion in the public domain about the attack.” He said he “expects the relevant authorities will urgently conduct a necessary and thorough investigation into this incident.”

Johnson has told police he has information on individuals who conspired in the attack and who want to kill him.

Archie ended the release with a terse,“This is all that the Chief Justice is at liberty to say at this time.”

It was only on Thursday that the Law Association described as “reckless” Archie’s continued silence on the allegations which have questioned his conduct in office.

But the HDC allegations do not sit well with Martin Daly SC, who yesterday described it as “a complete constitutional perversion to expect a judge to function if he is or appears to be beholden to the political executive for favours, or for preferential treatment, or for having obtained goods and services either for himself or for a third party.”

Speaking on CNC3’s Morning Brew, Daly suggested the CJ should pack up and go due since the allegations had caused irreparable damage to the Judiciary.

Daly also described the allegations of the death threat made against Johnson as “alarming.” He said “there are allegations of criminality, they are in the public domain. These matters have to be dealt with. If there was a group of conspirators to harm someone that means that the rot in society is a very, very high level.”

He said the Government “cannot keep burying their heads in the sand,” adding “it is pathetic of the Government to keep talking about separation of powers in the peculiar circumstances of this case.”






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