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UK High Commission queries asylum claim

Published: 
Saturday, January 13, 2018
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Dillian Johnson

RADHICA DE SILVA

The Britsh High Commission yesterday poured cold water on claims that Dillian Johnson has been granted asylum in the United Kingdom.

In a two-sentence statement issued by British High Commissioner to T&T Tim Stew stated: “The British High Commission in Port-of-Spain has seen claims made by attorney Thalia Francis-Brooks on 11 January 2018. It is unclear where this attorney is obtaining her information, but it is obviously not from the UK authorities.”

On Thursday, attorney Thalia Francis-Brooks, who is representing the interests of Johnson claimed his client had been granted political asylum in the United Kingdom. She said she could not breach her client’s confidentiality but noted that his asylum request had been approved and he was now in a protected environment.

Francis-Brooks did not provide any evidence to show that Johnson has been granted asylum and several immigration experts as well as former T&T High Commissioner to the United Kingdom (UK), Garvin Nicholas has also expressed surprise over the claim.

Nicholas said the process is determined solely by the Home Office of the UK.

“Based on what I have read in the past of people seeking asylum it is normally not done as quickly as a month or two. I will guide you to HC to the UK for further guidance on it.”

Johnson has been making several allegations against Chief Justice Ivor Archie including assisting several people to obtain homes from the Housing Development Corporation and discussing a proposal to change the security arrangements of judges. Archie has admitted to assisting persons by writing to the HDC but denied claims of discussing the issue of judges security with anyone outside of the Judiciary.

Johnson has reported an attempt on his life and was shot in the arm last month. He claimed the police were not taking his report seriously. Francis-Brooks could not be reached for comment yesterday.

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