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Al Miller to be tried Nov 7

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

HEAD of Fellowship Tabernacle, Rev Merrick ‘Al’ Miller, is scheduled to return to the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate’s Court on November 7 for the start of his trial on charges of perverting the course of justice.

The clergyman was charged after convicted drug trafficker Christopher Coke, who was on the run at the time, was held in a vehicle being driven by Miller on the Mandela Highway on June 22, 2010.

Miller said at the time that he was taking Coke to the United States Embassy in St Andrew where Coke had planned on turning himself in.

The pending trial was, however, put on hold last February after Miller’s lawyer asked presiding magistrate Georgianna Fraser to recuse herself from the trial. The defence made their request on the grounds of possible biases in light of the fact that Fraser had, in June 2010, signed the warrant committing Coke to extradition to the United States where he was wanted on drug-running charges. Coke has since pleaded guilty to racketeering charges and was sentenced last month to 23 years' imprisonment.

However, the magistrate refused and Miller later applied to the Judicial Review Court for a review of Fraser’s decision, but he lost his appeal earlier this month when the matter dismissed.

Justice Gloria Smith, who presided over the review, ruled that Miller had failed to substantiate any grounds supporting his application for Judicial Review of the first defendant's decision not to recuse herself from the matter.

Hence the way was paved for the resumption of the trial and the trial date was subsequently set yesterday when Miller appeared before Fraser, who also extended his bail.

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