News

Al Miller loses bid to have RM removed

Paul Henry

Saturday, July 07, 2012    

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THE Supreme Court yesterday dismissed the Rev Merrick 'Al' Miller's effort to remove Resident Magistrate Georgianna Fraser from his pending trial of attempting to pervert the course of justice, which arose out of the Christopher 'Dudus' Coke extradition saga.

Justice Gloria Smith said the grounds on which Miller sought relief were without merit.

"Accordingly, the court orders that the first defendant is not required to recuse herself from the trial matter involving the claimant," Justice Smith stated in her written judgement.

Miller's lawyers are to determine whether or not there will be an appeal.

Miller had asked the court to review RM Fraser's decision not the recuse herself in light of the fact that she 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.

Miller was charged after Coke, who was on the run at the time, was held in a vehicle being driven by him on the Mandela Highway on June 22, 2010. Miller said at the time that he was taking Coke to the United States Embassy in Kingston where Coke had planned on turning himself in.

In his application to have RM Fraser removed from presiding at his trial in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court, Miller argued, among other things, that there could be apparent bias if she presided over his case.

The court, however, dismissed all the grounds argued by Miller, who heads the Fellowship Tabernacle Church.

"[The] claimant has failed to substantiate any grounds supporting his application for Judicial Review of the first defendant's decision not to recuse herself from the matter," Justice Smith wrote.

A date will now be set for the trial against Miller to proceed.

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