‘I FEEL BE­TRAYED’

Al Miller opens up, prom­ises tell-all at press con­fer­ence to­day For­mer com­mish dis­misses claims

Jamaica Gleaner - - FRONT PAGE - Livern Bar­rett Se­nior Gleaner Writer

THE REVEREND Mer­rick ‘Al’ Miller yes­ter­day re­vealed that he trusted for­mer Po­lice Com­mis­sioner Owen Elling­ton, but now feels he was be­trayed by the for­mer top cop.

Miller’s rev­e­la­tion came as he opened up about his de­ci­sion to act as an in­ter­me­di­ary be­tween drug king­pin Christo­pher ‘Dudus’ Coke and Elling­ton, and the fever­ish, last-minute at­tempts he made to en­cour­age the re­puted Shower Posse leader to sur­ren­der peace­fully to Ja­maican au­thor­i­ties be­fore the loom­ing po­lice-mil­i­tary in­cur­sion into his west Kingston strong­hold in May 2010.

The found­ing pas­tor of Fel­low­ship Taber­na­cle church in St An­drew was con­victed in July for attempting to per­vert the course of jus­tice af­ter Coke was cap­tured in a ve­hi­cle Miller was driv­ing along Man­dela High­way in St Cather­ine. He has main­tained that he was tak­ing Coke to sur­ren­der to the au­thor­i­ties.

“I sought to trust the com­mis­sioner in the in­ter­changes with Coke. I sold to Coke that the com­mis­sioner was a man who could be trusted,” he told The Gleaner yes­ter­day.

“And that’s why all the di­a­logue of those hours was to con­vince him [Coke] that ‘you can trust the sys­tem, you can trust the com­mis­sioner’... so I was very com­fort­able, very trust­ing with him [Elling­ton],” Miller con­tin­ued, mak­ing ref­er­ence to sev­eral meet­ings he had with Coke.

BLIND­SIDED BY ME­DIA RE­PORTS

He re­counted how he was blind­sided by me­dia re­ports on June 22, 2010 that he had been listed as a per­son of in­ter­est by the po­lice min­utes af­ter Coke’s cap­ture and said that he be­lieved Elling­ton gave the di­rec­tive for him to be charged. “There is no­body else who had that author­ity, and it was from the com­mis­sioner’s of­fice that the re­quest had come for me to turn my­self in,” he un­der­scored.

“So, of course, I feel be­trayed, be­cause why ... ?” he asked rhetor­i­cally. Elling­ton dis­missed Miller’s claims. “If you get a hold of the state­ment he gave im­me­di­ately fol­low­ing his ar­rest and read his ac­count of the events in that state­ment and con­trast it with what he is say­ing now and what he has been say­ing over

the past six years and see if he is a man to be be­lieved,” Elling­ton told The Gleaner last night.

“If you pub­lish any­thing said to you by the Reverend Al Miller, you run the risk of li­belling others. If you want to take that risk, fine,” he added.

The pop­u­lar cler­gy­man, who has sched­uled a tell-all news con­fer­ence for to­day, also pulled back the cur­tains on how events un­folded in the hours be­fore Coke was cap­tured.

He con­firmed pick­ing up Coke in St Ann, but in­sisted that it was not at a Govern­ment Pro­to­col House lo­cated in the par­ish. Miller de­clined to say where he met Coke.

He re­called re­ceiv­ing a tele­phone call on June 21, 2010 from some­one known to him who in­formed him that Coke was pre­pared to turn him­self in and wanted his as­sis­tance. “He [the caller] said to me, ‘I talk to com­mis­sioner ‘bout it al­ready be­cause him [Coke] say is only you and com­mis­sioner him a deal with’,” Miller re­called.

“My re­sponse to him was, ‘sure, if he is ready to do that. I’ll help’,” he said.

The cler­gy­man said the fol­low­ing morn­ing he got an­other tele­phone call from some­one un­known to him who en­quired if he was still will­ing to as­sist with Coke’s sur­ren­der.

Miller said he met the caller and two other men at a location in the Cor­po­rate Area and they re­quested that he leave be­hind his per­sonal mo­tor ve­hi­cle and Black­Berry cell phone be­fore be­gin­ning the trek to St Ann. He said when he got to St Ann, he was taken to a house and asked to wait.

“I was left there for about half an hour and then they re­turned with Mr Coke in a ve­hi­cle and asked, ‘Reverend, will you take him in?’ So where he is com­ing from I don’t know,” he re­counted. Was he ner­vous? Miller said he was not. “I was more caught up with thank­ing God we were able to bring a res­o­lu­tion to a cri­sis sit­u­a­tion that is cost­ing so much.”

He said dur­ing the trip into Kingston, Coke ex­pressed re­morse for the blood­shed in his west Kingston strong­hold. “He said, ‘Rev, since they said this thing start with me, I’m giv­ing up my­self so that it must end with me’,” Miller re­counted.

“He spoke about the fact that this thing [in­cur­sion] hap­pened and it wasn’t nec­es­sary,” Miller said.

PA­TRICK PLANTER/PHO­TOG­RA­PHER

The Rev Al Miller dur­ing an in­ter­view with The Gleaner at his Fel­low­ship Taber­na­cle church lo­cated at 2 Fair­field Av­enue, Kingston 20, yes­ter­day.

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