Ho Lung believes Al Miller's $1m fine too harsh

September 19, 2016
Father Richard Ho Lung
Rev Al Miller
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Father Ho Lung believes the sentence handed down to the Reverend Al Miller was too harsh.

The founder of the Missionaries of the Poor was speaking to the STAR in a recent interview where he commented on the issue, stating that based on personal conversations he had with the convicted clergyman, he believes Miller had no intentions of breaking the law.

"I was with Al last Sunday at his church, Fellowship Tabernacle, and I talked with him openly and said would you tell me what is happening, and he said in no way did he have any intention to circumvent the law," he said on Thursday. "It was read that way. He also said to me, 'I was not speeding and I spoke to the commissioner of police. I reported also to the US Embassy, and I had one intention and that was to bring in Dudus alive because he did not want to be killed' and I believe him."

 

other intentions

 

Father Ho Lung explained that Al Miller had every intention of taking Dudus into custody, but was concerned about the drug lord's safety. "He told me that Dudus wanted to turn himself in, but didn't want to be killed turning himself in so he was just assisting him. I don't think he had any other intentions other than to bring the man in to give himself up."

On that account, Ho Lung believes the penalty handed down to Reverend Al Miller was too much. "I think a word of caution could have been given to Al to say that 'you had him in the car with you and you needed to make sure that the communications line is right, but I think that he really wanted the man brought to justice without dying because no one wants to die even if you've done wrong."

 

wrong message

 

Ho Lung does not believe that if the court had decided on a warning that it would have sent the wrong message to other citizens who end up in similar situations. "I wouldn't't take it simply as a slap on the wrist if they gave him a warning because I'm going off what Al said and he told me that he did call the commissioner of police and he did call the US Embassy, and told them what he was doing and they all consented and said they understood."

He believes the matter has been blown out of proportion in the media. "I think it has been moved out of the context of what it really was and that was really not necessary because I think Al's intention was to really say look 'Dudus you can't keep doing this, it's evil and against the law'."

On July 22, Parish Judge Simone Wolfe-Reece, presiding in the Kingston and St Andrew Parish Court, found Reverend Al Miller guilty of attempting to pervert the course of justice, arising from the 2010 capture of then fugitive Christopher 'Dudus' Coke. Miller was last Thursday fined $1 million or 12 months' imprisonment on his corruption conviction. He has until tomorrow to pay the fine. The verdict came six years after Coke was captured in a sport utility vehicle that was being driven by Miller along the Mandela Highway in St Catherine in 2010, ending an islandwide manhunt for the drug kingpin.

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