By Youri Kemp
Caribbean News Now associate editor
PORT OF SPAIN, Trinidad — The United Kingdom has reportedly granted humanitarian protection to the alleged gay friend of Trinidad and Tobago’s chief justice Ivor Archie, Dillian Johnson, allowing him to seek refuge in Britain.
Johnson fled Trinidad and Tobago in December 2017 following a shooting attempt on his life he claims was orchestrated by Archie.
In its decision to grant Johnson asylum, the UK said there is a reasonable degree of likelihood that he would face a “real risk” of serious harm if he returned to Trinidad.
Meanwhile, a leaked, sworn police affidavit made by a witness has now surfaced, which identifies individuals who are said to have organised the assassination attempt on Johnson.
The leaked document, stamped, dated and notarized by Stephen Sohun, commissioner of affidavits, claims that the witness, Rhonda May-Marshall, reportedly overheard people involved in the plot and arrangement of the assassination attempt in December 2017.
Marshall claims that due to what she overheard she felt a moral obligation to come forward to tell officials about what she saw and heard with regard to the alleged assassination attempt.
The affidavit also backs up earlier claims made by Johnson that two men with connections to Archie, one directly professionally and the other loosely professionally, were directly involved in the attempt on his life.
The first man mentioned in the affidavit and also mentioned by Johnson was a Richard ‘Muscle’ Edwards of the Trinidad and Tobago Coast Guard.
Marshall claims to have “overheard” Muscle talking to another man, who is identified as “Peter Joseph”, as someone with whom Muscle had to clear certain details and arrangements regarding the plot, the statement reads.
Peter Joseph is the chief of security at the Supreme Courts in Trinidad and Tobago, and is under the direct supervision of Archie in all matters as it pertains to security in and around the judicial complex and the security of judicial officers. Joseph is also a former brigadier of the Trinidad and Tobago military.
The affidavit also points out two other key persons involved on that the day who are said to have information on the plot to assassinate Johnson: A man identified as “Nigel”, who Marshall claims is the main connection between “Muscle” Edwards, with Nigel having personally gone out to meet with Johnson on the day of the murder attempt; an officer Reid stationed at the Gasparillo police station, the closest police station to Johnson’s location up to the time of the murder attempt; an unidentified man who is known to both Nigel and Edwards; in addition to an unidentified female.rhonda_marshall_affidavit
Marshall said in a separate statement to the media that she is now afraid for her life.
Marshall also claimed in further statements to the media that she had nothing to do with the attempt on Johnson’s life, and her presence with people she has identified as the core conspirators was merely a coincidence, even though she admits that she spoke with Johnson a few hours before the said assassination attempt took place.
Archie has denied the claims and has labelled Johnson as untruthful, in addition to not having any clue as to what happened to Johnson or what this matter is all about.
No evidence of this alleged assassination attempt has been proven in court or substantially verified by local law enforcement authorities.
Johnson, a felon who pleaded guilty and was convicted in 2008 of forging the signatures of two magistrates on job references for employment sent to the Housing Development Corporation (HDC), came to the fore as someone who was said to have had a homosexual relationship with Archie, who he also tried to influence into giving his security firm, Fortress Security, a contract for security services at the Judicial Complex in Trinidad.
Johnson is also wanted for questioning by Trinidad police as a suspect in two murders of his former colleagues: The first in December 2014 of Deoraj Maraj, an estate superintendent at the Water and Sewerage Authority of Trinidad and Tobago (WASA) and direct supervisor of Johnson; and also of another WASA employee, Derek Hooker, a senior manager of operations at WASA who was murdered in October, 2015.
Both men were participating with the police in an investigation into contract awards and overtime pay of WASA employees that spanned for several months prior to and up to the time of their murders.
According to documents obtained by Caribbean News Now, Trinidad police have reached out formally to officials in the United Kingdom through established diplomatic and police protocols and have requested that Johnson be sent back to Trinidad to answer questions in relations to both WASA murders, and have stated that Johnson is a fugitive and not an asylum seeker as their primary reason for him to be sent back to Trinidad.