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Reverend Spends Night In Custody After Libel Accusation

APOSTLE Julian Johnson outside court yesterday. Photo: Racardo Thomas

APOSTLE Julian Johnson outside court yesterday. Photo: Racardo Thomas

By FARRAH JOHNSON

Tribune Staff Reporter

fjohnson@tribunemedia.net

A REVEREND who was accused of making offensive allegations against Police Commissioner Paul Rolle in a Facebook video that has now gone viral was yesterday charged with intentional libel.

Julian Johnson appeared before Chief Magistrate Joyann Ferguson-Pratt after he was accused of last month recording and posting a video on Facebook accusing Commissioner Rolle of sexually assaulting female officers on the force in an attempt to defame him.

Last week, the Royal Bahamas Police Force released a statement saying the reverend “surrendered himself” to the Criminal Investigation Department and had been arrested in reference to the “defaming” video.

During his hearing, Johnson denied the allegation. However, before the issue of bail could be determined, the prosecution requested an adjournment to consider its position on the matter.

In response, Johnson’s attorney, Jomo Campbell, told the magistrate there was no basis for the refusal of bail at this time. He also argued its deferral would result in his client being remanded in the interim.

After listening to arguments from both sides, Magistrate Ferguson-Pratt said she found the request of the Crown reasonable. She also said she did not want to set a precedent where they would have to be “hurried” to make a decision.

She adjourned Johnson’s bail hearing to be heard before Deputy Chief Magistrate Andrew Forbes this morning.

As a result, he spent one night in custody to give the prosecution an opportunity to review the facts of his case before addressing the issue of bail.

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