The case of the Judge and the Assylum seeker

Dillian Johnson | David Levene/Guardian | r

The Law Association of Trinidad and Tobago is investigating allegations involving the chief justice, Ivor Archie, after local media queried his conduct in relation to Dillian Johnson, 36, who was shot in an ambush in December and is now seeking asylum in the UK. Mr Johnson fled Trinidad to the UK three weeks after the shooting and says he fears for his life if he is forced to return.

The Guardian notes:

Archie, 57, is an honorary member of the middle temple bench, one of London’s four inns of court, and is considered a liberal thinker on gay rights. He has denied having an “intimate” relationship with Johnson, a manager for the state water and sewage company who was convicted of forging job references in 2008. Archie’s lawyers declined to say whether he described himself as gay or bisexual as they said it did “not affect the chief justice’s professional conduct and concern[s] his private life”.


Trouble in the glen


File photo | Irish Times | 17071

The Irish gay rights group Glen is being investigated into whether it breached rules on political campaigning and financial management. The charity has appointed an external investigator to examine allegations of bullying made by staff.

The Charities Regulator has told Glen to provide it with financial records, details of credit cards and the report of an independent auditor by the end of this month. One of the issues being examined by the regulator concerns the use of the charity’s resources to support political campaigning.

Glen’s co-chairman Kieran Rose stepped down after it emerged that campaign literature for his Seanad election campaign last year was printed at the charity.

The intervention by the regulator follows a disclosure made by Glen in response to concerns raised by the executive director, Áine Duggan, appointed last October, who raised a number of issues with the board after carrying out a due diligence of the organisation, which works on issues such as sexual health, mental health and education in the LGBT community.

Naughty Nookie, Italian style


Francesco Spano | ImagoEC | 17045

Francesco Spano, the head of Italy’s anti-discrimination office, has resigned following accusations that government funds meant to promote diversity projects and tackle racism had been earmarked for gay sex clubs masquerading as cultural centres.

An investigative TV programme showed his department had authorised funding of up to 55,000 euros each for at least three businesses which housed male prostitutes and offered their members so-called “dark rooms” for sexual encounters.

Opposition parties called on the government to explain its funding program. Rightist leader Giorgia Meloni said UNAR, the anti-discrimination office, should be shut immediately. “Not one more euro of tax payers’ money should be thrown away on paying their salaries,” she wrote.

The government said in a statement that while UNAR would stay open, Spano had resigned “out of respect” for the work his office was carrying out.