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Johnson Smith names AJ Nicholson in threatening e-mail issue


SENATE majority leader Senator Kamina Johnson Smith yesterday confirmed that the threatening series of e-mail she had referred to in her Senate statement last month originated with former Senator A J Nicholson.

She said that the police corroborated their existence and had assessed that, based on the information, she had reason to be concerned about them.

However, she said it was her decision to not proceed any further with action on the matter.

“Should the PNP wish to publish the e-mails to which I have referred, they may ask the Senate to do so. They now have the dates and the subject headings and sender’s name being their colleague, former Senator A J Nicholson,” she stated.

She said that should Nicholson or the PNP wish to release them “they could go ahead and discuss them in the public domain and analyse them as they see fit, and to their heart’s content… But I will not be entering those discussions.”

Senator Johnson Smith succeeded former People’s National Party (PNP) Senator A J Nicholson as both leader of the Senate and minister of foreign affairs and foreign trade when the Jamaica Labour Party (JLP) returned to power under the leadership of Andrew Holness in February 2016.

She said that although the e-mail ‘harassment’ began in 2014, leading to the then Leader of Opposition Business and current President of the Senate Thomas Tavares-Finson referring them to the then President Floyd Morris, her April 23 reference was mainly to another set of threatening e-mail from Nicholson in 2018.

She noted that the 2018 e-mail from Nicholson were of particular concern to her in the context of those which had been received by current Attorney General Marlene Malahoo Forte in 2014, which she was made aware of as they focused on the exchanges between her and Nicholson in the Senate, which followed his controversial “flexi-rape” remark.

Morris had encouraged Nicholson to withdraw the comment, which he did. However, the president refused Tavares-Finson’s request to debate those e-mail.

According to her, one of the 2014 e-mail from Nicholson stated, “Let your colleague be assured that, for the evil people, the big payback is coming, mark my words.”

She said that Tavares-Finson then reported the matter to the commissioner of police as well as then Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller. However, Johnson Smith said that she did not plan to publish the 2014 series of e-mail, or those she personally reported to the police that she had received on August 6 and September 23, 2018.

“I have decided not to release them, as I am trying not to litigate the matter in the court of public opinion, having decided at the relevant time not to take the matter before the court,” she said.

But she referred to some of the details from the e-mail, including one which stated: “The truth is what makes you uncomfortable. FACE IT. You will have to live with it, uncomfortably. YOU WILL NEVER BE ALLOWED TO FORGET IT.”

She said that e-mail also stated that the sender was satisfied “my message has hit the spot”.

However, she said that having been assured by the police that they were taking the matter seriously, and noting that the sender had stated that he would not write again, she advised the police that if he did, she would notify them and have the matter revisited.

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