Antiguan government seeks clarification on arrest of former minister

Antiguan government seeks clarification on arrest of former minister

Following the arrest of former Antigua minister of government Asot Michael by British authorities last month, the Antiguan government wants reasons of the arrest.

The Antigua and Barbuda government says it will seek clarification from the British government regarding the arrest of then tourism and investment minister Asot Michael on his arrival in London last month.

“We think it is appropriate that the question be asked, and at all times, the civilities and protocols that need to be exercised between states are recognized by all states large and small,” said Information Minister Melford Nicholas.

Nicholas, speaking to reporters at the end of the weekly Cabinet meeting, said the Antigua government believes this is a relevant question in light of the treaty on diplomatic relations which countries usually adhere.

Not sure what protocols were breached

“To whom much is given much is expected,” Nicholas said, acknowledging that the government could not at this time state what protocols had been breached.

“Everyone was jolted by the way the intervention was done and to the extent that the British government may have been led to believe that they were justified in taking that action is a matter of their own determination.

“But we must now ask the question from the reverse standpoint in terms of whether or not that would have been the prescribed way of handling such circumstance were it involving a state of a different size,” he told reporters.

Advised by lawyers to be silent

Michael, who has already said that it was “unfortunate” that Prime Minister Browne did not contact him before relieving him of his portfolio, has said he had been advised by his lawyers to remain quiet on the issue.

Prime Minister Browne, who acknowledged that he had, “no firm details of the reasons for Michael’s arrest,” nonetheless said he had advised Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams to revoke  Michael appointment “pending the outcome of his arrest” …by the Metropolitan Police in London.

Michael had also indicated to his constituents of St Peter, “who are very dear to me, that they have no reason to doubt my sincerity and my continued devotion and commitment to their interests.”

But Prime Minister Browne on Friday announced that the ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labor Party (ABLP) is planning ahead and that someone had been appointed to take care of the constituency.

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