Antigua PM Gaston Browne did have knowledge of probe which led to arrest of government minister
Prime Minister Gaston Browne of Antigua and Barbuda says he was aware of an investigation involving his former tourism and investment minister Asot Michael, prior to his detention at the Gatwick Airport last week by British law enforcement authorities.
“…prior to his arrest (I) knew there was an issue in which there was an investigation involving him and by the way what I was told it involves him soliciting contracts for a UK national.
“Now I could not have spoken definitively about what transpired with the arrest. He was actually detained or arrested…I believe for about seven hours. So up to the point of firing him, I had not spoken to him, he himself confirmed that, so there is no way I could have given any detail, because I don’t have the details,” Browne said on the local radio station, Point FM.
Last week, Antigua PM Gaston Browne described the investigation involving his former minister as “a serious matter” insisting that Michael “was actually arrested on a serious issue” in the United Kingdom.
Browne said that after he was briefed orally on the situation regarding the arrest, he immediately requested that law enforcement authorities in Britain submit the information in writing to Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner to London, Karen Mae-Hill.
But Michael, who was scheduled to return to Antigua and Barbuda on Tuesday, said in a statement last week that he was “sorry” that Prime Minister Browne had not contacted him prior to making public his removal from the Cabinet.
Michael has since said that he has been advised by his lawyers not to make any further comment on the situation regarding his detention in the United Kingdom.
for previous article on Asot Michael’s removal from his Ministry, click the link: Antiguan PM strips MP Asot Michael of portfolio