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Antigua government seeking clarification from Britain on former minister’s arrest

by STAFF WRITER

JOHN’S, Antigua, Nov 17, CMC – The Antigua and Barbuda government says it will seek clarification from the British government regarding the decision to arrest 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 that at all times, the civilities and protocols that need to be exercised between states are recognised by all states large and small,” said Information Minister Melford Nicholas.

Information Minister Melford Nicholas (File Photo)

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

“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.

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 that he had advised Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams to revoke immediately 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 Friday announced that the ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) is planning ahead and that someone had been appointed to take care of the constituency.

“As it stands now, Michael has not been charged but we have made it abundantly clear that in the event he is charged then clearly we will have to replace him”.

He said an approach had been made to Shermane Jeremie, who has been working in the New York office of the island’s tourism department for at least a decade, to be the standby candidate.

“She is not challenging the present representative Asot Michael….but in the event he is charged then she will be the automatic choice to replace him,” Browne added.

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by STAFF WRITER

JOHN’S, Antigua, Nov 17, CMC – The Antigua and Barbuda government says it will seek clarification from the British government regarding the decision to arrest 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 that at all times, the civilities and protocols that need to be exercised between states are recognised by all states large and small,” said Information Minister Melford Nicholas.

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Information Minister Melford Nicholas (File Photo)

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

“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.

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 that he had advised Governor General, Sir Rodney Williams to revoke immediately 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 Friday announced that the ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) is planning ahead and that someone had been appointed to take care of the constituency.

“As it stands now, Michael has not been charged but we have made it abundantly clear that in the event he is charged then clearly we will have to replace him”.

He said an approach had been made to Shermane Jeremie, who has been working in the New York office of the island’s tourism department for at least a decade, to be the standby candidate.

“She is not challenging the present representative Asot Michael….but in the event he is charged then she will be the automatic choice to replace him,” Browne added.