After his arrest was ordered on Wednesday due to his absence in court, MP for St Peter, Asot Michael, has apologised.
“I’m here to apologise for not attending court yesterday (Wednesday). I’m not feeling well…” Michael told the court on Thursday, claiming that he had been admitted to hospital last week and had been diagnosed with low blood pressure.
“I would never disrespect you, my Lady,” he told Chief Magistrate Joanne Walsh.
The MP was supposed to be on trial for a civil matter where he allegedly owes thousands of dollars to an individual for a service provided for an event that he hosted years ago.
Michael was reportedly absent on three occasions when the case was called.
According to reports, his lawyer presented documents supporting his unwellness in an effort to have him excused on each of those occasions.
On Wednesday, the Chief Magistrate reportedly summoned Michael’s private physician who claimed that Michael was in good enough health to attend the hearing.
Walsh therefore issued a warrant for his arrest.
In his apology, Michael also stated that he would like for the case to be continued in his absence with his counsel speaking on his behalf.
But the magistrate, despite discharging the warrant, said that the case will not proceed without him.
“If I have to do this again, I will,” she said referring to the issuance of a bench warrant.
Michael is being represented by lawyer, Hugh Marshall.
A statement issued by Michael last night said he had no intention of “disrespecting” the court.
“As a long-standing Member of Parliament who always abides by the decisions of our courts
and who never expects or requests any special treatment from our courts or judiciary, I know
better,” he added.