Asot stripped but released

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Yesterday, Member of Parliament Asot Michael was stripped of all of his portfolios on the order of Prime Minister Gaston Browne who confirmed that the MP had been detained in the U.K. by a law enforcement agency.
The Prime Minister said he made the decision after receiving word that the Metropolitan Police cornered MP Michael on his arrival at the Gatwick Airport in the U.K. and kept him for questioning for several hours.
Governor General Sir Rodney Williams was instructed to relieve the MP immediately “pending the outcome of his arrest,” a government statement said.
In that emailed statement from the Office of the Prime Minister, PM Browne said, “While I have no firm details of the reasons for Mr. Michael’s arrest, the arrest itself is sufficient for me to revoke immediately, his appointment as a Cabinet member and to relieve him of all ministerial portfolios until this matter is resolved.”
The Prime Minister said Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner in London, Karen-Mae Hill, was the one who informed him of Michael’s detention.
“I have repeatedly stated that I expect every member of my government to comply with the highest possible standards required of public office, and while Mr. Michael might establish his innocence in time, the fact that he has been arrested, obliges me to relieve him of all government duties,” PM Browne said.
The Prime Minister, who promised to keep the public informed, asserted his authority even while in Jordan at a Citizenship by Investment conference and while Attorney General Steadroy Benjamin is acting as prime minister in Antigua and Barbuda.
Efforts to reach Benjamin yesterday were unsuccessful, and OBSERBER media was advised he was huddled in meetings all day getting legal advice from several local attorneys.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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