By Elesha George
Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Anthony Armstrong has decided to lean on the judiciary for advice on how to move forward with claims made by Prime Minister Gaston Browne that he somehow participated in unlawful activities to protect senior politician Asot Michael.
“I’ll be seeking legal advice on the issue,” Armstrong told Observer, explaining that he would be issuing a statement today.
In a widely circulated message, Browne threatened to “remove the DPP” who he claimed MP Michael had “corruptly paid” to protect him in the past, as he made reference to the Ishikawajima-Harima Heavy Industries Company Limited (IHI) fraud case.
“I found it rather remarkable that in relation to the IHI, I neither stopped the police from carrying out the investigation nor did I tell them not to lay any charges,” Armstrong said.
The DPP said he considers the prime minister’s allegations to be an attack on his integrity and that of law enforcement, as it gives the impression that law enforcement can be directed to do the “bidding of the executive”.
Armstrong is the second member of the judiciary to come under scrutiny by members of parliament in recent weeks. Last month, MP Asot Michael accused the country’s Chief Magistrate of “corruption and skullduggery”, a statement that has been widely condemned, including by the Bar Association.