Integrity Commission urged to act on Asot’s arrest

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Former Attorney General Justin Simon is urging the Integrity Commission to investigate the issues surrounding the arrest of former tourism minister MP Asot Michael.
Speaking on OBSERVER Radio on Sunday the Queen’s Counsel said there was no reason to await the outcome of the U.K. investigation.
“Within Antigua and Barbuda, this matter should not be allowed to simply die and for us to wait on whatever happens or unfolds in the U.K.” 
He noted that the Commission had the power to investigate matters without a complaint first being brought to it.
“I would go further to state that if the prime minister himself has information which allowed him to take the decision to remove Mr. Michael immediately from the portfolio then clearly that information should be passed on to the Integrity Commission for them to do their own investigation independent of the criminal investigation,” Simon stated.
The speed with which Michael’s Cabinet appointment was rescinded and his ministerial portfolios withdrawn has raised eyebrows with many commenting that Prime Minister Gaston Browne knows more than he has revealed. Michael was still being questioned by U.K. authorities when Browne made the move.
Simon, the former UPP attorney general, was a panelist on the Big Issues show which also included Akaash Maharaj, the CEO of the Global Organisation of Parliamentarians Against Corruption.
According to Maharaj, the U.K. law required that a person arrested be informed of the reason for the action and as such Michael’s failure to reveal the reason is telling.
(More in today’s Daily Observer)

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