Tribunal takes first step in disciplinary action against MP Michael

St Peter MP, Asot Michael (file photo)
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The first steps in the disciplinary action against MP Asot Michael has begun.

The Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) tribunal charged with presiding over the infraction of members has been triggered to address what the party describes as unacceptable behaviour directed at public figures.

Michael, the St Peter MP, was engaged in a public feud with Prime Minister Gaston Browne when he made a number of accusations and even called for a convention to be held for the leadership of the party.

Following that feud, PM Browne had shared his intent to take Michael before the ABLP’s tribunal for his latest actions.

That promise has now come to fruition as Michael received a letter of notice outlining the complaints against him.

Lionel “‘Max” Hurst is the chairman of the five-member body which also includes President of the Senate, Alincia Williams-Grant.

The tribunal is required to write to Michael outlining the alleged breaches of the party’s code of conduct. Those alleged breaches will also be accompanied by evidence to support the charges against him. Following the receipt of the letter, Michael will have three days within which to respond in writing.

Following Michael’s response, the tribunal will then set a date on which the matter will be heard. At that hearing, Michael will have the right to be represented by legal counsel.

Hurst, while speaking on Observer AM on Monday, indicated that the hearing is likely to be held before the end of this month rather than this week as reported by another media house. He also explained that the hearing is an internal matter.

 Hurst did however share that an investigator could also be used during the hearing.

“There are five members of the tribunal and one of them could be appointed as an investigator who actually proceeds much like a prosecutor to handle the case or you can bring in a lawyer to do it for you,” he explained.

This will be the second time that the party has had to activate the disciplinary tribunal with Michael being the subject of the first tribunal convened in 2005.

The charges brought against him then were eventually dropped.

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