ST JOHN’S, Antigua, Tuesday October 24, 2017 – A trip to London left Asot Michael in police custody and without his job as Antigua and Barbuda’s Minister of Tourism and Investment yesterday.
Even though he said he didn’t know why Michael was arrested by London Metropolitan Police when he arrived in the United Kingdom’s capital on a British Airways flight yesterday morning, Prime Minister of the twin-island nation Gaston Browne kicked him out of his Cabinet after learning of his detention.
By night time, however, Michael had been released, although he was advised he may be wanted for further questioning. He is being represented by UK lawyer James Guthrie.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Browne released a statement disclosing that he had received news from Antigua and Barbuda’s High Commissioner in London, Karen-Mae Hill, that Michael was arrested on his arrival in England.
“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,” said Browne, who was in Jordan on his way back home from Montenegro where he led a government delegation to an international conference on Citizenship by Investment.
“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.”
Browne committed to release information regarding the arrest when he received it.
There is no word yet on whether Michael will be reinstated as Tourism and Investment Minister now that he has been released from police custody.