ANTIGUA – Opposition calls for dismissal of senior government minister

Caribbean News Service:  

The main opposition United Progressive Party (UPP) has called on Prime Minister Gaston Browne to dismiss his Investment and Trade Minister, Asot Michael, who has been implicated among Caribbean politicians for allegedly receiving bribes from a British investor.


Michael has denied the accusation that unfolded in a British High Court last Friday in a matter involving Peter Virdee, whose telephone conversations with his business partner, Dieter Trutschler, in 2016, had been recorded by German authorities.


According to the transcript of the document revealed in the High Court, Virdee alleges that Michael had asked him for two million dollars, as well as to buy a car for his mother.


UPP political leader Harold Lovell said that Michael should either step down or for Prime Minister Browne to relive him of his portfolio.


“This once again drags the name of Antigua and Barbuda into the mud and Antigua and Barbuda cannot take any more of this bad publicity.


“It is absolutely important that Mr. Michael should do the right thing and he should resign immediately. Failing an immediate resignation Prime Minister Gaston Browne ought to relive him immediately of his responsibilities,” Lovell said on Observer Radio.


He said it is not fair to the country for the ruling Antigua and Barbuda Labour Party (ABLP) government to be constantly be dragging us through the mud scandal after scandal. Antigua and Barbuda can take no more”.


Late last year, Michael was dismissed as tourism and investment minister after he was detained by the Metropolitan Police in London.


…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,” Browne said then.


But Michael contested the March 21 general elections on an ABLP ticket.