Scandal-hit Antigua minister Asot Michael resigns

Asot Michael
Asot Michael.
Last updated: 16 May 2018, 1:28 am

Asot Michael, the investment and trade minister in Antigua and Barbuda, has resigned.

The prime minister has written to the country’s governor-general to confirm the decision.

WIC News understands that the resignation after an hours-long emergency meeting to discuss Michael’s involvement in an unfolding bribery scandal.

On Friday he was named in documents presented at the UK’s High Court relating to Peter Virdee, who stands accused of bribing high-ranking Caribbean officials.

A transcript shows that Michael allegedly demanded money, a car and campaign financing.

Virdee’s calls were apparently being intercepted by German law enforcement officials.

At the weekend Michael denied any wrongdoing, and he continued to deny involvement in his resignation letter.

“I emphasise that I am not a party to the court proceedings in the United Kingdom [that] have been reported in the media, nor have I been charged with any wrongdoing,” he wrote to Prime Minister Gaston Browne.

“The media reports refer to recordings of conversations between persons other than myself, and I cannot be held responsible for their utterances.”

Virdee and his co-accused also deny the accusations. The pair were arrested by the UK’s National Crime Agency as part of the investigation.

Asot Michael, who is member of parliament for St Peter, was also held by the NCA last year, and at the time was quickly stripped of his ministerial responsibilities by the prime minister.

At the time WIC News reported extensively on the situation, and again Michael denied any involvement in criminal activity.



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