Sunday, 14th July 2024

Integrity Commission should probe Michael arrest, says ex-AG

Former minister is now back in Antigua after London detention

Sunday, 7th July 2024

Justin Simon.
Last updated: November 6, 2017 at 10:00 am

Former attorney general Justin Simon QC has said that the Integrity Commission in Antigua and Barbuda should investigate the circumstances involving the recent arrest of former tourism minister Asot Michael.

Michael was arrested and released in London last week after being questioned about allegations having to do with bribes being paid by a UK national for business contracts in the Caribbean.

Simon, speaking on a radio programmem said the Integrity Commission is charged with investigating the conduct of public officials, including ministers of government.

He said the matter should not be allowed to “simply die” because we are waiting to see what unfolds in the UK or if no charges are laid against former minister Michael.

“We do have an Integrity Commission and we do have a code of conduct in respect to the behaviour of public officials, which includes ministers of government,” he said.

“The Integrity Commission has to address matters of integrity and if there has been a breach of the code of conduct as well as whether individuals have breached also the provisions of the Prevention of Corruption Act,” Simon said.

He noted that the Commission has the powers to independently investigate complaints “it may have heard,” without a formal complaint being lodged.

Simon said the allegation for which Michael was questioned is very serious with far reaching effects, adding that integrity in public office is critical and should be maintained.