I am aware that there are persons who have sought in the past and are presently, for their own selfish and oblique motives, seeking to sully my character since I became the Director of Public Prosecutions by surreptitiously making false and spurious allegations and surmises to have me removed. This, I accept as being the common lot of all senior public officers.
It has been drawn to my attention that a particular text or WhatsApp message has made its way to social media and was the subject of a recent press release published on the 1st October, 2020 to media houses. I was prepared to endure and ignore the former due to its unfounded and spurious nature.
However, the publication of the press release, I believe demands a response. Firstly, the particular text or WhatsApp message as it relates to allegations made or insinuated against me are unfounded, false and defamatory. In this regard, I consider it only fair that the author(s) be put to strict proof to provide the necessary evidence to support the said allegation.
Regarding the IHI matter, in May 2013 the police submitted the file for my consideration and advice as per normal. The IHI investigation was assisted and guided by notable attorney Mr. Sanjeev Datadin, from Guyana who was also sworn in as special constable. This investigation gained national attention even before my tenure, as it concerned very senior former and current government ministers and a very senior diplomat. There were many cries and counter cries of the investigation being a politically inspired witch hunt and a campaign for a day of reckoning for past wrongdoers.
After carefully reviewing the file and the evidence presented, I gave the police my opinion on the matter which consisted of over 10 pages. I highlighted the shortcomings and serious gaps in the evidence. Most importantly at the very end I advised the police that the decision to lay charges against the persons who were the focus of their investigation was for them to make. This is in keeping with the later 2014 Privy Council ruling which referenced the Guide for Prosecutors in Antigua and Barbuda:
“It will be recognized that the DPP remains solely responsible for the taking of all prosecutorial decisions and the police remains solely responsible for the conduct of all investigations.”
Absolutely at no time did I either halt the investigation or instruct the police not to continue with it.
The IHI investigation concerned a loan agreement dating back to the 5th March, 1985 between the Government of Antigua and Barbuda and a Japanese company IHI. Due to its notoriety, I sent copies of my opinion on the 4th November, 2013 to the then Honorable Prime Minister, the Minister of Finance, the Attorney General, the Minister of Justice and Public Safety and other senior members of the Cabinet. I did this, so that my opinion was open to transparency, criticism and examination. Despite that, to this day no one has ever challenged or questioned my opinion, notably, the special constable and the then Cabinet which comprised of at least five (5) senior and prominent attorneys.
It is therefore illogical that anyone including the Member of Parliament (MP) named in the text or WhatsApp message could have corruptly paid me to protect him in the IHI investigation when I have NEVER instructed or informed the police not to lay any charges or not to continue with the investigation. As a matter of fact, my instructions and advice to the police were to the contrary and to the detriment of all those concerned which was to go ahead with the charges if they so desired. In fact, my opinion, which catalogued the gaps and shortcomings in the investigation, provided a platform for them to make the necessary changes to strengthen the case, if possible.
I have never spoken to, been offered or accepted ANY benefits whether monetary or otherwise from the said MP or any agent on his behalf to protect him from any charge or prosecution in any matter. I hereby categorically refute and deny the allegations made against me.
For the past fifteen (15) years I have carried out the functions of the Director of Public Prosecutions with the utmost integrity, respect for the law and the highest traditions of the legal profession.
In the execution of my duties, I follow what grounds all criminal prosecutions, that is, the nature and the state of the evidence and I have always executed my duties without fear or favour.
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More needed to be done!
This is the first time I’m seeing who the DPP is. I’ve only known him by name. Asot really know how to pull people off dem crease.
So Mr DPP I hope as a senior council you did not intentionally over look the author of the whatsapp message and the damage it has caused to the DPP office.
There are laws of defamation and electronic crimes. Refuting the allegations does not excuse nor restore credibility.
The author of the whatsapp message can be discovered in less than 10 minutes.
Did the DPP make a report to the police? That is the first step of restoring credibility in the DPP ‘s office
Yeah I hear all of that . Now what will you do with all that said about you now
Sad to say but I think he needs to resign. The damage has been done.
@Not following. He who? Logically, that would be the one making the claim on the DPP, if such claims cannot be substantiated.
Thanks to you ANR.I now know the identity of the sheltered DPP.I have never seen this man any where in Antigua.And you people say Antigua is small.
@Not following your logic:Why should the DPP resign?What damage has been done?What crimes did he commit?
I am applauding Serpent in the Snake Pit last week Saturday afternoon.He pulled Asot out of his man cave.Asot Michael had a lot to say then about one namely,Gaston Browne.Some of the things he uttered were eyes opening to me.Since then someone released a WhatsApp.It had some real fingers pointing and incriminating statements..In that WhatsApp utterings there was an error.They mentioned the name Bruce Rappaport as a Guyanese Born Diplomat.That is not factual.For Bruce Rappaport was born in Israel.He did pay back his financial loot.From those IHI matters to the Government of Antigua and Barbuda.However,this matter Must be investigated to the full extent of the laws of Antigua and Barbuda.When you talk too much you would pay your father’s debts.Do not let this stop you from running of your faucet mouth on your Radio Station.
Zackie you need to move to the head of the class.
DPP I hear you brother but the person making the statements would clearly be in the know and is smart enough to know if he puts it in black and white that he ought to be in a position to back it up… It doesn’t sound good… One man Asot Michael is making an entire judiciary look bad…
@ CHARLES TABOR AND ZACKIE
Do you have PROOF that Hon. Gaston Browne PENNED that letter that was circulated on SOCIAL MEDIA ? Tabor you are a Lawyer and should know better. I forgive ZACKIE for reasons out of total DISLIKE for our Prime Minister. He would not resign and He would respond to the letter forward to Him written by Harold Lovell and D.Gisele Isaac signed by Jamale Pringle. ABLP for the next 30 years.
I am quite sure you Guys saw the PROFESSIONAL poll that was posted on social media. ABLP 16 SEATS UPP 00 SEAT.
PHILLIP G I will await the Prime Minister’s response to the Leader of the Opposition letter. Knowing the Prime Minister and the use of his Saturday soapbox Pointe FM, I will be listening this afternoon for his pronouncements as well.
And Tabor if I know Gaston well he will not even give the letter from Pringle the courtesy of reply. And then Pringle said he will write to the Governor General and request an Inquiry. On what basis must the GG now open an inquiry. You guys are really inept and cannot think straight.
I guess you have not learned lessons from the IHI tape.
From The Sideline be very careful now. You are suggesting that Asot wrote and disseminat
From The Sideline be very careful now. You are suggesting that Asot wrote and disseminated the letter that accused the DPP of taking bribes. Do you have evidence that Asot and not Gaston Browne wrote the letter?
Do you have evidence that he did?
I hope you are happy what you heard. But since you listened why didn’t you call in and ask the PM the question directly? Are to coward to do that. I’m sure they would not cut you off. Or you could sent a WhatsApp message.
FROM THE SIDELINE coward? You got to be kidding. I listened yesterday to see if they would have addressed the issue head on but they completely skirted around it. I have called the show before to let him know that all the covid Regulations are implemented unlawfully. All he could say it that the horse has bolted and people can take the matter to court. Since you always listen I am sure you heard that exchange. Anyway, as I have said elsewhere nothing will come of that matter since both Asot and Gaston have too much to lose. In true ALP fashion everything will be patched up and swept under the rug.
I’m sure you heard that the chairman placed a gag order on them. And the ABLP is an organized well run institution
@Sideline. Since when the PM respects gag orders? Look, we still live in a democracy and no one is above the law. The ‘gentleman’ is in trouble and he should resign if unable to substantiate. You know it too hence the vast number of responses from you. But, there is nothing to defend here. This is clear cut; his mouth has finally cost him his job.
Are you also starting with name calling rather than bringing u your legal arguments.
You know I am somewhat disappointed that the DPP even bother to respond to these kind of social media melee. he really has disappointed me. if it was that he heard the PM said that on the radio then I would say OK he has the right to respond.
You know I am somewhat disappointed that the DPP even bother to respond to these kind of social media melee. he really has disappointed me. if it was that he heard the PM said that on the radio then I would say OK he has the right to respond. Very sad
From The Sideline of course the DPP had very good reason to respond. If he did not I am sure you and many others out there would be left with the impression that he is damn culpable. He had to clear his name. We need to hear from Asot and Gaston about the truth of the matter. And both of them can shed some light on it.
You really make a lousy legal advisor. He had no name to clear as I said first of all he had no evidence that the correspondence was authentic. Second if he remembers the IHI tape he himself said that cannot serve as evidence in any court. And I’m sure you remember the tape they made with Lester Bird and the minor. They played the tape in public and even I was convince that their was some truth in the tape that I confronted Lester and he categorically denied such thing. And that is why he sued Observer and others and won his case. These days you have many fake news and a like. And a legal luminary of your caliber should know better not to jump on a band wagon where the so called evidence can be faked.
Another brown paper bag infection? Maybe the time has come for us in Antigua and Barbuda to ban the importation and use of brown paper bags as we did with plastics. Time to clean up the environment. Lawyers get ready! I can see that there will be a lot of top-dollar assignments as this nation peels back years of criminal goings on in high places. My suggestion: 2000 – 2020. Looka scandal!!!! 10 years under ALP/ABLP and 10 years under UPP. Just a reminder for the ignorant among us. 2000 – 2004: Hon. Lester Bird P. M. ; 2004 – 2014: Hon. Baldwin Spencer P. M. 2014 – 2020 : Hon. Gaston Browne P. M. Let the games begin!
@Anon the 1st…and, this whole mess is supposed to be, a non-issue, and waltz off into a beautiful, serene ASS OT Fort James sunset!
Now, let’s see where the next ASS OT lightenings will strike, and how much damage they will do, as they shake up the political arena like fire, brimstone, and earthquake!
DID I read that the DPP said he told the police the decision was theirs whether or not to lay charges. Who makes the decision whether cases go forward.
Mr. PM said he might open the IHI investigation I guess to go after Asot.
Wasn’t it reported that someone broke into the court house and stole all of the related documents? Just wondering where happened to the documents.
There is corruption in Antigua to the highest level
Will the PM find the stolen documents to charge Asot. Don’t think there is a case without the documents
Where is Tenman and From the Sideline. Not a peep from them on this issue.
…it’s alleged, that the chameleon’s have switched to #NewPseudonyms.
To be honest, From The Sidelines is battling hard, strong and long for PM Browne. He’s posted some telling tales, of Asot when he’s done sipping, on Cock-Tails and misbehaving in public.
Tenman is in a cave.He is about 100 feet under ground. There isn’t any means of communications from inside of that cave. When the discourse changed to the UPP and Harold Lovell.He would emerge from his under ground bungalow.Just hoping he is not indulging in too much of that Labor Party Red Wine.
When TENMAN resurfaces all he will be doing is reproducing quotes and articles from past publications which have no relevance to the issue at hand and many times are just nonsensical. FROM THE SIDELINES is still trying his utmost best as an apologist and propagandists for Gaston Browne. At least I must give him a little credit for that, but it would be great if he exhibited some objectivity at times.
Tabor you’re the one that never ever can be objective when it comes to anything having to do with Gaston Browne and the ABLP. You have a hatred that blinds you that you have lost all credibility. I have stated positions in opposition of the PM on many times. Just the other day I agreed with you on something you said Browne should have done when it came to the WPP. So please objectivity is what you lack.
What is the issue .?.The Prime Minister said that He is NOT responsible for that letter on SOCIAL MEDIA. Please there is NO issue. TABOR should know better.
So the PM says, and that is the end of it for you? This is a serious matter which for me and you could have had us in leg iron. An investigation must be done to detetmine where the truth lies. This is a man ready to sue for the simpliest of statements hence fairness demands that he face the music as the ordinary ‘Joe’ would have.
Our democracy, the future of our legal system and our stance as a nation demand it.
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