Former minister says he will never give in to “blackmail”


Former education minister, Michael Browne, who was acquitted on a serious criminal charge last week, is contending that he had been subjected to “blackmail” prior to the charge being laid against him.

Last week, High Court judge, Justice Colin William, acquitted the former education minister of the two serious criminal charges against him. The charges cannot be cited for legal reasons.

The Member of Parliament for All Saints West had always maintained his innocence and the High Court judge said the prosecution did not prove beyond all reasonable doubt that Browne was guilty of the offences dating back to 2020.

Speaking at a public meeting over the weekend, Browne said that while there had not been an attempt “to shake me down for money this directly, one thing I do know is that I have never given in to blackmail., I have never given in to a shakedown.

“I would not start now neither would I start in the future and so I resisted and after I resisted charges were brought and those charges, I was comfortable because I knew the facts spoke for themselves”.

Browne has also questioned whether the police had “deliberately fudged the investigation of the matter,” adding “the moment when I was being accused, my accuser was active on her cell phone, rejecting phone calls and even texting others.

‘It is very interesting that the police missed that. Even in court documents, it was also revealed that my accuser …sought the services of an attorney before reporting an incident to the police. Meanwhile, several police officers past and present played a very active role, along with others, in ensuring that they would bring Michael Browne to pay or they would bring Michael Browne down”.

The police have not yet responded to Browne’s accusation, but during his public event, Browne, also disclosed that he had been dismissed from the Cabinet by Prime Minister Gaston Browne as a result of the charges being laid against him.

“I was subsequently fired as the minister of education, science and technology. I saw several news clippings saying that I had resigned. I never resigned I was fired…and understandably so. I do respect the decision that was taken and understand the predicament that the prime minister was in.

“So I never fought the fact that I was fired,” he added.

Meanwhile, questions are being raised over the appearance of the Speaker of the Parliament, Sir Gerald Watt as being among the lawyers who represented Browne at the trial.

Akaash Maharaj, who serves as the Ambassador-at-Large for the Ottawa-based Global Organization of Parliamentarians Against Corruption, said on a local radio station here that he thought Sir Gerald’s decision ‘was a bizarre choice on his part.

“Once you become the lawyer for a client, you are bound…by confidentiality. There are things that the Speaker will know of that Member of Parliament which he is enjoined from sharing with anyone else and it is possible, by no means certain that is possible that things would have come out during that process with that the Speaker of the Legislator would find unacceptable as a sitting MP but now he can’t act upon them because he only knows that …as an acquired privilege.

“I don’t think it is right,” he said, referring to the matter of conflict of interest.

“I think that by representing an accused person in court when he must also rule over that person in the Legislature is unsustainable,” he said.

Prime Minister Browne had previously said the former minister would be reinstated if he was found not guilty and last week added that he was not certain whether it would be in the previous portfolio.

“If the Prime Minister appoints me to another ministry, whichever ministry he chooses to appoint me to I will work, because I am happy to serve my people. I am happy, I am ready and I am willing to work. I believe that I still have a lot to give, and I believe that because of this experience that I have been through,” Browne said.

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  1. Did Michael Browne ever complete his doctorate degree (PhD)? All I can tell the former minister of government, please repent and reframe from such sinful at again. He was raised better than that and he should have known better. Yes, we all sin and stray from God. Michael, Christianity belief and brought up should have been strong enough for him to resist such alledged act. Who, am I to judge, just repent my brother and turn back to God. You Heavenly Father will forgive you. Also, forgive your mother for the public shame you bring into her life, and to the accuser.

  2. The court can say one thing, but we, the victim and God know how things went down. Other people also know, and the others who had the same thing done to them but did not come forward. There is a greater judge than the one in the courtroom who will hand down the final verdict.
    If we keep lying about everything, how educated we are, how innocent we are, and we get away, we will get complacent and do them all over again. Next time, not even the lawyers would want the case.

  3. People say, the best way to know when somebody do something wrong, listen to them. They can’t stop talking and talking.

  4. Notes From A Native Son O The Rock!

    “Indeed, Afrocentricity cannot be reconciled to any hegemonic or idealistic philosophy. It is opposed to radical individualism as expressed in the postmodern school. But it is also opposed to spookism, confusion, and superstition. As example of the differences between the methods of Afrocentricity and postmodernism, consider the following question, “Why have Africans (APUA – Electricity, Inet and Water Business Units) been shut out of global development?”

    Some would reply that APUA’s Business Units “had not fully developed their own capacities in relationship to the global economy and therefore they are outside of the normal development patterns of the world economy.” Some would ask us to “look to the questions of location (Time and Space), control of the hegemonic global economy( North Atlantic and Asian), marginalization (Syrian, Lebanese and other Middle Eastern), and power positions (Edge up arrivistes, Intelligentsia, Bourgeois Elites, Bureaucrats and Politicos and their “Hangers On’s”) as keys to understand the underdevelopment of African people.”

    Yes Sir Mr. MP Michael Browne! No time For Further Distraction! “The ultimate safeguard of Independence is its protection. This nation, born again tonight, must commit itself to work and to work hard. For if we fail to do so, the consequence of our failure will be dependence on a new master who will, once again, dictate our policies and direct our affairs. // We must not have struggled so long and with such fortitude to exchange one master for another.” – VC Bird Independence Address to the Nation!

    APUA is crying out for a Strategic Plan with input from All Stakeholders, Total Transformation of its Structure, Systems, Policies and Operating Procedures and an All Encompassing Change Management of Personnel and Skills! This is your Opportunity! Seize The Time!

    Skyewill from Johnson Village wants water to wash his “dutty foot!”

    JaneMary tired washing her body from and by “throwing up water like back in the 60s, 70s, 80s, and 90s. Aren’t we in the twenty-first century or not? With all the Reverse Osmosis Desalination plants in Antigua and Barbuda, we are still throwing up water to bath.”

    MP Browne, you only get one shot before the next Election! Location – Time and Space! There are some Lifers who intend to die with their boots on when all about them is rotting!

    Mr. Michael Browne, as the Representative from the Center, it is a fact of Nature, which abhors a vacuum, that all relationships are based on centers and margins and the distances from either the center or the margins. APUA is at the center of every person of African descent resident on the Rock! Hear their Cries and even though reluctant tackle like Moses and let Pharaoh know everything depends on the Utility …! History has made you Central and centered you as a true Agent, and Champion with the political and “foundation” financial planning, creation and implementation of the economic and educational experience!

    From your Central Perch of the Saints, Let Friends and Foes alike know you will settle for none other than APUA! Let All who have ears to hear and eyes to see, be advised that you see that as a fundamental necessity for advancing the political, economic socio-cultural, technological, legal and environmental process. As the Ancestors taught, from the rich clays of your birth, “Work The Pestle in The Mortar!

    A bourgeoisie that has only nationalism to feed the people fails in its mission and inevitably gets tangled up in a series of trials and tribulations. If nationalism is not explained, enriched, and deepened, if it does not very quickly turn into a social and political consciousness, into humanism, then it leads to a dead end. A bourgeois leadership of the underdeveloped countries confines the national consciousness to a sterile formalism. Only the massive commitment by men and women to judicious and productive tasks gives form and substance to this consciousness.” ― Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth!

    “Oh Gad!” as Joanne Hillhouse would say, You have the Capacity to Work The Metaphors! Go Get ’em like our Living National Hero “da Mastah Blastah!

    “Neither stubborn courage not fine slogans are enough.” – Dr. Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth!

    • John French, you really think somebody is going to read the bull shit you wrote. Less is more. Use your talent to write some scholarly article and get paid for it. This is not the forum. Chupzs.

    • John french I enjoy the read and love to imagine what type of person could scribe such an assault of words. What is your profession?

  5. Hon. Browne is a smart man. I could see why he was chosen as minister of Education, Science and Technology. An educated man is able to represent himself well. I am pleased with this son.

  6. Since the Courts found him not guilty last week.He has the runs of the mouth.A still tongue makes a wise head.Even though you were found not guilty.Are you really,not guilty? Keep on running of the mouth and see where this matter ends up.

  7. The accused didn’t get a conviction in the criminal trial. That does not stop her from pursuing him in a civil proceeding.

    Then we will all know what really went down!

  8. @beachbum y’all some real haters. Antiguans hate their own so bad. This was the first time this man spoke. Tell the media houses to stop making it sames like he’s still speaking.

    And by the way….he should speak!! He’s free!!

  9. I don’t know Mike but he is refreshing. First thing he was found to be innocent of the accused crime and that’s a good thing for him. He has been vindicated. What he is saying about the police, as for me and I speak only for me, I believe him and I wish him well. He once stood up against the top dawg, that takes gumption. He should run.

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