The now former Antigua & Barbuda minister of tourism, economic development investment and energy Ascot Michael. (Facebook image)

News Americas, MIAMI, FL, Weds. Oct. 25, 2017: The now former Antigua & Barbuda minister of tourism, economic development investment and energy who had his appointment revoked hours after his arrest in the UK Monday, is now speaking out and insists he was never charged and is not on bail.

Asot A. Michael, a Member of Parliament for the St. Peter’s constituency in Antigua released a statement Tuesday explaining details of his arrest and insisting he was not charged with any offense, is not on bail, and has had no restriction on his travel nor is he wanted for further questioning.

Michael said he was approached at Gatwick Airport, en route to Cannes in France by police officers who asked him to accompany them.

He said he did and the officers “wished to interview me, and for that purpose I was arrested.”

“I attended an interview, in which I made it clear that I denied any allegations made against me, and that I have not been involved in any wrongdoing, which is the case. I then carried on my journey into London,” Michael said in a statement.

He did not give the reason or reasons behind the arrest but said in the statement that he has “… been advised that this is often done when persons are traveling and not expected to remain in the United Kingdom.”

Reacting to Prime Minister’s Gaston Browne suspension of him and announcement in a press statement, Michael called the move “unfortunate” and said he wishes the prime minister had contacted him beforehand so he could have explained the position to him.

But Michael said he fully accepts and respects the prime minister’s right to appoint and remove ministers in his government, he considers the decision “likely to be due to a misapprehension of what has taken place, and second hand information, indeed misinformation.”

“I do not consider that any justifiable question has arisen that I have failed to comply with the highest possible standards required of public office,” he added, noting he proposes to speak to PM Browne “as soon as possible, and to explain the situation.”

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