If Peter Virdee Is Convicted There Is An Expectation Local Authorities Will Act Against Asot Michael, PM Browne Says

The content originally appeared on: Antigua News Room

Prime Minister Gaston Browne has addressed the ongoing bribery allegations involving UK businessman Peter Virdee and Member of Parliament Asot Michael, emphasizing the potential consequences and expectations for action from the Antiguan authorities.

Speaking on the matter, Browne highlighted the gravity of the situation, especially if Peter Virdee is convicted.

“So the point I’m making here is that If Peter gets convicted, there will be an expectation that the Antiguan authorities will take action because this so-called (innocence) that Asot talking about does not exist,” Browne stated.

Browne elaborated that the presumption of innocence for Asot Michael hinges on the outcome of Virdee’s case.

“Unless the only way he becomes guiltless is if Virdee escapes. If Virdee gets convicted, automatically the bribee is under more than scrutiny, the bribee is in trouble.

Listen to the PM’S statement from Pointe FM here:

“And there would be an expectation now that based on the request from the Brits, the DPP and others within the system will now have to look at this file and to make a determination on how to deal with that file,” Browne explained.

The Prime Minister underscored that Asot Michael is far from being out of the woods, indicating that the matter is far from settled.

“I knew that the matter was not settled, and I didn’t want my government to get caught up in this,” Browne said, reflecting on the complexities and potential repercussions for all parties involved.

Peter Virdee, 50, also known as Hardip Singh, was wanted by the National Crime Agency (NCA) as part of a multi-million-pound bribery case.

He appeared at Westminster magistrates’ court on Thursday where he was charged with bribing a foreign public official.

It is alleged that between January 2015 and July 2017, he bribed Asot Michael, the former minister for tourism, economic development investment and energy for Antigua and Barbuda.

Michael maintains his innocence.

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