MP Asot Michael Statement On Issuance Of Bench Warrant

It has come to my attention that today in a civil suit in the Magistrates’ Court, the learned Chief Magistrate has issued a bench warrant. Bench warrants are issued to secure the attendances of witnesses or defendants, to my knowledge in criminal matters. In this civil suit my attorney was present, but due to illness I was not. I was first made aware of the warrant by my attorney and then by social media. I have had no other communication from anyone including the Court on this matter.

The issuance of the warrant gives the impression that I have willfully disobeyed a summons to attend Court. This is not the case. I am defending what I consider a most outrageous claim against me. On the last occasion that the matter was heard the Learned Magistrate adjourned for the claimant to get documents and/or witnesses he said that he had but did not bring to Court.

The matter was set for continuation on 09th September at 2.00 pm. However, due to illness I was unable to attend. I did produce a sick certificate and my attorney did attend in my absence. It was my wish and request that the matter continue in my absence.

It is my understanding that the Magistrate did refuse to accept the sick certificate and then forcefully by police officers brought the doctor to Court, leaving some seventy patients awaiting his care. The Learned Magistrate also refused to proceed in my absence, I do not know why.

Having examined the doctor the matter was adjourned to the 21st September. I do not know why the Learned Magistrate has taken this course of action to issue a warrant.

I wish to assure the people of St Peter’s and the general public of Antigua and Barbuda that I will always abide by the decisions of our Courts. I have requested no special treatment, nor do I expect such from our Courts or judiciary. However I do not expect to be treated in any lesser way than my fellow man.

Rest assured that I will seek appropriate redress.

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