Legal Affairs Minister Steadroy Benjamin says a red notice alert issued by Interpol for the arrest of Antigua and Barbuda’s Director of Public Prosecution has been withdrawn.
Our newsroom reported on Thursday that Jamaica wanted Anthony Armstrong to answer questions in Kingston from allegations stemming from a criminal investigation still underway, where Armstrong was found guilty of professional misconduct by Jamaica’s Disciplinary Committee – the General Legal Council (GLC).
But Benjamin told reporters on Thursday that a red notice was in fact issued on October 31st by Interpol, “touching Armstrong”.
“Be that as it may, however, I have in my possession also, another notice from the same body dated November 01st, 2022 issued at 11.01 a.m. That correspondent was written by Richard Murphy, administrator of the body in Jamaica”, he said.
Benjamin said the notice said “…kindly note that the red notice for this subject has been withdrawn based on some developments in the matter that will be dealt with locally. Whenever Mr. Armstrong comes to Jamaica, the necessary will be done”
The AG says he will be investigating the matter “thoroughly” before he could make any further comments.
The GLC found that the Jamaican-born DPP acted contrary to the laws of his country when he signed as a witness to a document for a client who was not physically present.
A man named Michael Adams, who brought the accusations against Armstrong, said that he had represented him in the purchase of three properties between 1999 and 2002, during which time he resided in the United States of America.
He said he often paid Armstrong in cash for his legal services when he would visit Jamaica. However, in 2003, Adams was imprisoned in the US.
Twelve months later, he reportedly inquired about the properties and discovered that all three properties had been transferred and sold, allegedly without his consent.
The document about the sale of at least one of the properties had his signature affixed to it. The document also indicated that Armstrong had witnessed the signing.
While the council was not satisfied that the properties were sold without Adams’ consent, they reprimanded the attorney for signing as a witness knowing that Adams, who was in prison in the US at the time, was not present.
The council described the attorney’s actions as being “the height of recklessness” and a move that could discredit the legal profession.
After spending three months out of office on “special leave”, earlier in May, the DPP resumed his regular duties on May 8th.