Prime Minister Gaston Browne has told Dwyer Astaphan to stay out of Antiguan and Barbudan politics.
PM Browne’s latest advice comes on the heels of threats by Astaphan to file a defamation lawsuit against the prime minister over remarks he made about being a puppet.
The legal documents were delivered to Browne from Attorneys Lake and Kentish on behalf of their client Astaphan
“I have shared the letter with several of my attorneys and they are laughing at the proposed legal action because nothing I have said was defamatory…based on the advice of my attorneys, if that threat gets to litigation, it will be defended,” Browne said
He said the matter could even be dismissed at the High Court because it is “frivolous”.
Browne said Astaphan has, over the past several months, especially during the election, made serious allegations against him.
“If you notice, even if Dwyer Astaphan doesn’t live in Antigua and Barbuda, he has inserted himself into our politics and several times a week he would have been on radio and social media attacking me most viciously but using innuendoes to prevent a lawsuit but it was to take legal action against him I can prove that I am the one he was referring to,” Browne said
Browne said Astaphan accused the government officials of being involved in human trafficking and migrant smuggling.
“He said I am the worst prime minister ever and the people have done so badly under my leadership. There’s nothing that he hasn’t said. I find it astonishing that the same Dwyer Astaphan has become so thin-skinned that he is trying to interpret certain words that I would have uttered… to create a claim of defamation” Browne said
The prime minister said he suspects that Astaphan may be cash-strapped and looking for some extra money.
“Maybe he sees this as an opportunity to get some cash. I want to tell him that he should be careful that he won’t have to pay me…I want to remind him that the comments that I have made about certain individuals and they took me to court, I won all my cases and they had to pay me,” Browne said.