St John’s, Antigua and Barbuda: Asot Michael, the Minister of Investment and Trade of Antigua and Barbuda, has announced that he is taking legal action against two convicted criminals for defamation committed against him on their individual and collective blog sites on the Internet.
Mr Michael says, “I have instructed lawyers in the United States of America to take legal action against Kenneth Rijock and Monte Morris Friesner for knowingly and maliciously bringing my standing in the international community into disrepute and injuring my capacity to conduct transactions through the global financial system.”
The Antigua and Barbuda Minister declared that both Rijock and Friesner have carried out a sustained smear campaign against him and governments of the Caribbean. He identified blogs written by Rijock and Friesner, as recently as April 14, as containing deliberately false and maliciously damaging claims that have hurt his standing as a Minister of the Government and his decades-old family business.
Rijock and Friesner recently falsely claimed that Mr. Michael was arrested in the United Kingdom and in his “bags and baggage were allegedly a number of blank, valid Antigua passports”. However, when they first made the outrageous claim in February 2018, the UK National Crime Agency, in an e-mail of 13 February 2018, confirmed that “no such items were in Mr Michael’s property and that the article is incorrect”. The confirming email was addressed to Mr Michael’s UK attorney, Jonathan Grimes, of the firm Kingsley Napley LLP.
“I will seek redress in the Courts from this continuous assault on my reputation by two convicted criminals whose record of unlawful conduct is notorious, and who now defame countries, companies and individuals, for money. I have endured enough of this slander and denigration and I will pursue every legal action at my disposal to get recompense”, Mr Michael said.
The criminal records of Kenneth Rijock and Monte Morris Friesner as money launderers, fraudsters and scammers are infamous and are available on legal and other websites on the Internet.
– Minister Michael Press Release.