|Joe Grant Cay canceled, government seeks Crown land||| Print ||
|Monday, 12 July 2010 16:11|
The Turks and Caicos Islands government has canceled the Joe Grant Cay development and seeks to reclaim more than 600 acres of Crown land, alleging the developers bribed former premier Michael Misick in the deal.
The government’s Civil Recovery team alleges in Supreme Court documents filed June 28 that Turks Development LP paid a $500,000 bribe to Misick on Jan 9, 2007, on behalf of Star Platinum companies.
Then on Sept. 20, 2007, a one-third interest in the Joe Grant Cay development was given to Oceanic Development Ltd., shares of which are held in trust for Albright Gardiner, Alwood Gardiner and Clifton Black, nephews of Misick, court documents allege.The government alleges that those two actions were made to gain the “the promotion in Cabinet of papers in support of the development, the execution of the Development Agreement and Conditional Leases, the sale of Crown land, and the grant of concessions, benefits and discounts.”
Click HERE to read the government's writ of summons.
Neither Misick nor his nephews are named as defendants, but nine different Star Platinum companies are named.
Dr. Cem Kinay, whose Dellis Cay project is also under scrutiny by the Civil Recovery team, confirmed the $500,000 payment by Dellis Cay's parent company Turks Development LP but denied it was a bribe.
"I have never bribed anyone in Turks and Caicos or elsewhere," Kinay said in a written statement. "Turks Development LP, Dellis Cay’s parent company, has made a political donation at the beginning of 2007, at early election time."
In its own statement, Star Platinum Island Ltd. said the allegations against it are unfounded. "Whatever view might be taken as to the wisdom of (Kinay's) donation for the premier’s early election campaign at the beginning of 2007, it has nothing to do with Joe Grant Cay business," a statement from Star Platinum said.
As for allegations involving Misick's relatives, both Kinay and Star Platinum said Ocean Development Ltd. is a company belonging to Star Platinum's local partner, Don Gardiner, and that Misick's relatives were granted interest in an undated declaration of trust. "They (the government) base their claim on an undated piece of paper," Kinay said. "I have never known, seen, talked to the ex-premier’s cousins in my entire life. I hope a fair trial will prove these."
Click HERE to read the full statement from Star Platinum.
Clike HERE to read the full statment from Kinay.
Crown land records show that in January 2009, Star Platinum Villas Ltd. got a Crown land lease on 300 acres, Star Platinum Villas Hotels Ltd. got a Crown land lease on 101 acres, and Star Platinum Golf Ltd. got 212.5 acres on Joe Grant Cay.
The government wants the Supreme Court to return all that property to the Crown land inventory, plus money damages, interest and costs.
This is the second set of proceedings brought by the Civil Recovery team since it began its work at the end of 2009. The recovery actions were prompted by a Commission of Inquiry’s findings that alleged government corruption resulted in the loss of assets belonging to the country.
In April, the team asked the Supreme Court to halt the Salt Cay resort development and return 239 acres of Crown land. Court documents accused Salt Cay Devco Ltd., Salt Cay Devco Estates Ltd. and Salt Cay Golf Club Ltd. of using “a series of corrupt transactions” to gain advantages in their plans for the tiny island.
The court has been asked to allow the government to terminate Devco’s development agreement and the commercial lease of 239 acres on Salt Cay for $1 per acre.
The specific “corrupt transactions” were cited as giving Chal Misick — a lawyer and Michael Misick’s brother — a 50-percent share of Salt Cay Devco Golf Club, and giving credit cards and loans to Michael Misick and former Minister of Natural Resources McAllister Hanchell.
The Salt Cay development companies denied any wrongdoing.
Both cases were made by the attorney general’s office and Civil Recover team lawyers hired to recover assets belonging to the TCI. It is led by Laurence Harris, who heads the London office of Edwards Angell Palmer & Dodge, an international firm with more than 500 lawyers worldwide.
“The Civil Recovery team is now involved in a substantial number of active recoveries and expects to issue further sets of proceedings as the year progresses,” the government said in a statement July 12.
In April, Harris said other developments under review are the development on Dellis Cay, and the Third Turtle development on Providenciales.
Dellis Cay developer Kinay has denied any wrongdoing. The project stalled last year and is in receivership.
Third Turtle developer Richard Padgett has declined to comment, but he announced in March that he is selling the property where construction has not yet begun.
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