|Interpol arrest warrant issued for Michael Misick||| Print ||
|Written by Richard Greenfirstname.lastname@example.org|
|Monday, 19 March 2012 16:38|
Updated March 20: A international arrest warrant has been issued for former Turks and Caicos Islands Premier Michael Misick, the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team announced March 19.
“For the past several months the SIPT has sought to secure the attendance of Mr. Misick at its offices in Providenciales in respect of allegations of corruption and money laundering during his time in office,” according to a press release from the SIPT, which so far has charged 13 people in its investigation of alleged corruption in Misick’s government.
“Every opportunity has been given to Mr. Misick to voluntarily surrender to the SIPT’s jurisdiction for interview. Despite previous indications from Mr. Misick’s solicitors that he would attend for interview, he has failed to do so.”
The call for Misick’s capture came in an Interpol “Red Notice,” which is requested based on an arrest warrant or court decision and seeks “the arrest or provisional arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition,” according to Interpol’s website.
The process to obtain a Red Notice began in February and was issued before a barrage of e-mails from Misick began March 15 against the governor and the interim government, said government spokesman Neil Smith.
In response to the announcement of the Red Notice, Misick issued a statement March 19 saying that he is seeking asylum in an unnamed country “because of the political persecution that is taking place to me and my family, former cabinet ministers and their families and a select few developers who supported me and my Progressive National Party during my tenure as premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands.”
Misick is believed to be 90 miles south in the Dominican Republic, which does not have an extradition treaty with the TCI.
“Let be clear. I am not a fugitive, and will never be a fugitive," Misick said. "I have applied for political asylum from another country and I am merely seeking protection from political persecution.”
In e-mails to the news media, Misick has questioned the fairness of the judicial system under the interim administration while elected government is suspended.
“It is clear that the justice system in the Turks and Caicos Islands has turned into a puppet show with judges making decisions to please the dictator that appointed them,” Misick said. “It is clear that me, none of the other accused or charged or any other black persons can ever get a fair trial.”
Of 14 charged, two are white and the others are black Turks and Caicos Islanders.
“If I or any one has done anything wrong why did you and the British government have to change the whole legal system including abolishing our right to jury trial, changing the evidence laws and hearsay laws just to name a few. Why is SIPT illegally gathering information and harassing law abiding citizens if it is so clear that we have done wrong?"
The interim government changed the absolute right to a jury trial to allow either prosecutors or defendants to request a trial by a judge instead of a jury, as is the law in the U.K.
“And how can there be a fair trial when you are the executive, you are the legislature, and you also appoint the judges and you have already pronounced that we are all guilty?” Misick asked.
At a recent public hearing, Todd said he believed that guilty government officials should be prosecuted and convicted, a statement Misick and others are calling a pronouncement of guilt for those accused.
A 2009 Commission of Inquiry found evidence of widespread corruption or malfeasance in office by Misick, some of his fellow ministers and others. The U.K. then suspended parts of the Constitution and elected government in August 2009 and appointed the SIPT to investigate those allegations.
Misick said the inquiry was based on hearsay, and he raised race as an issue more than once in e-mails to the news media and the governor. He claims the inquiry occurred because Misick’s government was giving Crown land to black Turks and Caicos Islanders instead of white expatriates.
The SIPT alleges that some of Misick’s former ministers were paid huge bribes by white expatriates to get concessions for their developments, while other ministers are accused of illegally flipping Crown land for big profits.
“As long as (white expatriates) were the ones getting the Crown land and selling it, this was good business, but as soon as we gave the land to the Turks and Caicos Islands people it was seen as corruption,” Misick said. “This is why we are being prosecuted. As long as we want to remain colonial slaves it was OK, but when we begin seeking independence we were call corrupt and put in our place.”
Since the U.K. assumed direct control, some have talked about seeking independence and Misick has called for it. However, there has never been an official request for independence from this U.K. Overseas Territory.
Misick began his most recent e-mail attack on the interim government after His Excellency the Gov. Ric Todd said a curse word on Robert Hall’s “Expressions” radio program. The governor said he thought a caller had used the word, so he used it in his response. When Hall pointed out that the caller didn’t use the word, the governor apologized.
Misick fired off an e-mail calling on the governor to resign for disrespecting the country and its people. The governor responded, issuing a national apology for his error and calling Misick a hypocrite.
“The hypocrisy of Mr. Michael Misick in calling into question the morality of anyone clearly knows no bounds. His alleged disrespect, and that of his administration, for the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands were laid bare in the Commission of Inquiry Report of 2009.”
Misick responded, calling for an inquiry into the interim administration.
Consultative Forum Chairwoman Lillian Misick, who is not related to Michael Misick, weighed in March 19 with a statement on the governor’s use of a curse word.
“It is important to appreciate … that the governor not only apologized immediately but later issued a formal apology to the nation for the obvious offense he caused,” she said. “He should be commended for this; not least because it stands in instructive contrast to the failure of some local leaders to apologise for causing us far greater offense.”
As for Michael Misick’s statements, she said, “I have been asked by many to comment on the statement former Premier Michael Misick issued on this incident and on the governor’s response to it. But given his fall from grace and the battery of criminal charges he is now facing, I do not believe Mr. Misick is in any position to offer constructive contributions to our national debate on current affairs.
Photo: Michael Misick
Entertainment: Your Island Guide
Top things to do in April
Top things to do in April 1. From Golfing to More...
Valentine’s Day Cup 2013 model sailboat races
The Middle Caicos Sailboat Association will once again present the annual model sailboat races at More...
Lime and Tourist Board announce weekly Fish Fry
The Turks & Caicos Tourist Board & LIME partner with Cultural Fish Fry The Turks & Caicos Tourist More...
Turks & Caicos Reef Fun to host dazzling evening
The Turks and Caicos Reef Fund will host its 2nd Annual Cocktail Party Reception on Jan. 26 at the More...
Fashion Glam at Regent Palms
The Regent Palms is inviting everyone to an evening of fashion and glamour at their event being More...
Latest Community News
Cholera Clinical Management Training Held in the TCI
Healthcare professionals from the TCI Health Services were trained in the Clinical Management of More...
Illegal Haitian immigrants Intercepted
Illegal Haitian Immigrants Intercepted, to the Repatriated According to the Ministry of Border More...
Ministry of Health Reminding public about sanitation
Health surveillance teams attached to the Ministry of Health and Human Services (MOHHS) have More...
Scholarship applications now being accepted
The Ministry of Education has announced that they are now accepting applications for scholarships More...
History and traditions stay alive at the 13th annual boat races in Middle Caicos
The 2013 Valentines Day Cup welcomed many fun loving residents and tourists to Middle Caicos’ More...