Categorized | Local, News, Regional

Michael Misick’s capture good for the Caribbean

Jamaica Observer

WE won’t presume to know whether Mr Michael Misick, the former premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), is guilty or innocent of the corruption charges being laid against him. But we are pleased that he will have his day in court.

In our view, his capture in Brazil bodes well for the Caribbean and Caribbean tourism, because while he remained at large, the allegations of corruption continued to stain the hard-earned reputation of the region and cast doubt on the good names of people who had to be associated with Mr Misick in his capacity as premier of the TCI.

Mr Misick has been on the run after stepping down as premier in 2009, following Britain’s decision to take temporary control of the local Government. He is accused of corruption, misusing public money, and profiting from the sale of state-owned land to developers.

On Friday last week, Mr Misick was held by Interpol in Brazil on an international warrant, according to news reports out of Providenciales. Arrangements are being made to extradite him to the Turks and Caicos at the behest of the British authorities who own the heavily tourism-dependent Caribbean island chain.

Although maintaining his innocence and charging that he was being politically victimised by the British, Mr Misick did himself no favours by fleeing the Turks and Caicos Islands, even if it was, as he claimed, to seek political asylum. At various points he was alleged to be in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and now Brazil. It is to be noted that no country had so far granted him that asylum.

It is usually hard to convince anyone that one is innocent of a charge while running and hiding.

By giving him his day in court, the people of the TCI, the members of his Progressive National Party and tourism officials across the region will be afforded some closure in what has been a very sad affair.

Mr Misick, who was first elected premier in 2003 and then re-elected in 2007, started out as a bright star in the Caribbean constellation.

But stories of his lavish lifestyle, which included his own plane and public disputes with his Hollywood ex-wife Lisa-Raye McCoy, followed by allegations of corruption, began to cause discomfort among his Caribbean colleagues.

Last year, a worldwide freeze on Mr Misick’s assets was ordered by British Special Prosecutor Helen Garlick, covering bank accounts held in the Turks and Caicos Islands and overseas, his personal residence in Providenciales, parcels of land throughout the country, two condominiums, a cinema in Providenciales and several credit cards.

Mr Misick got very little support from Caribbean governments when in March this year he announced that he had gone into hiding and had sought asylum from criminal prosecution by Britain in an unnamed country. He denied that he was on the run and said he was, instead, being targeted unfairly by the UK Government.

Mr Misick also charged that his family had become targets, as had former Cabinet ministers and their families and developers who supported his Progressive National Party during his tenure as premier.

Now he will have his chance to prove his innocence and to demonstrate if any of his allegations are true.

 

 

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

Jamaica Observer

WE won’t presume to know whether Mr Michael Misick, the former premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), is guilty or innocent of the corruption charges being laid against him. But we are pleased that he will have his day in court.

In our view, his capture in Brazil bodes well for the Caribbean and Caribbean tourism, because while he remained at large, the allegations of corruption continued to stain the hard-earned reputation of the region and cast doubt on the good names of people who had to be associated with Mr Misick in his capacity as premier of the TCI.

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Mr Misick has been on the run after stepping down as premier in 2009, following Britain’s decision to take temporary control of the local Government. He is accused of corruption, misusing public money, and profiting from the sale of state-owned land to developers.

On Friday last week, Mr Misick was held by Interpol in Brazil on an international warrant, according to news reports out of Providenciales. Arrangements are being made to extradite him to the Turks and Caicos at the behest of the British authorities who own the heavily tourism-dependent Caribbean island chain.

Although maintaining his innocence and charging that he was being politically victimised by the British, Mr Misick did himself no favours by fleeing the Turks and Caicos Islands, even if it was, as he claimed, to seek political asylum. At various points he was alleged to be in Venezuela, the Dominican Republic and now Brazil. It is to be noted that no country had so far granted him that asylum.

It is usually hard to convince anyone that one is innocent of a charge while running and hiding.

By giving him his day in court, the people of the TCI, the members of his Progressive National Party and tourism officials across the region will be afforded some closure in what has been a very sad affair.

Mr Misick, who was first elected premier in 2003 and then re-elected in 2007, started out as a bright star in the Caribbean constellation.

But stories of his lavish lifestyle, which included his own plane and public disputes with his Hollywood ex-wife Lisa-Raye McCoy, followed by allegations of corruption, began to cause discomfort among his Caribbean colleagues.

Last year, a worldwide freeze on Mr Misick’s assets was ordered by British Special Prosecutor Helen Garlick, covering bank accounts held in the Turks and Caicos Islands and overseas, his personal residence in Providenciales, parcels of land throughout the country, two condominiums, a cinema in Providenciales and several credit cards.

Mr Misick got very little support from Caribbean governments when in March this year he announced that he had gone into hiding and had sought asylum from criminal prosecution by Britain in an unnamed country. He denied that he was on the run and said he was, instead, being targeted unfairly by the UK Government.

Mr Misick also charged that his family had become targets, as had former Cabinet ministers and their families and developers who supported his Progressive National Party during his tenure as premier.

Now he will have his chance to prove his innocence and to demonstrate if any of his allegations are true.