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UPDATE: Michael Misick Released on Bail

Michael Misick. Photo: Caribbean Journal
Supreme Court in Grand Turk. Photo: Caribbean Journal
Supreme Court in Grand Turk. Photo: Caribbean Journal
By Alexander Britell

Former Turks and Caicos Premier Michael Misick was released on conditional bail by the Turks and Caicos Supreme Court on Monday.

Misick, who faces charges of conspiracy to receive bribes, conspiracy to defraud government and money laundering for actions during his time in office, will appear at a sufficiency hearing in court on Friday, March 7.

Misick initially applied for bail when he returned to TCI last week but was rejected; his application was accepted on appeal in the Turks and Caicos Supreme Court.

He is one of 12 defendants facing charges related to the high-profile corruption scandal that led to the suspension of democratic government in the Turks and Caicos Islands in 2009, following a Commission of Inquiry by Sir Robin Auld.

He returned to TCI after being extradited from Brazil, where he eventually fled and was arrested following the scandal.

The terms of Misick’s bail have not been made public.

See previous story published January 9, 2014:

UPDATE: Michael Misick Formally Charged With Conspiracy to Bribe

Caribbean Journal

Former Turks and Caicos Islands Premier Michael Misick was formally charged with conspiracy to bribe on Tuesday following his arrival in Grand Turk.

Misick, who was extradited from Brazil, initially had his bail application rejected by the Magistrate. His application was later accepted on appeal by the Turks and Caicos Supreme Court in the afternoon.

Misick was unable to meet the bail conditions on Tuesday evening and has been remanded in custody in Her Majesty’s Prison in Grand Turk, according to the Governor’s office.

If Misick can meet the conditions before Monday, Jan. 13, the former Premier could be released earlier, a spokesperson for the Governor’s office said in a statement.

Another 11 defendants face plea and direction hearings in the TCI Supreme Court this week on related charges, all of whom will face trial on July 7, 2014.

Developer Richard Michael Padgett, another defendant, has already pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice. He will be sentenced on March 31.

“In due course an application will be made to add his case to the Information against  his co-accused, who are scheduled to face trial in the Supreme Court from 7 July 2014,” the Governor’s office said.

In a statement released following Misick’s return, Premier Dr Rufus Ewing said he welcomed the return of Misick to the island.

“I welcome the return of Premier Misick to the Turks and Caicos Islands, the home that he loves, and to his family and friends, who have all been praying for his safe return,” he said. “Premier Misick will be processed and I trust that through the will of God, fairness and justice will prevail and the Rule of Law will be executed in a manner that is fair, respectful and transparent as it upholds his basic Human Rights.”

See previous story published on January 8, 2014:

Former Premier Michael Misick Returns to Turks and Caicos Islands

Former Turks and Caicos Islands Premier Michael Misick has returned to the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Misick, who was extradited from Brazil, arrived at the JAGS McCartney International Airport in Grand Turk Tuesday morning.

“The UK Government welcomes the arrival of former Premier Michael Misick in Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) to face a number of serious charges relating to corruption and maladministration during his time in office,” the Governor’s Office said in a statement. “They are most grateful to the Brazilian authorities for their swift handling of TCI’s extradition request.”

Misick was the face of a corruption scandal that led to the suspension of democratic government in the territory. The TCI’s constitution was suspended was following a commission of inquiry led by Sir Robin Auld in 2008-2009 that found “a high probability of systemic corruption.”

After he was implicated in the scandal, Misick fled the territory, spending time in several countries in the region until he was arrested at an airport in Brazil in December 2012.

Following a year of legal process (and after he sought and was denied asylum in Brazil), Misick arrived in the Turks and Caicos Tuesday morning.

Authorities have since charged 14 people for their roles in the corruption scandal, with the legal prosecution carried out by the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team.

Democratic government returned to the territory in November 2012 with the holding of elections that saw Dr Rufus Ewing emerge as Premier.

“It is important for the people of TCI, a UK Overseas Territory, that the rule of law is respected and due process is followed,” the Governor’s office said. “It will now be down to the TCI Courts to consider Michael Misick’s case as well as that of 14 others charged with similar offences.”

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