Archive for October 30th, 2013

Misick to go home to TCI Brazilian court rules

| 30/10/2013 | 12 Comments

(CNS): The former premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands will be heading home as soon as possible, TCI attorney general has stated following a ruling by Brazil’s Supreme Federal Court Tuesday. The TCI government was successful in extraditing Michael Misick (47) despite the opposition to that extradition by Misick’s lawyers. The Brazilian court was unanimous in its decision following legal arguments that the beleaguered leader would be returned to his home country. Misick is accused of being at the heart of a corruption scandal that UK investigators have been pursing for almost four years. The former TCI leader has denied all of the accusations made against him and has yet to be formally charged with a crime.

“The decision of the Brazilian Courts today (29 October) to extradite Michael Misick is welcome as it is in the best interests of the TCI that allegations of wrongdoing are thoroughly investigated,” Hew Shepheard, the TCI attorney general, said in a short statement released by his office. “Michael Misick’s lawyers vigorously opposed his extradition, but after hearing arguments on both sides, the court was unanimous in its decision. Arrangements will be made to return him to the TCI as soon as possible. He faces trial in the TCI Supreme Court on a number of serious charges relating to corruption and maladministration in the TCI during his time in office.”

Misick’s lawyers had argued that he was a victim of political persecution and should be granted asylum but the Brazilian court did not agree. The former leader is alleged to be at the heart of the corruption scandal which has rocked the British overseas territory and led to the suspension of the local government and the imposition of direct rule by the United Kingdom. This followed a commission of inquiry by Sir Robin Auld, who found evidence of systemic corruption in the islands.

While Misick has always denied the allegations, he left his home islands soon after the investigation began in earnest. Misick disappeared for some time but an Interpol warrant for him was issued and he was eventually arrested in Sao Paulo, Brazil  in December last year. At first, Misick insisted he was happy to go back to TCI when he found conditions in his Brazilian jail unbearable but when the UK authorities began an extradition hearing, Misick resisted the application.

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