TCI corruption case drags on into 2014

| 17/09/2013

(CNS): Officials from the governor’s office in the Turks and Caicos Islands have revealed that the corruption case headed by the special prosecutor Helen Garlick (left) will be dragging well into next year after a trial date for the case against McAllister Hanchell, Lilian Boyce, Floyd Hall, Jeffrey Hall and others was set for July 2014. While officials said the delays were on the part of the defence, recent media reports have pointed to some difficulties for the prosecutors as well after money laundering charges were dropped against lawyer Norman Saunders Jnr as a result of a major legal stumbling block in the 2012 constitution which implies the Special Prosecutor doesn’t have the authority to prosecute anyone.

On 6 September, Chief Justice Edwin Goldsbrough ordered that the charges against Saunders be "vacated" after Garlick and the prosecuting team’s top lawyer Queen's Counsel Andrew Mitchell admitted that under the present 2012 Turks and Caicos Islands Constitution, the Special Prosecutor did not have the legal power or authority to prosecute anyone.

Saunders' lawyers, submitted to the court that under the new law, the authority to prosecute and charge persons is vested in the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) who would have had to delegate those powers to Garlick in order for the charges to be valid. They argued that Garlick is nothing more than a contracted legal worker with no Constitutional powers though the DPP is understood to have delegated powers to Garlick.

Garlick was accused of being on a “witch hunt” and had been quick to rush to judgment and press charges for the wrong reasons.

However, it appears that most of the others in the case were arraigned under the old constitution which means the prosecutions will go ahead with a firm date for the trial to start. The first charges in this case were brought in November 2011 as a result of an investigation following concerns of systemic corruption revealed by a commission of enquiry headed by Sir Robin Auld.

The prosecution claims it has been ready since July 2012 to begin the trial but the delay has reportedly been caused by issues relating to legal aid for some of those charged.
The TCI governor’s office also noted this week that Michael Misick remains in custody in Brazil awaiting extradition which the former TCI premier is contesting.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Category: World News

About the Author ()

Comments (2)

Trackback URL | Comments RSS Feed

  1. Anonymous says:

    The same Andrew Mitchell of the EuroBank debacle? If so, there shall be no surprises here!

  2. Chris Johnson says:

    From my own personal investigations in the TCI a major bank owned by a Lordship in the House Of Lords is totally involved in fraud and corruption. Much as I try to investigate this bank and this person, the more the resistance, I receive.
    It is quite astonishing how this bank wishes to hide the corruption that they are involved in, up to their necks. The FRU of the TCI need investigate this corruption. As an aside I can say some of us will just not go away until the regulators finally have the balls to investigate the corruption. So far it is not looking soon.