Gag order imposed in TCI corruption case

| 10/06/2014

(CNS): A visiting judge has imposed a gag order on a case in the Turks and Caicos courts involving the UK’s Special Investigation and Prosecution Team (SIPT). The case against two high-profile TCI lawyers facing prosecution as part of the on-going corruption case in the overseas territory that sprang from an enquiry led by Sir Robin Auld is being kept tightly under wraps. Although charges against the politicians, including the islands’ former premier, Michael Misick and local businessmen which appear to be linked have been widely publicized the charges against Timothy Patrick O'Sullivan (57) from Miller, Simons, O'Sullivan and Gordon William Kerr (52) of the law firm Misick and Stanbrook are being kept secret.

According to local media reports in the TCI Sir James Bruce Robertson, a New Zealand Judge who was brought in specially to hear the case, has said the media can only print "the identity of the parties, the name of the judge and of counsel representing the parties and the date of any future hearings" and has threatened some serious penalties for any breach.
Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of the Turks and Caicos SUN newspaper Hayden Boyce said it was ironic that in the other high-profile cases involving the former politicians and lawyers, there have been no restrictions on reporting their charges. 

"The SIPT has a website that lists the names of a number of individuals, their charges and the background to those charges. The SIPT and the Governor's office have routinely sent out press releases to local, regional and international media houses listing charges against those said individuals. What is so difference about this particular case?"

Boyce has also raised concerns that the judge’s order signalled a system of “apartheid” in TCI adding that he will be making an application to the Supreme Court to vary or discharge the court order.

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