Above: the Turks and Caicos House of Assembly
By the Caribbean Journal staff
The Turks and Caicos Islands Government served civil proceedings last week on the country’s Progressive National Party seeking to recover land on which the party’s headquarters is constructed.
The suit is part of a wave of recent developments concerning the alleged conduct of the island administration before the UK imposed direct rule.
According to the suit, the PNP, in building its headquarters on Airport Road, committed a trespass, as the land was Crown land to which the PNP allegedly had no title.
According the government’s claim, Since 2005/6, the PNP has appointed a management agent, Provident Management Services, to manage the property.
Provident allegedly subleased six offices in the headquarters to PNP MPs for a total of $465,083 over three years, which was paid by the government. It is that sum which the government is seeking in the suit.
“When the current administration first became aware last year that the PNP’s headquarters had been build on Crown Land to which the PNP had no title, my chambers wrote to the PNP setting out the claim that the government had,” Attorney General Huw Shepheard said in a statement. “It had been our hope that matters could be settled amicably without the need for proceedings.”
“Unfortunately, discussions with the PNP have not been successful,” he said.
The PNP could not be reached for comment.
The lawsuit follows another high-profile case involving land; in February, the government won a lawsuit concerning unpaid stamp duty in the purchase of the Emerald Cay private island property.