Turks and Caicos Swears in Jamaican Judge for Corruption Cases

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Above: Justice Paul Harrison (centre) will preside over cases related to the Commission of Inquiry (Photo: TCIGIS)

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Acting Turks and Caicos Governor Patrick Boyle has sworn in Justice Paul Harrison as a Supreme Court Judge to preside over criminal cases arising out of the Commission of Inquiry that began in the territory in 2008.

Harrison will serve for a term beginning Tuesday and lasting until June 30, 2014.

That commission, led by Sir Robin Auld, examined allegations of high-level corruption in Turks and Caicos that eventually led to the United Kingdom’s imposing direct rule on the Turks and Caicos in 2009.

In the interim, a law enforcement unit called the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team, has been conducting investigations and making arrests in relation to the commission’s findings.

In March, former Premier Michael Misick, who had led the country during the period of alleged corruption, was the target of an arrest warrant from the SIPT, which said it had sought to secure his attendance “in respect of allegations of corruption and money laundering during his time in office.”

Misick’s whereabouts are unknown.

Harrison has been assigned by the Chief Justice for the position, which will involve trials in Providenciales that are scheduled to begin with a Pleas and Directions hearing on Wednesday.

Harrison, a native of Jamaica, has previously served as president of Jamaica’s Court of Appeal, a judge of its Supreme Court and a Crown Counsel in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions in Jamaica, among other positions.

He was admitted to the bar in London in 1969 as a member of Lincoln’s Inn.