Above: Former TCI Premier Michael Misick
By Alexander Britell
The United Kingdom is formally requesting the extradition of former Turks and Caicos Premier Michael Misick this month, the TCI announced in a statement Wednesday.
Misick was arrested under an Interpol warrant in Rio de Janeiro in December.
“Michael Misick is the subject of an extradition request made lawfully and properly, in accordance with the relevant Treaty in place between the UK and Brazil, as extended to the Turks and Caicos Islands,” the TCI Attorney General said in a statement. “As such, he is currently being held in accordance with the terms of this Treaty, under a provisional warrant of arrest.”
According to the Extradition Treaty between the UK and Brazil, the the full request with supporting documentation must be submitted formally within 60 days (following his arrest on 7 Dec 2012).
The Attorney General said it was intended that this request be submitted this month.
The UK said that Misick would have the opportunity to consider whether he wishes to contest the extradition.
“If he does not contest the extradition, and there are no other outstanding issues, then everything possible will be done by Turks and Caicos authorities, in collaboration with his legal advisors and the Brazilian authorities, to ensure his speedy return to face questions in relation to alleged crimes during his time in office and to face trial in accordance with our laws,” he said.
Misick is being sought in connection with a corruption investigation by the Sir Robin Auld Commission of Inquiry from 2008-2009, which found a “high probability of systemic corruption in government and the legislature and among public officers” in TCI.
The findings of the commission led to the suspension of democratic government in the territory. The first elections since the suspension were held in TCI in November, with Dr Rufus Ewing becoming the territory’s Premier.
“We have received assurances that during his time in custody Mr Misick will receive consular assistance from the British Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro, who will work to ensure that Mr Misick receives the same level of treatment as other British prisoners in Brazil, and is treated in accordance with international minimum standards,” the TCI said. “The consular staff in Rio will provide the same level of consular assistance offered to all British Citizens in Brazil.”