Above: Michael Misick
By Alexander Britell
Former Turks and Caicos Islands Premier Michael Misick has returned to the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Misick, who was extradited from Brazil, arrived at the JAGS McCartney International Airport in Grand Turk Tuesday morning.
“The UK Government welcomes the arrival of former Premier Michael Misick in Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) to face a number of serious charges relating to corruption and maladministration during his time in office,” the Governor’s Office said in a statement. “They are most grateful to the Brazilian authorities for their swift handling of TCI’s extradition request.”
Misick was the face of a corruption scandal that led to the suspension of democratic government in the territory. The TCI’s constitution was suspended was following a commission of inquiry led by Sir Robin Auld in 2008-2009 that found “a high probability of systemic corruption.”
After he was implicated in the scandal, Misick fled the territory, spending time in several countries in the region until he was arrested at an airport in Brazil in December 2012.
Following a year of legal process (and after he sought and was denied asylum in Brazil), Misick arrived in the Turks and Caicos Tuesday morning.
Authorities have since charged 14 people for their roles in the corruption scandal, with the legal prosecution carried out by the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team.
Democratic government returned to the territory in November 2012 with the holding of elections that saw Dr Rufus Ewing emerge as Premier.
“It is important for the people of TCI, a UK Overseas Territory, that the rule of law is respected and due process is followed,” the Governor’s office said. “It will now be down to the TCI Courts to consider Michael Misick’s case as well as that of 14 others charged with similar offences.”