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Misick arrives in TCI, denied bail

Wednesday, January 08, 2014    

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FORMER premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands, Michael Misick, was denied bail yesterday when he appeared before a magistrate's court in Grand Turk, the TCI Sun has reported.

The 47-year-old Misick had arrived in the island from Brazil hours earlier to face corruption and maladministration charges.

According the the TCI Sun, Misick's lawyers are expected to file an appeal in the island's Supreme Court "to have him released from custody at the earliest possible time". He is being represented by attorney Oliver Smith, who will be joined by a team of high-powered international lawyers.

Misick was initially arrested in Brazil in December 2012 under an INTERPOL provisional arrest warrant, but was later released. He had sought political asylum in the South American country, claiming that he was unfairly targeted by British authorities.

He was re-arrested in Sao Paulo last April and, in October, the Brazilian Supreme Court ordered his extradition.

Misick had denied reports that he was seeking a plea bargain with British and American law enforcement authorities in return for implicating United States citizens and senior politicians in Jamaica, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.

The allegations against the former premier stem from the findings of the 2008/2009 Sir Robin Auld's Commission of Inquiry which found widespread misuse of government funds and property.

The one-man commission of inquiry had found there was "a high probability of systemic corruption in government and the legislature and among public officers in the Turks & Caicos Islands". However, Misick has maintained his innocence.

In the wake of this Inquiry, London instructed the TCI Governor to suspend part of the constitution and Misick's then-elected Government was removed and replaced by an interim Administration.

On his arrival yesterday, the TCI governor's Office released a statment thanking the "Brazilian authorities for their swift handling of TCI's extradition request".

"It is important for the people of TCI, a UK Overseas Territory, that the rule of law is respected and due process is followed. 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," the statement said.

Meanwhile, the TCI Sun reported that supporters of the 47-year-old have been out in large numbers since his arrival to the island on

"what appeared to be a military plane".

Misick, the report said, was taken to the police headquarters where he was questened.

-- Additional information from CMC

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