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Uncertainty over whether Misick wants extradition from Brazil

Sunday, November 17, 2013    

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THERE is uncertainty in the Turks and Caicos Islands as to whether former Premier Michael Misick wants to return to the Caribbean country, in the wake of reports that he is to be extradited from Brazil.

"Misick is weighing his legal options. Reports that Misick will not fight his extradition and will return voluntarily to the territory are not completely true as it appears that he does not want to return," Governor's spokesman Neil Smith was quoted by the TCI Weekly News newspaper as saying.

The extradition ruling was handed down by the Brazilian Supreme Court on Tuesday, October 29, 2013.

The newspaper said the former premier, who fled the TCI after allegations of corruption against him and members of his Administration by the British Special Investigations and Prosecution Team (SIPT), was expected back in the Turks and Caicos on November 7, 2013.

But according to Smith, the extradition decision had to be gazetted before any action could be taken to return Misick and this had not yet been done.

The newspaper quoted sources close to the former premier as stating that efforts were being made to acquire bail from the SIPT representative in Brazil, but the figure quoted was too high, and as a result, those talks had fallen through. "Information also suggested that Misick had foregone his option to appeal the extradition ruling if reasonable bail was offered to him," the Weekly News said. Smith added that the SIPT was talking to police and other authorities in the Turks and Caicos Islands about the security concerns relating to Misick's arrival.

"We understand this is in the public interest; we will provide what information we can, when we can, but because of the security and various other things, it will probably only be a few hours' notice before he arrives, said Smith.

The newspaper said Smith suggested that Misick would more than likely be taken straight to Grand Turk, the capital.

"The first thing that has to happen to him, because of the Red Notice (international wanted notice) and other things, he has to immediately appear in front of a magistrate to be properly charged," Smith said.

He added that the Brazilian authorities would first hand the former premier into the custody of Interpol, and they would then transport him to the Turks and Caicos Islands. Should Misick appeal the Brazilian court's ruling, that hearing will not be heard in 2013, according to legal minds in the TCI quoted by the newspaper.

In the meantime, Misick continues to be detained in a Brazilian jail. He was first arrested on December 7, 2012 by Brazilian police acting on an international arrest warrant sought by Britain. Misick was released, and later rearrested by Brazilian authorities on April 13 this year in Sao Paulo, on the authority of a Brazilian Supreme Court judgement.

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