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News : International : Caribbean News : Turks & Caicos Islands Last Updated: Feb 6, 2017 - 2:32:04 PM

Former TCI Premier Mike Misick seeks asylum
By Hayden Boyce SUN Publisher & Editor-in-Chief
Mar 22, 2012 - 12:17:12 PM

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Michael Misick, the former Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands , says he has sought political asylum in an undisclosed country because of “political persecution”.

Misick made the revelation in a media statement on Monday March 19 th , after it was announced by the Special Investigations and Prosecution Team (SIPT) earlier that day that they obtained an arrest warrant for the former leader and a “Red Notice” which was authorized by the International Criminal Police Organisation (Interpol).

“My reason for doing so (seeking political asylum) is simple because of the political persecution that is taking place to me and my family, former Cabinet Ministers and their families and a select few developers who supported me and my Progressive National Party during my tenure as Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands,” Misick said in a media statement.


“Let be clear. I am not a fugitive, and will never be a fugitive. I have applied for political asylum from another country and I am merely seeking protection from political persecution. I will continue to bring challenges to clear my name and that of my government and colleagues. I dream to return to my homeland as an independent, victorious, proud and free nation.”


Misick said he is convinced that he is being persecuted because of his views and firm plan to move the Turks and Caicos Islands towards Independence .


This plan goes counter to the British and their supporters in the Turks and Caicos Islands . That is why stories were fabricated by the opposition, the British and their supporters in order to call for a Commission of Inquiry , he added.


Earlier on Monday, a statement from SIPT about the warrant of arrest said: “For the past several months the SIPT has sought to secure the attendance of Mr Misick at its offices in Providenciales in respect of allegations of corruption and money laundering during his time in office. Every opportunity has been given to Mr Misick to voluntarily surrender to the SIPT’s jurisdiction for interview. Despite previous indications from Mr Misick’s solicitors that he would attend for interview, he has failed to do so.”

The international warrant and “Red Notice” was announced days after Misick publicly criticized Governor Ric Todd for swearing on the Government-owned Radio Turks and Caicos. The former Premier also issued a press statement in which he called on the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the Foreign Affairs Committee of the UK Parliament to launch an investigation into the Interim Government which was appointed in August 2009 when the UK imposed direct rule in the Turks and Caicos Islands .

Interpol requests are normally issued for the arrest of wanted persons with a view to extradition.

A n Interpol Red Notice is the closest instrument to an international arrest warrant in use today. Interpol does not have the authority to issue arrest warrants in the formal sense of the word, as this is the domain of the sovereign member states.

An Interpol notice or international notice is issued by Interpol to share information between its members. There are seven types, six of which are known by their colour codes: red, blue, green, yellow, black, and orange.

Interpol will only issue notices if it is satisfied that all the conditions for processing the information have been fulfilled. For example, a notice will not be published if it violates Article 3 of the US Constitution, which forbids the Organization from undertaking any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.


Meantime, Misick, who said he made the announcement about asylum “with a heavy heart”, stressed that there was no way he or any of the accused could receive a fair trial.

He said: “There is no way that I, or any of the persons that have been accused by Helen Garlick and her team, can get a fair trial.   The British Government, aided by two governors, Gordon Wetherell and now Ric Todd, have abolished our fundamental right to jury trial. They have also suspended democracy. The Governor and the prosecutor control the executive, the legislative and the judiciary. They have changed so many laws such as the Proceeds of Crime Bill, laws pertaining to evidence, laws pertaining to hearsay all in an attempt to convict me and my colleagues.”  


Misick continued: “If we have done something illegal why is there a need to change so many laws   in order to secure a conviction? Why could we not be tried under the same system that thousands of people were tried under over the years? Why did they have to abolish our Parliament and the Executive? Is it so that they, including the prosecutor, can change the laws and the entire judicial system uninhibited without the normal checks and balances that exist in a democracy to ensure their goal which is the conviction of me and my colleagues?


If another country had done this, the British would have been outraged and they would seek international sanctions against that country. This is double-standard and political persecution of the highest order. They have sought to politically persecute us because we desire to live in an independent Turks and Caicos Islands , where the rule of law applies to everyone; where the rules and laws can’t be changed to get rid of a person or    government because you disagree with their political views and goals.”  


Misick, was in charge of the Turks and Caicos Islands between 2003 and 2009, added: “You have the situation where the Governor appoints the prosecutor, she will choose the judge and the Governor appoints who she chooses. The Governor at a public meeting has already announced that we are guilty, therefore the whole notion of a trial is a show. We know, and all Turks and Caicos Islanders know, that the verdict has already been decided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Governor the prosecutor and the Judges that they have chosen. All of the laws and rules that have been changed, were done on the recommendation of the Special Prosecutor to ensure a conviction. This is a complete set-up for a modern-day John Crow political lynching. I will not be part of that. I have therefore sought protection from another country in accordance with the United Nations Convention on Human Rights and the human rights laws of that country, as it is my right to do and the right of any person that is being politically persecuted.


The former Premier said Robin Auld came to Turks and Caicos Islands with specific instructions from the Foreign Office as to what the outcome of the Commission of Inquiry will be.


“In short, the outcome was pre-determined,” Misick added. “To add insult to injury, they have bypassed the entire legal system by appointing a Special Prosecutor whose primary goal is to get rich of the backs of Turks and Caicos Islands ’ tax payers and to make a name for herself. Helen Garlick has already collected over $20 million of Turks and Caicos Islands tax payers’ money and is slated to collect at least another $10 million in 2012, at a time when the interim government is laying off hundreds of civil servants, cutting pensions and other benefits and increasing taxes. There is no way that I, or any of the persons that have been accused by Helen Garlick and her team, can get a fair trial.   The British Government, aided by two governors, Gordon Wetherell and now Ric Todd, have abolished our fundamental right to jury trial.”


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