Former premier Michael Misick (R) with current premier Rufus Ewing (C) and former minister Lillian Boyce (L) on Monday night
By Caribbean News Now Contributor
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos -- Former premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI), Michael Misick, was released on conditional bail by the TCI Supreme Court late on Monday.
Later Monday evening, he made an appearance and spoke at a church service, in the company of current premier, Rufus Ewing. His address at the event included an obvious political component, calling on his audience to “take our country back”, apparently echoing the position of the current elected government as recently reiterated in the governor’s throne speech to the House of Assembly of “readying our nation and our people for the move toward independence.”
Michael Misick speaking in church on Monday night
Meanwhile, Misick now faces charges of conspiracy to receive bribes, conspiracy to defraud government, and money laundering related to his time in office. He will appear next at the TCI Supreme Court for a sufficiency hearing on Friday, 7 March 2014.
Misick’s bail application was initially rejected by a magistrate on Tuesday, 7 January 2014, before being granted on appeal by the Supreme Court later in the day.
His bail was reportedly set at set at $10 million, with a substantial portion in cash and unencumbered property sureties for the remainder.
While the terms of Misick’s bail were agreed, the conditions were not met last week, and he was remanded in custody at the prison in Grand Turk, from where he was released on Monday after ten people were reportedly found as sureties, who put up free and clear properties valued at over $12 million.
Although the chief justice was said to have ordered that the terms of Misick’s bail are not to be made public, these were in fact widely publicised by local media both before and after the court proceedings.
Specifically, the bail conditions as reported include a restriction on leaving his place of residence, which he listed as the Alexandria resort, before 6:00 am and returning no later than 10:00 pm. He must also check in with authorities twice each day.
Misick is also restricted from travelling within the TCI without prior court approval and he is not permitted within 200 yards of the Providenciales International Airport.
He is required to provide details of all his assets to the authorities by January 20 and he is not permitted to contact anyone who may appear as a witness in the current criminal prosecutions. This includes his entire former cabinet and others. He will be furnished a list of those individuals he is not permitted to contact.
There are 11 defendants on related charges who are scheduled to face trial on July 7, 2014. These are: Floyd Hall; McAllister Hanchell, Lillian Boyce, Jeffrey Hall, Clayton Greene, Thomas Chalmers Misick, Lisa Hall, Melbourne Wilson, Quinton Hall, Earlson Robinson and Norman Saunders Jnr.
Co-charged developer Richard Michael Padgett has already pleaded guilty to bribery and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice and will be sentenced on March 31, 2014.
Misick was arrested in December 2012 in Rio de Janeiro by Brazilian Federal Police acting on a provisional arrest warrant. His arrest was sought by the special investigation and prosecution team (SIPT), which submitted formal extradition papers in January 2013. He was returned to the TCI on Tuesday, 7 January 2014, on a US Homeland Security aircraft escorted by US marshals.