By Caribbean News Now contributor
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands -- An international arrest warrant – a Red Notice – has been issued by Interpol for the arrest of Dr Cem Kinay in relation to the ongoing corruption investigation in the Turks and Caicos Islands.
Controversy arose in 2009 in relation to Kinay when a “confidential” donation of $500,000 made by him to former premier Michael Misick shortly before the 2007 election was uncovered during the public hearings held by a Commission of Inquiry.
Kinay claimed that the payment in question was a political donation and moved to the TCI Supreme Court to have references to himself and his Dellis Cay development redacted from the Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry. However, due to an apparent oversight, it was found that the report in its redacted format could be restored to its original unredacted form by computer users with the knowledge to do so.
An injunction issued by the court preventing publication of the unredacted report was subsequently lifted on the grounds that an unofficial version of the full report was in the public domain and continuing the ban on publication served no useful purpose.
Kinay subsequently filed a civil complaint in the US against the TCI Journal weblog, alleging that unidentified contributors "intentionally and maliciously published defamatory statements" about the developer and his companies.
He also obtained a court order requiring Google to turn over information that might identify the anonymous authors of the allegations.
Kinay’s company, Turks Ltd, stopped construction on Dellis Cay some years ago, having reportedly missed an interest payment on its debt due on August 22, 2009. Efforts to renegotiate financing with the lender, Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation, failed and the lender took over the property, appointing William Tacon, an accountant in the British Virgin Islands, as receiver.
The resort on the 560-acre island was to include a 25-room hotel, 78 condominiums and 17 villas, all managed by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Construction started in 2008 with an estimated completion date in late 2010. Among those who reportedly bought villas at the resort were movie celebrities Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
In a press statement on Wednesday, Kinay said, “After 35 years of successful tourism and real estate investment experience, I have encountered a new experience today. I learned that a Red Bulletin is issued for me to be taken back to Turks and Caicos Islands. I have been fighting my political and legal struggle with the Turks and Caicos Islands government since three years.”
“My companies have invested in Mandarin Oriental Dellis Cay and Joe Grant Cay projects since 2005 until August 2009. We were the largest investor of TCI history. The total investment was going to be around $1 billion. I believed that the unique nature of my development would contribute to the cultural development of the islanders who have embraced me with much interest,” he continued.
“The perfectly legal political donation scheme that existed in the islands for many years was turned into a corruption scandal. To prove Misick is guilty, we were chosen as targets. I am a victim of politics, and I am innocent. I did not receive any benefits for any of my political donations. I will continue my defence in the international level,” Kinay concluded.