By Caribbean News Now contributor
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands -- In a Christmas Message
to the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) somewhat at odds with the traditional seasonal spirit of goodwill to all men, Governor Peter Beckingham promised that the New Year will bring criminal trials, including the prosecution of former premier Michael Misick, who has not yet been charged with any criminal offence, although he is currently held in a Brazilian prison awaiting extradition to the TCI.
Governor Peter Beckingham
“Like all new years, I am sure 2014 will bring its share of challenges, pleasures and disappointments. For the Turks and Caicos these will include the pending trials of the former premier and some of his former colleagues,” the governor said.
Beckingham continued that he hoped the current leaders would follow the example of Nelson Mandela, who passed away earlier this month.
“His (Mandela’s) respect for others including his former bitter enemies, his humility and grace under pressure are examples for us all,” he said.
This appeared to be a slap at the current premier, Rufus Ewing, who mounted a campaign to embarrass Attorney General Huw Shepheard, who resigned after receiving a three-year extension of his employment contract. Britain continues to seek a replacement for Shepheard.
Meanwhile, supporters of Ewing’s Progressive National Party (PNP) have now begun a campaign to embarrass Helen Garlick, the special prosecutor assigned to investigate and prosecute the alleged corruption of the former PNP government.
Part of the recent anti Garlick campaign includes racial issues claiming that the “white” developers are being given a “get out of jail card” while the government ministers, who include Michael Misick; former deputy premier and finance minister Floyd Hall; former minister of natural resources (land) McAlister ‘Piper’ Hanchell; former minister of works Jeffrey Hall; and former health and education minister Lillian Boyce, face a variety of criminal charges including corruption, fraud and money laundering. Also facing trial are relatives of the ministers, attorneys including former speaker of the house Clayton Greene, and property developers.
While property developers have already paid multimillion dollar fines, it is believed that they may testify that they did not offer the bribes that resulted in the fines but were solicited by the then government ministers to pay the bribes in exchange for building code variances they wanted to enhance the building or expansion of their resorts.