Misick could implicate others to avoid life term
Former Turks and Caicos Premier Michael Misick could implicate senior Bermuda politicians in a web of high-level corruption and criminal activity as part of a plea-bargaining arrangement, it has been claimed.
Misick was head of the British Overseas Territory for six years, but fled the island chain amid allegations of corruption in 2009.
The UK Government dissolved the Cabinet and legislature of the Caribbean country following a corruption inquiry that found “clear signs of political amorality and immaturity”.
An international warrant was issued for his arrest and Misick was eventually apprehended in Brazil last December, having spent the previous three years on the run.
Misick is facing allegations of corruption, misusing public money and profiting from the sale of government-owned land to developers.
He is alleged to have amassed a personal fortune of $180m and lived a lavish lifestyle.
A Special Investigation and Prosecution Team, which is being assisted by the US Department of Justice, has said that he could stand trial later this year pending appeals.
And according to the website TCI Journal, Misick is prepared to give evidence against a slew of high-ranking officials, including Bermuda politicians.
A story headlined “Michael Misick in plea bargaining negotiations with the Americans and SIPT” states: “Michael Misick on the other hand lost his appeal for asylum in Brazil and the extradition agreement with Britain now includes the Turks and Caicos Islands.
“If he has any hopes to not spend the rest of his life in prison, now is the moment he has the most leverage.
“Along with crimes that deal with United States citizens and corporations, and the Turks and Caicos Islands, Michael is said to have information on crimes dealing with United States citizens and senior politicians in Jamaica, Bermuda and the Cayman Islands.”
The TCI Journal article concludes: “If Michael Misick can reduce his time in a United States prison to 20 years instead of life, it will be a worthwhile agreement for him and may actually help the Turks and Caicos Islands recover some of the stolen millions.”
Misick has previously denied any allegations, insisting that they were part of a smear campaign by Whitehall to discredit his Progressive National Party.
That claim was supported by former Progressive Labour Party Premier Ewart Brown, who owns property in Turks & Caicos.
“The UK handling of the Turks and Caicos situation was unusually harsh and heavy-handed, drawing deep concern from countries throughout the region,” Dr. Brown said at the time.