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Outcome of BVI’s COI is fixed with one UK judge

Outcome of BVI’s COI is fixed with one UK judge

Former Premier of the Turks & Caicos Islands (TCI), Michael Misick has questioned whether the ongoing Commission of Inquiry (COI) in the BVI will be fair since only a single judge was appointed to investigate allegations of government corruption in the territory.

Speaking in an interview with 284 Media on Monday, Misick also raised concerns that the BVI’s Inquiry Commissioner, Sir Gary Hickinbottom, is a British national appointed by the UK.

Misick, who was at the centre of a similar inquiry in the TCI back in 2008, said this is evidence the UK has already fixed the outcome of the BVI’s COI, for the worse.

“Any inquiry that has one judge — one person — can’t be democratic, can’t be fair because you want to be able to have a descending voice,” argued Misick.

“So, as soon as you see the British government appointing a single judge — a single British person to carry out the Commission of Inquiry — in my view, they come with their instructions. They will pretend as if they are interested, they will pretend as if they’re listening. But in my view and my experience, the outcome is predetermined. And I have absolutely no doubt that the outcome of the Commission of Inquiry in the BVI is predetermined,” Misick further said.

Recalling the circumstances of the TCI’s 2008 inquiry, Misick added: “Knowing what I know now … the British government always had the agenda. Maybe we could have had our own inquiry into some of the so-called allegations that were made. Instead of having a British government appoint a Commission of Inquiry, we could have appointed a Commission of Inquiry; appointing senior judges from the region — from the Caribbean — and not one but maybe three.”

Misick embattled

Misick, in the meantime, is one of six ex-TCI ministers who was charged after the 2008 inquiry uncovered evidence of systematic corruption. This led to the UK imposing direct rule in the TCI for nearly four years thereafter.

The former Premier reportedly fled the TCI in 2009 but was arrested years later in Brazil and extradited back to his home country where he and his ex-ministers are still being tried in court. Misick, who has been labelled as the accused mastermind behind the alleged corruption, denies any wrongdoing.

Meanwhile, the Turks & Caicos Weekly News reported last month that a former government minister under Misick’s administration, Lillian Boyce, entered a plea deal in which she admitted to ‘misconduct in public office’. She reportedly agreed to a financial settlement for the other charges that had resulted from the 2008 inquiry.
For her admission, she will not serve any prison time, the TCI publication reported.


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