Ex-Turks and Caicos premier extradited from Brazil, charged

8th January 2014, Comments 0 comments

A former premier of the British-ruled Turks and Caicos has been extradited back to the territory to face corruption charges, officials said Tuesday.

Michael Misick arrived at JAGS McCartney International Airport in the capital Grand Turk early Tuesday from Brazil, the Turks and Caicos Islands governor's office said.

The statement said he would "face a number of serious charges relating to corruption and maladministration during his time in office."

British authorities are "most grateful to the Brazilian authorities for their swift handling of TCI's extradition request."

Misick had applied for refugee status in Brazil, alleging political persecution by British authorities over his efforts to promote possible independence for his homeland, near the Bahamas.

He was then charged "with conspiracy to bribe and appeared at the Magistrate's Court in Grand Turk," a governor's spokesman added.

"As he was unable to meet the bail conditions (late Tuesday), he has been remanded in custody in Her Majesty's Prison in Grand Turk. If he meets the bail conditions before Monday, 13 January 2014, he could be released earlier," the statement said.

Interpol had issued a "red notice" warrant against Misick, who is being probed for corruption in 2012.

Misick resigned in 2009 following a corruption scandal in which he was accused of money laundering and bribery in the British overseas territory.

Britain reassumed direct control of the islands in August of the same year after declaring corruption to be "endemic."

Much of the alleged wrongdoing centered on misuse of government land.

Politicians and their associates were accused of obtaining parcels at heavily discounted prices then selling them to foreign developers at a profit.

© 2014 AFP

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