The uproar over former Turks and Caicos Islands Premier Michael Misick’s arrest and detainment in Brazil reached fever pitch following his release on bail.
Mr. Misick is wanted for questioning in a corruption investigation being conducted in the territory that he formerly ran. He was arrested in Brazil more than two months ago on an Interpol warrant and had been kept in jail there until his release – which apparently occurred on Friday, 9 February.
In a statement to the media in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Mr. Misick said he was intending to voluntarily return to his homeland to “clear his name” from the allegations against him.
“In time, given a firm trial [the allegations] will be proven to be politically motivated,” Mr. Misick stated.
There was some confusion about the former premier’s release on bail following a statement issued by Turks Attorney General Huw Shepheard on Thursday, just prior to Mr. Misick’s release.
“The report on Radio Turks and Caicos breakfast news [Thursday] stating that former Premier Michael Misick had been released from prison in Brazil is incorrect,” Huw Shepheard said. “The position remains that he was provisionally arrested under the authority of the Supreme Court in Brazil on the basis of a lawful request and the formal request for his extradition has been made through the proper channels. This matter remains in the hands of the Brazilian authorities.”
British authorities said they are still pursuing extradition against Mr. Misick and have previously noted that the former premier had more than a year to return on his own to the Turks and Cacios. He did not do so.
However, Mr. Misick has disputed the United Kingdom’s claims regarding his evading arrest.
“I have not sought to stay out or evade justice as is being falsely portrayed,” he said. “I have set out my proposals for my voluntary return, which simply seek to ensure that my colleagues and I receive a fair and public trial in accordance with the laws of the TCI prior to the coup of 2009, including the right to a trial by a jury. I merely want to have a fair trial for myself and my colleagues.
“If the authorities are serious in what they say about granting us a fair trial, then they should have no difficulty in accepting those reasonable proposals,” he added. “The ball is now in the court of the [Special Investigation and Prosecution Team] and the British government authorities rather than me or with the Brazilian authorities as has previously been claimed.”