Accuses UK of carrying out ‘modern day coup d’etat’
The former premier of the Turks and Caicos Michael Misick, who is facing corruption charges in his own country, on Monday congratulated McKeeva Bush on his acquittal on 11 charges last week.
In a self-bylined article in the Turks and Caicos Sun newspaper, Mr. Misick congratulated former Premier Bush on “clearing his name in spite of what seems to be a British Government conspiracy to tarnish it and have him ousted from politics in the Cayman Islands.”
He said Mr. Bush’s acquittal “shows that a justice system made up of a jury of peers works. It is my belief that what is happening to me and my colleagues is similar to what has happened to the Hon. Bush.”
Mr. Misick was arrested in Rio de Janeiro in October last year and extradited back to the Turks and Caicos. He is among 12 people facing allegations in relation to corruption and maladministration during his government’s time in office.
Following criminal investigations, the United Kingdom implemented direct rule over Turks and Caicos in 2009 until local elections were held in November 2012.
Mr. Misick who is charged with conspiracy to receive bribes, conspiracy to defraud government and money laundering for actions during his time in office, faces trial in the Turks and Caicos Supreme Court.
In his Sun article, Mr. Misick said Turks and Caicos were experiencing a “modern day coup d’état” and that the British government and successive governors have “done everything in their power to tarnish our names, including changing the law and the Constitution in an attempt to prevent us from getting a fair trial – a jury trial.”
Mr. Misick compared Mr. Bush’s seven-member jury trial, which culminated last week in the former premier’s acquittal on all 11 of the charges he faced, with his upcoming trial in Turks and Caicos that will see his case heard by a judge alone.
“The verdict of Mr. Bush illustrates that the justice system can work in a British overseas territory if it is not tampered with by external whims and fancies, namely the British government and their appointed British governors,” he said.
He continued, “It is no coincidence that democratically elected leaders of British overseas territories have been faced with unfounded corruption charges and the people of the Cayman Islands, once given a chance through the jury system have exposed this British government conspiracy.”
He called on CARICOM and fellow Caribbean leaders to “take a real interest in what is happening in the Turks and Caicos Islands, especially Jamaica and Barbados where our judges come from.”
“Trial by jury is a long standing mechanism geared for dispensing true justice and removal of this system can only be deemed as undemocratic. No matter what, we will continue to fight for our freedom and the liberation of our country,” he said.