Masters named top TCI prosecutor

Former Cayman Islands Senior Crown Counsel John Masters has been named to the top prosecutor’s job in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

Mr. Masters worked in Cayman between 2008 and 2011, starting as a Crown prosecutor and later promoted to senior Crown counsel with focus on international and financial crimes.

A barrister with nearly 30 years’ experience in England and Australia, Mr. Masters was named to the TCI Director of Public Prosecutions post on Tuesday. He is expected to start work in the eastern Caribbean Island chain in late April. Turks Governor Peter Beckingham said he was pleased to have someone with Mr. Masters’s experience in the role.

The governor’s office later clarified that the U.K. Special Investigation and Prosecution Team, not the Crown counsel’s office, would be handling the criminal trial of former Premier Michael Misick, who was returned to the islands from Brazil last year to face corruption charges.

Following Mr. Masters’s appointment in Cayman, he joined Blackburn Chambers in Canberra, Australia, where he represented high-profile defendant David Eastman. Eastman was accused of killing an Australian assistant police commissioner in 1989, but his conviction was recently quashed following an inquiry that determined there had been a substantial miscarriage of justice at his trial.

Misick trial looms

Mr. Misick, along with about a dozen other people, faces various allegations in relation to corruption and maladministration during his former government’s time in office.

Those criminal investigations forced the United Kingdom to implement direct rule over the Turks and Caicos Islands from 2009 until local elections were held in November 2012, returning local governance to the people of the islands.

Four members of the former Turks and Caicos Islands Cabinet were among the 13 charged in a criminal corruption probe conducted by U.K. government representatives in the British overseas territory. Arrest warrants were issued in November 2012 by the Turks Special Investigation and Prosecution Team for Mr. Misick and developer Kem Cinay, according to a statement from the governor’s office.

In addition to the criminal charges, U.K. government representatives said 2,462 acres of Crown land have been recovered and various financial settlements for the land have been received.

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