Court battles delaying British takeover of TCI

GRAND TURK, Turks and Caicos, June 29, 2009 – Despite more delays to Britain taking over government in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Governor Gordon Wetherell has insisted that he will not be deflected from pressing ahead with the direct rule.

A court battle to prevent the publication of the final report of the Commission of Inquiry into corruption in the TCI, as well as legal opposition to the entry into force of the Order in Council which makes the takeover possible, are still ongoing and Wetherell’s June 21st date for implementing the recommendations passed without the Constitution’s partial suspension.

“While sharing the dismay felt by the TCI public, I can assure them that these delays will not deflect me from the task of implementing, with the full support of the UK government, recommendations in the Commission’s Final Report to restore good governance to the Islands,” the Governor said in a press statement on the issue.

He said he hoped to make a more detailed announcement sometime this week.

The Final Report was originally scheduled to be released at the end of April, after which time the direct rule was expected to be implemented but there were some delays to its completion. The document has since been completed but not released.

The initial report that came out of the Commission of Inquiry identified widespread corruption and found that the mismanagement of the economy had left the territory in dire straits.

It recommended the British direct rule which would see Governor Wetherell taking over the day to day running of the country, with the assistance of an Advisory Board.