Former Turks and Caicos premier facing possible extradition to UK

PROVIDENCIALS, Turks and Caicos Islands, Thursday January 10, 2013 - The United Kingdom has made a request for the extradition of former Turks and Caicos Premier Michael Misick who is being held in a Brazilian jail following after his December arrest in the South American nation on an international warrant.

Under an agreement with Brazil,  the British authorities have 60 days from the date of arrest to formally request his extradition said the Turks and Caicos Islands’ (TCI) Attorney General’s office said in a statement Wednesday.

“Michael Misick is the subject of an extradition request made lawfully and properly, in accordance with the relevant Treaty in place between the UK and Brazil, as extended to the Turks and Caicos Islands,” the Attorney General said . “As such, he is currently being held in accordance with the terms of this Treaty, under a provisional warrant of arrest.”

“It is intended that this request be submitted in Jan 2013,” the statement said. “Following this Mr. Misick will have the opportunity to consider whether he wishes to contest his extradition.”

“If he does not contest the extradition, and there are no other outstanding issues, then everything possible will be done by Turks and Caicos authorities, in collaboration with his legal advisors and the Brazilian authorities, to ensure his speedy return to face questions in relation to alleged crimes during his time in office and to face trial in accordance with our laws.”

Misick, 46, is being sought in connection with a corruption investigation by the Sir Robin Auld Commission of Inquiry from 2008-2009, which found a “high probability of systemic corruption in government and the legislature and among public officers” in TCI.

The findings of the commission led to the suspension of democratic government in the territory. The first elections since the suspension were held in TCI in November, with Dr Rufus Ewing becoming the territory’s Premier.

“We have received assurances that during his time in custody Mr Misick will receive consular assistance from the British Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro, who will work to ensure that Mr Misick receives the same level of treatment as other British prisoners in Brazil, and is treated in accordance with international minimum standards,” the TCI said. “The consular staff in Rio will provide the same level of consular assistance offered to all British Citizens in Brazil.”

Misick, an attorney-at-law, sought political asylum in Brazil where he has been living since October 2011 and had legal permission to reside and work until April 2013.His request for political asylum was denied in November 2012 and was in the process of appealing the decision when he was arrested. (CMC) Click here to receive free news bulletins via email from Caribbean360. (View sample)