Mis-trial ap­pli­ca­tion dis­missed in cor­rup­tion trial of for­mer TCI premier

The Star (St. Lucia) - - COMMENT -

AHigh Court judge in the Turks and Caicos Is­lands has dis­missed the mis-trial ap­pli­ca­tion made by the lawyer for for­mer premier Michael Misick who is fac­ing cor­rup­tion charges.

Queen’s Coun­sel Ralph Thorne had ar­gued that the pros­e­cu­tion had is­sued daily re­leases which had the cu­mu­la­tive ef­fect of scan­dal­is­ing his client, por­tray­ing him con­temp­tu­ously and ul­ti­mately de­priv­ing him of the right to a fair trial that is guar­an­teed by the Con­sti­tu­tion and by the Hu­man Rights con­ven­tions.

The Bar­ba­dian at­tor­ney and Mal­colm Bishop, QC, who is rep­re­sent­ing the for­mer premier’s brother, Chal Misick, had asked the court to de­clare a mis-trial on the grounds that ex­tra-ju­ridi­cal pub­li­ca­tions, em­a­nat­ing from the pros­e­cu­tion and from a cor­po­rate en­tity con­nected to the ev­i­dence, Sandals Re­sorts In­ter­na­tional/ Beaches Re­sorts, were ca­pa­ble of un­der­min­ing the in­de­pen­dence of the ju­di­ciary and the dig­nity of the process of trial.

But Jus­tice Paul Har­ri­son dis­agreed.

“As the trial of fact in this case, I am obliged, and have a duty, to dis­abuse my mind from any­thing said or pub­lished out­side of the am­bit of court pro­ceed­ings. I am also com­pelled not to take into con­sid­er­a­tion any­thing said out­side the ev­i­dence in this case,” he said.

The judge also de­nied a mo­tion filed by Queen’s Coun­sel Earl Wit­ter, on be­half of for­mer deputy premier Floyd Hall who is also on trial, ask­ing for a con­tempt of court or­der to be made against the au­thor of the Sandals press re­lease.

Misick and other for­mer govern­ment min­is­ters and their as­so­ciates are fac­ing charges of con­spir­acy to ac­cept bribes in pub­lic of­fice, con­spir­acy to de­fraud and as­so­ci­ated money laun­der­ing, brought by a spe­cial in­ves­tiga­tive team set up in the Turks and Caicos Is­lands in 2011.

For­mer TCI premier Michael Misick.

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