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Prosecution concludes opening statement in corruption trial
Published on February 9, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

On Friday, the final day of his two-week opening statement on behalf of the prosecution in the criminal trial of former Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) premier Michael Misick and others on corruption and money laundering charges, Andrew Mitchell QC continued his summary of the various financial dealings of the defendants.

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Michael Misick
The previous day, Mitchell had noted that, upon becoming chief minister in 2003, Misick was able to put all his possessions into “a few black plastic bags” and he owned “two poor quality suits”.

In October 2004, Misick, in a statement of affairs submitted to First Caribbean International Bank, a bank to whom he had applied for a loan, he claimed that the value of his assets was $9.5 million (including investments of $3 million) and liabilities of just $200,000.

“Whilst [Michael Misick] was leading his nation and was responsible for the needs and development of the citizens of the TCI – a small country with no more than 7,000 electors and about 35,000 Belongers, he appears to have benefited in sums way beyond the reach of probably each and every one of his supporters and fellow citizens.

“Just looking at the accounts of which he was a signatory (therefore not taking account of the money that sent directly on his behalf to others, including friends and other third parties such as suppliers, etc.) [Michael Misick] received just over $28 million from the time he became leader of the opposition until he left public life. The peak was between 2006 and 2008 when he received $19 million, of which $12.7 million was received in 2007,” Mitchell said.

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Floyd Hall
Floyd Hall

Floyd Hall was deputy chief minister (and later deputy premier) and served as minister for finance and national insurance. He was treasurer or de facto treasurer of the Progressive National Party (PNP) from 2002 to 2010.

Mitchell submitted that Hall used his power and influence to participate in a government that governed not in the public interest but in the interests of himself, friends and relatives and therefore to the detriment of ordinary people.

“His financial spending, we suggest, was completely inconsistent with this income,” he said.

Lisa Hall

Lisa Hall was during the relevant period married to Floyd Hall. The Crown’s case is that she assisted her husband to obtain bribes and laundered the corrupt payments, opening bank accounts and buying property, overt acts, Mitchell said, in taking steps to hide the proceeds of her husbands’ unlawful conduct.

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McAllister Hanchell
McAllister Hanchell

McAllister Hanchell was appointed minister for communications works and utilities and he went on to be the minister of natural resources. The Crown’s case is that he used his power and influence to participate in a government that governed not in the public interest but in his own interests, for the benefit of others known to him.

Hanchell used a legitimate business AL Services to receive monies that, as part of the Crown’s case, were funds from corrupt developers being laundered by co-defendant Thomas Chalmers Misick or hidden payments direct from a West Caicos development to his own South Caicos PNP account and then to him via AL Services.

“Some of the AL Services income has been traced to what the Crown will suggest were corrupt payments, the account being used to disguise those payments. Whether the success of AL Services whilst [McAllister Hanchell] held high political office was legitimate will be a matter which the court will wish to examine,” Mitchell said.

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Lillian Boyce
Lillian Boyce

Lillian Boyce was minister for education, youth, sports and culture, and later minister for health, social services and gender affairs.

According to Mitchell, she was at the heart of development transaction that led to her gaining without any legitimacy a significant sum, receiving in excess of $1 million, which she stated she was holding on behalf of her brother Earl Robinson.

When asked to explain her role in Cabinet, she stated business was pre-determined between the governor, relevant minister and the attorney general; she stated that Cabinet was not the place to raise objections or concerns on matters she disagreed with, and in essence she stated Cabinet was a ceremonial process.

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Jeffrey Hall
Jeffrey Hall

Jeffrey Hall was elected in August 2003 and at first he was responsible for finance, national insurance, housing, immigration and labour. When he was re-elected in February 2007 he was appointed minister for housing, agriculture, works, telecommunications and water and sewage.

According to Mitchell, Hall used his power and influence to participate in a government that governed not in the public interest but in the interest of himself, of friends and relatives and therefore to the detriment of ordinary people.

He was a shareholder with co-defendant Melbourne Wilson in Alliance Realty Limited, holding a 40% interest. In 2006, the Alliance Realty account received $3.45 million.

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Thomas Chalmers (‘Chal’) Misick
Thomas Chalmers (‘Chal’) Misick

Chal Misick, an attorney, is a brother of Michael Misick. The Crown’s case is that he assisted in particular in laundering the benefits of the corrupt and dishonest activities on behalf of his brother and others, in particular McAllister Hanchell.

According to Mitchell, he played a leading role in the receipt of bribes by Michael Misick.

The movement of funds by Chal Misick in 2007 was over $100 million, when taking account of money transfers, deposits and inter account movements.

In 2008, there were a great deal of money movements and inter account transfers, and the gross turnover reached over $190 million.

In 2009, funds movements between various accounts were over $130 million.

He was, Mitchell said, in fact the private banker of his brother and also from time to time for McAllister Hanchell.

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Clayton Greene
Clayton Greene

Clayton Greene is an attorney, a member of the PNP, speaker of the House of Assembly, and an elected member and an advisor in relation to some land purchases.

The Crown’s case against Greene is that he used his position as an attorney to launder the proceeds of crime.

When he was interviewed, he explained that he was a criminal attorney with an increasing knowledge of corporate matters. He explained that Floyd Hall was a first cousin. He had not really applied his mind to money laundering issues as a criminal lawyer.

Melbourne Wilson

Melbourne Wilson is an attorney. The Crown’s case is that he dishonestly dealt with a number of aspects of the North West Point land deal which caused financial detriment to the TCI government, its electors and residents. As a result of his dealings he was able to gain a significant amount of money.

“That is our opening during which we have sought to set out the case against each defendant. We will turn to the evidence upon the return,” Mitchell concluded.

The full day’s text of the opening statement on behalf of the Crown may be found here: http://tci-sit.org/category/opening-notes/
 
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