Many may have heard the news that the United Kingdom took the government and control of Turks and Caicos Islands on August 14, 2009. Previously, Turks and Caicos was an autonomous Caribbean territory of the UK. The UK's presence in Turks and Caicos was reportedly due to a corrupt Premier, Michael Misick, who left office in March 2009 and was replaced by a duly elected new government that month.
When the UK took control of the Turks and Caicos government, it also rescinded the islands' autonomous constitution. Along with so doing, it made an alarming and almost unprecedented announcement: jury trials were no longer to be held.
In an update made to the UK parliament this month, Chris Bryant, the Labour Government and Foreign & Commonwealth Office Minister, announced, "The Order also suspends the constitutional right to trial by jury in the Turks and Caicos Islands …"
British Turks and Caicos governor, Gordon Wetherell also declared, "The constitutional right to trial by jury is also suspended with immediate effect."
On the minds of many world citizens is the question, why the UK would rescind an accused citizen's right to a jury trial? Moreover, why is the UK forbidding Turks and Caicos citizens from sitting on a jury panel?
According to English common law, a jury trial is a fundamental civil liberty and it is every individual's right to be judged by a jury of peers.
How can the very inventors of jury trials unilaterally and capriciously terminate that right for 24,000 people in Turks and Caicos? But further, "WHY?" is the question.
It has been argued that in some extreme cases, as in Northern Island, the accused might not be judged fairly because of a tainted jury pool, but only as to the accused; certainly not the entire population. However, in the case of Turks and Caicos, the UK said the opposite; that the jury pool could not be trusted. All of the citizens in Turks and Caicos could be corrupted, the UK announced.
This theory by UK of universal corruption is utter rubbish. The people of Turks and Caicos are some of the most hospitable and sophisticated people in the world. Why are the citizens of Turks and Caicos being unfairly judged by UK? The answer is far more complicated than UK's explanation of weak-minded corruptible islanders.
Do I hasten to ask the question, why all of a sudden the drama in Turks and Caicos? After the found-to-be corrupt Premier, Michael Misick, was in office for 6 years, it seems strange that he was targeted so suddenly. He left office upon the publication of the "investigation" report. However, the UK continued to pursue seizure and did seize the islands 6 months after a new government was installed.
Sure, Misick was an easy target, married to a Hollywood actress, he had celebrity friends, was flashy and flamboyant. The allegations of corruption against Misick were plausible and easy though he claims he had personal real estate investments.
Once Misick was out of the picture, suddenly dozens of the developers were announced to be "corrupt". Who is announcing this? A rogue blog site, suspected of insider corruption, and run by a secret party candidate named Shaun Malcolm, was announcing all of these findings to Turks and Caicos and the cyberworld.
As I have pointed out in a former editorial, one developer dropped half a billion dollars on a development on a private island in Turks and Caicos, called Dellis Cay. Catherine Zeta-Jones and Michael Douglas purchased a one-of-a-kind Shigeru Ban Villa in the development. The developer, Cem Kinay, was targeted for corruption as were several other developers for so-called bribes which merely amounted to campaign contributions of $50,000. The UK cannot convince the world that a developer who founded Club Med, fresh off the boat from Europe, would risk his half-billion dollar development for a bribe of $50,000 to Michael Misick. It makes no sense. Nonetheless, his property went into receivership this date, October 15, 2009, and he was run out of the islands.
This is the same story for other new developments in Turks and Caicos including Nikki Beach which was a five-star celebrity-alluring resort that brought hundreds of jobs to the islands. It was reported in TCI Journal's website that the financier of the development and target of Shaun Malcolm, Lord Ashcroft, was — corrupt.
I could keep giving more examples, but the point is made. This is true for many other developments.
Beyond just jobs, these resorts brought in revenue from tourism. How could a political agenda cause so much destruction?
After the developers were targeted, TCI Journal had more bad news. Gillamo Williams, the new Premier since March, is also corrupt. The somewhat goofy but sweet "Gilly" must be a friend of Michael Misick. They grew up near each other. Hogwash, that means nothing. Turks and Caicos is not that big; everyone lives right around the corner from everyone else.
After the Gillamo Williams government was targeted, it was time for the opposition political leader of the PDM, Floyd Seymour's, turn. Amidst extreme pressure and accusations of, yes corruption, he resigned.
After Floyd Seymour was targeted, it was time for the registrar of Crown land, a well respected lawyer by the name of Mr. Kendle B. Williams. Kendle B. Williams was mysteriously targeted for claims that he took 3 sick days for which he explained he was seeking medical treatment for an illness. At least they didn't bother to say he was corrupt.
What is behind all of this? It sounds like Crown land to me. It's the only common denominator.
And what does this have to do with jury trials, you ask? A coverup. They can prosecute and put away anyone they want. After all, their theory that all of the citizens of Turks and Caicos are corrupt would preclude any fair trial, so they announced, let's let one UK judge make the decision, instead of impartial jurors.
Shaun Malcolm, who runs the TCI Journal, couldn't possibly have an interest in any of this, right? Not quite. My sources tell me that he, under cover of darkness, is planning a political party with help of some influential people from where … the UK.
Shaun Malcolm reportedly hasn't worked for four (4) years, yet is reported to fly first class and father babies outside of his marriage, refusing job opportunities. How does he run a full-time website, have several families and make no income? I will let the readers decide who is corrupt. Malcolm wants to go down in history? He might, but perhaps for infamy.