Published On: Wed, Jan 2nd, 2013

Extradition not needed, says former Turks and Caicos premier

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands – According to a recent series of emails, a scanned handwritten and later typed press release, it appears that former Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) premier Michael Misick has tired of his fate in a Brazilian prison cell since his arrest last month.

In the original handwritten release, which was purportedly approved for release by the former premier, Misick said that formal extradition from Brazil is not required and he will return voluntarily to the TCI. This, he claimed, was his position when he was arrested.

He also said that he told a TCI police officer Tony Noble, who he claimed was present at his arrest, that he would prefer to return to the TCI and that extradition proceedings were not required.

The document repeated claims by Misick that he was legally residing in Brazil. It also attacked the leader of the special investigation and prosecution team (SIPT), Helen Garlick, because she would not make arrangements to return Misick to the TCI. However, Britain had reportedly begun extradition proceedings.

The press release repeated the claim by Misick that he is being politically punished contrary to his human rights for having successfully developed the TCI and moving it a step towards independence.

In his release, apparently written on December 24, Misick claims he has not seen the sun in three weeks.

According to the Brazilian Federal Police, Misick had been residing in Rio de Janeiro since October 2011 in an upscale neighbourhood, where he was described as living comfortably. He reportedly had a work permit but it was not revealed how he was employed.

It appears he was living with a woman and, while police were aware of his presence and were watching the residence, they could not access the apartment without a warrant apparently because it belonged to the female in question. However, when they learned Misick was alone at Rio de Janeiro's Santos Dumont airport on December 7, they arrested him as he attempted to board a domestic flight to Sao Paolo. He was reportedly surprised but cooperated with police.

Misick had reportedly applied for political asylum in Brazil some months back but this was refused by the Brazilian authorities. On the day of his arrest, he was apparently en route to Sao Paulo to seek advisers and lawyers in order to stay legally in Brazil.

Following his arrest, Orlando Moreira Nunes, federal deputy head of Interpol in Rio, requested that Misick be remanded into custody because of his importance.

“We wish to discredit the idea that big criminals can come to Rio and live peacefully,” he said.

Nunes said that Misick would be interrogated, and then be taken to the Ary Franco prison, which has been described as one of the worst prisons in the world. In June, a UN panel recommended the immediate closure of the Ary Franco prison, citing detailed cases of torture and other inmate abuse and characterizing the cells as filthy and bug-infested.

By Caribbean News Now contributor

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