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British Developer Pleads Guilty in Turks and Caicos Islands Corruption Case

British developer pleads guilty in Turks and Caicos corruption case
Published on June 3, 2013

PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands — British developer Richard Padgett pleaded guilty in the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) on Friday to charges of bribery and conspiracy to pervert the course of public justice by agreeing to present false or forged documents to a Commission of Inquiry.

At a plea and directions hearing on April 15, Mr Justice Harrison agreed that Padgett should be allowed to enter his pleas at the first reasonable opportunity. His case was adjourned to May 31, this being the next most convenient date for the judge to return to the TCI.

Padgett is currently suffering from ill health and in the opinion of his doctor is not fit to travel to the TCI, it was therefore agreed by the court that his pleas be entered from England, by a video link to the Supreme Court.

Padgett and the Crown were represented in both jurisdictions by counsel.

After his pleas of guilty were entered, the case was adjourned to September16 for mention as to the appropriate date of sentence.

Padgett, who has been on bail throughout the proceedings, remains on bail.

The TCI government also announced on Friday that it has settled all civil claims and proceedings against Padgett and his companies. That includes civil claims arising from the Third Turtle Development referred to in the report of the Commission of Inquiry, and a separate civil claim arising in relation to Crown land on East Caicos acquired by a company controlled by Padgett.

Under the settlement, Padgett has transferred to the government land valued at approximately US$7 million, and has made a cash contribution of $75,000 to the costs of investigating the claims.

This takes total land recoveries made by the civil recovery team to 3,058 acres, in addition to $19.6 million in cash paid or to be paid to the government.

Attorney General Huw Shepheard commented: “We are pleased that these disputes have now been settled with the transfer to TCIG of a substantial amount of further land of significant value. This settlement brings to a successful conclusion the civil claims brought in relation to the major developments referred to in the report of the Commission of Inquiry. As reported, other claims and investigations continue to be progressed by the Edwards Wildman civil recovery team.”

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THE TANGLED WEB OF BRITISH DECEPTION IN THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLAND

THE TANGLED WEB OF BRITISH DECEPTION IN THE TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS
By Hayden Boyce – Publisher & Editor-in-Chief,in SUN TCI,on 25th of March 2013.
One cannot help but be amused and bemused by how these British operatives, the latest of them being Dr. Philip Rushbrook, the director of strategy in the office of Governor Ric Todd, are trying to continue spinning and their way out of the unholy mess which they have created in the Turks and Caicos Islands and about which they continue to be in absolute denial.

It is rather disingenuous to say the least, that persons of the caliber of Hon. William Hague and now Hon. Mark Simmonds would allow themselves to first, be misled, and secondly to be blindly drawn into this silly debate about what the Premier Dr. Rufus Ewing said to the recent CARICOM Heads of Government meeting in Haiti.

After reading and parsing the Premier’s speech, there can be no question whatsoever that what he reported to CARICOM was an accurate representation of what happened, and indeed what continues to occur, in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

What is perhaps most unfortunate in the circumstances, is that none of Hon. Hague, Hon. Simmonds or Mr. Rushbrook can point to any specific part or parts of the Premier’s speech in which he “substantially misrepresented” the past and present situation in the Turks and Caicos Islands. Instead, and true to form, they have made a broad and general characterisation to CARICOM and the rest of the world, which in and of itself, is a gross misrepresentation of what the Premier stated.

For any correspondence coming from officials in such high office to at least be taken seriously by CARICOM or anyone with common sense, it should be stacked with undisputable facts and the itemization of those particular “misrepresentations” which the Premier is alleged to have made.

In the absence of any such specifics of rebuttal, these honorable men are inviting reasonable and sensible persons to arrive at the conclusion that the Premier lied to CARICOM and, as they were at pains to add, to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands. Nothing, on critical examination of the facts Dr. Ewing pronounced, could be further from the truth.

The letter from William Hague, who is an honorable man, is uncharacteristically and disappointingly weak and skimpy for someone of his stature.

For example, Mr. Hague talks about the British Government providing initial funding for the Providenciales International Airport many years ago, but makes no mention of the fact that the new $10million expansions are being funded by the operations of the airport and with no help from the Brits.

He also mentions the appointment of a Chief Financial Officer to assist with the finances of the TCI, but fails to tell CARICOM that they had to recall the said CFO Hugh McGarel-Groves because he was an under-performer and a spectacular failure.

His explanation about VAT and the reasons why it will not be introduced, was patently pathetic and failed to mention that nearly 100 percent of the business community in TCI were opposed to it, along with the two political parties.

Mr. Hague also stated that former Premier Michael Misick is “resisting return” to TCI, but he did not tell CARICOM that Misick has repeatedly said he wants to return home voluntarily and that he has written that he wants to waive extradition.

These are but some of the fundamental weaknesses and flaws that are contained in Mr. Hague’s letter to CARICOM; but Mr. Hague is an honorable man.

It therefore is quite sad, to say the least, that Mr. Hague, Mr. Simmonds and these other honorable men are seeking to assassinate the Premier’s character and inflict a vicious assault on his credibility, and that they are seeking to do so in the Caribbean political arena.

It is equally disturbing that by virtue of their written words, they are behaving as though the average resident of the Turks and Caicos Islands cannot read and understand, and that they cannot relate to the accuracy of the Premier’s statement which was pregnant with facts. Indeed, if the Premier can be faulted for anything, it should be that he did not give CARICOM leaders more details.

Analysts and observers may very well and rightly come to the conclusion that the only reason this approach is being taken by these honorable British operatives is because the Premier struck a positive chord among his CARICOM colleagues who perhaps finally would have gotten a true sense and clear picture of what is really going on in the Turks and Caicos Islands.

It can be argued that Premier Ewing may have embarrassed the Brits in the presence of Caribbean leaders by exposing their shenanigans. It can be also posited that as far as the real issues in the Turks and Caicos Islands are concerned, the Brits, who have been controlling the narrative regionally and internationally for far too long, may now feel that they are losing the public relations battle.

What, therefore, we are seeing being played out here with this CARICOM issue is a typical and classic example of how certain Brits are known to operate. They are past masters of spin. They have a tendency to paint all with the same brush and their approach to problem-solving is that one size fits all. They don’t like to be challenge. You must either put up or shut up. Moreover, in Caribbean parlance, when they are “out to get you” they seem to be guided by the following famous passage in Alice In Wonderland:

“`Let the jury consider their verdict,’ the King said, for about the twentieth time that day.
`No, no!’ said the Queen. `Sentence first–verdict afterwards.’
`Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. `The idea of having the sentence first!’
`Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.
`I won’t!’ said Alice.
`Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.
`Who cares for you?’ said Alice, `You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’

While it may not be polite to call these British operatives a “pack of cards”, there is indeed much certainty in saying that they have employed the above tactic before on others here and in other British Overseas Territories and they are now seeking to repeat it with Premier of the Turks and Caicos Islands Dr. Rufus Ewing. They are obviously on a mission to sentence him as a liar among his CARICOM colleagues, although there is no evidence to substantiate this.

There is, however, some consolation in the fact that the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands and the leaders of CARICOM know better than to believe everything, in anything, that certain British officials here and elsewhere have to say.

In the words of Sir Walter Scott: “Oh what a tangled web we weave, when first we practise to deceive!”

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The Electoral and Constitutional Fiasco in Turks and Caicos Islands

Published in TCI POST on 09th March 2013.

The Attorney General vs Ms. Amanda Missick
The Acting Attorney General of the Turks and Caicos Islands has filed in the supreme court against Ms. Amanda Missick stating the following:
“Following receipt of copies of the section 49(1)(f) Notices and related correspondence supplied to me by the TCI Integrity Commission and having caused background research to be undertaken in the Lands Division of the Chambers, I have come to the conclusion that I should act under section 50(3) of the Constitution, and today a challenge to the veracity of the declaration made by Ms. Amanda Missick, PNP candidate for the upcoming by-election in the Cheshire Hall and Richmond Hill Electoral District on 22 March 2013 has been filed before the Supreme Court.
FACT: It is a fact that Ms. Amanda Missick has a property 60804/138 with a TCIG belonger discount charge (see exhibit A)
According to the Integrity Commission and the Attorney General such a charge is considered to be a contract with Government and the Candidate shall to give NOTICE to the Integrity Commission on or before Nomination Day, in accordance with Section 49 (1)f of the TCI Constitution.
Disputable: It is disputable whether someone who has a Crown freehold property with a subsistent belonger discount charge (having had the property for less than 10 years after obtaining freehold title), is considered as having a contract with Government.
FACT: If a potential Candidate does not comply with Section 49 (1)f of the TCI Constitution 2011 he /she shall not be qualified to be an elected member of the House of Assembly. It states: 49.—(1) No person shall be qualified to be an elected member of the House of Assembly who, on the date of his or her nomination for election: (f) is a party to, or a partner in a firm or a director or manager of a company which is a party to, any contract with the Government and has not, by that date, disclosed in a notice to the Integrity Commission the nature of such contract and his or her interest, or the interest of such firm or company, in it;
FACT: The Constitution does not give a defined time period prior to Nomination Day during which such notice of contract with Government should be made. It simply states that such contracts should be “by that date (NOMINATION DAY), disclosed in a notice to the Integrity Commission the nature of such contract and his or her interest, or the interest of such firm or company, in it”
FACT: There is no prescribed form for giving such notice of contract with Government to the Integrity Commission. It simply says “disclosure in notice to the Integrity Commission”. This fact is also supported by the varied instruments of submission used by other elected members of the House of Assembly during the 2012 nomination process, who have made declarations under section 49 (1)f. Some used emailed submission, some used written hand delivered letters and some could have even called in.

Amanda-Lease Cancellation
THEREFORE:
FACT: Ms Amanda Missick made a Declaration to the Integrity Commission in on Oct 24, 2012 and this was publicized by the Integrity Commission in a Contracts Notice Register (see exhibit B). This declaration should have satisfied the condition under Section 49 (1)f of the Constitution, for nomination in the By-election, since such the notice is not time bound prior to nomination day and there is no legal requirement to make another declaration to the Integrity Commission unless there is additional information to be declare or remove, which is not the case with Ms. Missick.
Conclusion: Ms. Amanda Missick should not be disqualified. She did declare her interest to the Integrity Commission on time as she did so on October 24, 2012 and again on February 15, 2013, on a form used for members of the House of Assembly to declare their registrable Interest (including contracts with Government) which is a public document.
Also if the Judge rules that Crown freehold land with subsistent belonger discount charge is NOT contract with Government, then Ms. Missick would have had nothing to declare and should not be disqualified.
Furthermore:
If it is determined by the Courts that Crown Freehold title with subsistent belonger discount charge is a contract with Government, this should not affect Ms Missick as she made declaration of such contract on October 24, 2012 and again on February 15, 2013.
I rest my case and the learned Judge should see it likewise.
So I am encouraging all PNPs to Stay the Course!
Cheshire Hall Voter (Plaintiff) Vs Oral Selver

Oral Leasehold
A Cheshire Hall Voter filed in the Courts on March 8, 2013 against Isaac Oral Selver on the grounds that he failed to comply with the provisions of Section 49(1)f of the TCI Constitution.
It has been discovered that Mr. Oral Selver is the Leasee of Crown land 50206/1/1 – North Caicos (2.5 acres) which was issued on 12.11.2004 for a period of 3 years. Mr. Selver failed to pay his lease and in April 2011, he wrote to the PS of the Lands Department to have his lease extended. His letter was acknowledged in April 2011, and he was given conditions upon which the lease would be extended. The conditions included obtaining a building permit which he had, as stated in his reply letter and payment of arrears on the lease. Mr. Selver accepted the Offer and paid the arrears on the Property on December 24, 2012 (shortly after 2012 general elections).
Oral Lease Payment
The Plaintiff is of the view that Mr. Selver had a contract with Government on nomination day 2012 (October 25, 2012) and did not declare this interest at that time as required by Section 49(1)f of the constitution.
The Plaintiff is also of the view that Mr. Oral Selver still has a contract with Government i.e. the lease on property 50206/1/1 as he has accepted the conditional offer to extend the lease and is actively engaged with the Lands Department to retain the lease, which still remains in his name on the Lands register (see exhibit). Also of note is that the application procedure by the Lands Department for the termination of the lease has not been done. This procedure was use in the termination of a Conditional Purchase Lease (CPL) owned by Ms Amanda Missick, on property 60400/277 –Chalk Sound. Ms. Missick obtained the CPL around the same time as Mr Selver in 2004 and was denied extension without hesitation, that culminated in the cancellation of her lease on March 22, 2010.
Therefore:
We conclude that Mr Oral Selver failed to declare his contract with Government by nomination days October 25, 2012 and March 1, 2013 and should be disqualified under Section 49 (1)f.
The Attorney General
Vs
George Lightbourne
Hugh Derek Taylor
Josephine Connelly
Edwin Astwood
Vaden Delroy Williams
The Acting Attorney General is challenging the defendants listed, under section 53(2) of the constitution “An application to the Supreme Court for the determination of any question under subsection (1) may be made by the Attorney General or by any person who is a registered elector; and an application for the determination of any question under subsection (1)(b) may also be made by any member of the House of Assembly” It has been determined that the defendants have not filed all of their contracts (Crown freehold property with subsistent belonger discount charge) with Government and should be disqualified.
Contracts Notice Register – General Elections_001 Copy
The question for the Judge to rule on in this case is whether Crown freehold land with subsistent belonger discount charge is a contract with Government. If the Judge rule that it is then all of the elected members listed above will be disqualified and cease being members of the House of Assembly.
The next question to be determined by (Judge or AG?) is how should the vacated 5 seats in the House of Assembly be filled?
I am of the view that:
A constituency in the 2012 election, which had more than 2 candidates contesting but returning only 1 member to the House of Assembly (eg Wheeland), should go to a By-election if the elected member is disqualified.
A constituency in the 2012 election, which had only 2 candidates contesting and returning only 1 member to the House of Assembly (eg Grand Turk North or Grand Turk South), that the seat should be turned over to the other candidate upon disqualification of the elected candidate. If the non-elected Candidate is unavailable then the seat should go to a By-election.
A constituency in the 2012 election, which had more than 2 candidates contesting but returning more than 1 member to the House of Assembly (eg All-Islands Constituency), that the vacated seats due to disqualifications should be filled using the non-elected candidates based on the next highest number of votes and availability.
The British has indeed made a mockery of our democracy and the judicial system has fallen victim to the poorly drafted and ill-conceived laws enacted by the British, including of 2011 Constitution which is top of the list.
This is indeed a time for the PNP and PDM to come together and form a coalition Government and to fast track this country towards independence. I firmly believe that it is our people as opposed to our leaders and elected officials that are against unity and coalition in preference of the euphoria of partisan politics. It is however, our leaders who must make that bold decisions and lead the people in the direction of a united front in the best interest of the Turks and Caicos Islands.

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Dellis Cay Groundbreaking June 2008

Dellis Cay Groundbreaking in June 2008.
Please click on the link and watch the video.

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The OUTCRY of ILLEGAL POET Turks and Caicos Islands

PLEASE WATCH THE OUTCRY OF ILLEGAL POET FROM TURKS AND CAICOS ISLANDS.

CLICK THE LINK BELOW

PLEASE CLICK THE LINK TO WATCH THE VIDEO

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