British officials in the Turks and Caicos Islands will soon request that Brazilian authorities extradite the island’s former premier, Michael Misick.
Misick is being held in a Brazilian jail after his December arrest in the South American nation on an international warrant. British authorities, under an agreement with Brazil, have 60 days from the date of arrest to formally request his extradition, the Turks and Caicos Islands’ Attorney General’s office said in a statement Wednesday.
“It is intended that this request be submitted in Jan 2013,” the statement said. “Following this Mr. Misick will have the opportunity to consider whether he wishes to contest his extradition.”
“If he does not contest the extradition, and there are no other outstanding issues, then everything possible will be done by Turks and Caicos authorities, in collaboration with his legal advisors and the Brazilian authorities, to ensure his speedy return to face questions in relation to alleged crimes during his time in office and to face trial in accordance with our laws.”
The statement from the Turks and Caicos Attorney General’s office comes after local newspapers in the island chain, south of Miami, printed what was alleged to be a handwritten letter from the ex-leader from his Brazilin prison cell. Among other things, the letter claims that Misick was being held against his will and had requested that he be sent to Turks and Caicos.
British officials did not address the letter or its authenticity, but did say that they have been assured that Misick will receive consular assistance from the British Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro “who will work to ensure that Mr. Misick receives the same level of treatment as other British prisoners in Brazil, and is treated in accordance with international minimum standards.”
Misick is wanted in an ongoing corruption probe in the Turks and Caicos stemming from a 2008-2009 Commission of Inquiry that found there “is a high probability of systemic corruption” among public officials. More than a dozen people, including developers and former members of Misick’s cabinet, already have been charged in the probe.