WELL I GUESS YOU GUYS WERE RIGHT THIS TIME
Commentary: TCI Premier Michael Misick accused of rape!
Published on Friday, April 11, 2008 Email To Friend Print Version
Yesterday, word that a woman accused Premier Hon. Dr Michael Misick of rape spread throughout the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) like wildfire. And such is the disaffection and disillusionment with his leadership that even supporters of his ruling Progressive National Party (PNP) were adding fuel to rumours about his premiership going down in flames.
Anthony L. Hall is a descendant
of the Turks & Caicos Islands,
international lawyer and political
consultant - headquartered in
Washington DC - who publishes
his own weblog, The iPINIONS
Journal, at http://ipjn.com
offering commentaries on
current events from a
Nevertheless, I admonish all of my compatriots to resist the temptation to speculate too much about what this accusation portends for Premier Misick, and for our country. Especially since he categorically denied it in a press statement last night, and it will be weeks, if not months, before our Attorney General decides whether there is sufficient evidence to even file charges against him.
Not to mention that our Premier is entitled to, and must be accorded the presumption of innocence until proven guilty!
That said, there’s no denying the national, regional and international interest in this story. Therefore, I hope this commentary will at least foster more informed gossip about it.
Indeed, since the facts in these “she said, he said” situations can only be established in a court of law, I can only comment on what reliable sources claim occurred:
It is my understanding that Premier Misick committed this alleged rape over a week ago at the Providenciales home he shares with his American (actress) wife, First Lady Lisa Raye. The accuser is an American friend of our First Lady. And, after allegedly being raped, she reported the crime to the TCI police. Shortly thereafter, she returned to her home in the United States.
(Incidentally, one can only hope that our police followed proper procedures -- particularly by using our version of a sexual assault forensic evidence (SAFE) kit to gather and preserve physical evidence. On the other hand, Premier Misick is probably hoping for police incompetence in this respect..)
But that’s it for the alleged facts. Nevertheless, they beg all kinds of unanswerable questions and are rife with political and legal implications. For example:
If this rape occurred over a week ago, I wonder whether guests who attended the gala opening of the Nikki Beach Resort and Spa just days later can now recall (even if through a drunken or drugged-out haze) any antic behaviour the Premier and First Lady displayed that could be attributed to it.
Since the accuser is an American, I wonder how aggressive a role FBI agents are playing in the investigation.
I wonder if the accuser has filed, or intends to file, a complaint in the US, which of course would pose consequences that are far more ominous for our Premier.
I wonder which role the First Lady will choose to play: Will she stand by her man; or will she fly the coop back to the US to stand by her friend – especially if the FBI and IRS make her an offer she can’t refuse? (Of course, if she flees and divorce proceedings ensue, we’d have to end our tourism ad campaign featuring her in the most lucrative role of her life; which would result in millions more of our money being squandered by this TCI government.)
I suspect senior members of the ruling Progressive National Party (PNP) were already suffering acute anxieties over the looming commission of inquiry into corruption in the TCI. Therefore, I wonder how close they came to finally throwing the Premier overboard to save their own hides.
Yet, I wonder whether these allegations will make the British more, or less, inclined to establish this commission.
But this seems a good place to stop wondering and to assert that it is wishful thinking to assume that prosecuting (and even convicting) Premier Misick for rape renders moot the need for a commission of inquiry. Because, if anything, this episode dramatizes how critical the need for one has become.
After all, the members of the UK Foreign Affairs Committee (FAC) were not “shocked, appalled [and] astonished” just because the Premier reeked of corruption. They expressed those feelings because the entire government reeked of it.
Indeed, it is arguable that if the Governor, government ministers and the Attorney General did not give tacit approval to (or participate in) his alleged political and financial crimes, Michael Misick would not have been our Premier when he allegedly perpetrated this violent crime...
Meanwhile, those who were unjustly enriched by the corrupt government practices he institutionalized may be in for a rude awakening. Because it is also wishful thinking to assume that this Premier will go on trial for rape without ratting out even family members in a plea to save his own hide.
(For example, his lawyers might negotiate a plea bargain with British and American authorities that requires him to tell all about his tangled web of corruption in exchange for leniency on the rape charge...)
Therefore, it behooves all who have just cause to fear that he may eventually implicate them to plead their case to the FAC before it’s too late. And the offer I made in my recent commentary on the looming commission of inquiry (i.e. to liaise with the FAC on anyone’s behalf) still stands.
That said, even though rife with political implications, this is first and foremost a criminal matter. And we should leave it to TCI, British and American authorities to investigate the allegations, and to prosecute the Premier if the evidence warrants -- in accordance with the due process of law.
In the meantime, however, I would caution him against traveling to the United States. Because I’m sure the FBI would like nothing more than to arrest him and assume original jurisdiction to prosecute him there.
Never mind that, in recent years, the US has so extended its extraterritorial jurisdiction over people who commit violent crimes against Americans abroad, the Premier might not be safe from the FBI’s dragnet even ensconced in his TCI mansion.
NOTE: No doubt some of you are wondering if the TCI Attorney General will dismiss this allegation of rape against our Premier the way the Director of Public Prosecutions in St Vincent and the Grenadines dismissed two separate allegations of rape against that country’s prime minister, Dr Ralph Gonsalves, earlier this year.
And frankly, given that the TCI Attorney General decided last year that there was no public interest”in prosecuting the Premier on credible charges of assault, theft and obstruction of justice, chances are very good that his legal reasoning would mislead him into dismissing this allegation as a strictly private matter.
However, the reason Premier Misick will not get off as easily as Prime Minister Gonsalves did is that his accuser is an American, not a native woman. (Pathetic, I know, but it’s really that simple...)
Moreover, I suspect that, ultimately, the FBI and US prosecutors will pursue justice for her far more vigorously and objectively than our arbitrary and capricious Attorney General would have done for one of our own.