Turks and Caicos court dismisses yet more applications by former premier

On Tuesday, Misick’s attorneys had applied to the Supreme Court of the TCI for declarations that 1) the court established to hear the criminal trial of Misick and others is unconstitutional; 2) that the Trial Without A Jury Ordinance Is unconstitutional; and 3) that the preferment of multiple charges against Misick constituted a breach of the constitutional guarantee for lawful administrative action.

The chief justice also denied Misick’s legal team leave to appeal the ruling, accepting the Crown’s argument that the applications had been canvassed before and were therefore frivolous or vexatious.

However, according to Misick’s attorneys, the previous unsuccessful applications had challenged the validity of the trial judge’s appointment, his security of tenure, and matters related to his status, while Tuesday’s application for the first time challenged the constitutional validity of the court in which the trial judge had been appointed to conduct the trial.

It was further contended on behalf of Misick that the earlier unsuccessful applications had challenged the manner in which the Trial Without A Jury Ordinance had been interpreted and applied by the trial judge, while Tuesday’s application challenged the constitutionality of the Ordinance itself.

Ironically, the impracticability of finding jurors with no prior knowledge or opinions on the issues at stake given the very small pool (of approximately 6,000) to choose from in the TCI; and the inevitability that such jurors would be exposed to extra-evidential opinions and information, prompted Misick to submit forcefully to the 2008 Commission of Inquiry into systemic government corruption that trial by jury could not be fair to him.

Case watchers in the TCI have grown frustrated by the many delays in the criminal trials, and Misick and the other defendants have sought to capitalise on this frustration by accusing the prosecution of creating the delays but neglecting to tell their supporters that it is their own actions that have caused some three years of delays.

At every turn, Misick has appealed decisions by the court and has changed attorneys on at least three occasions.


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