By David Tapfer
The genesis of the long awaited trial of members of the Progressive National Party (PNP) is now being revealed by the special investigation and prosecution team’s prosecutor Andrew Mitchell QC.
David Tapfer is a retired, US-born engineer and management executive. He is the former chairman of the Middle Caicos Branch of the Peoples Democratic Movement
At this time, whatever Mitchell says is only an allegation and at some point we will hear from the defence. The charges are very detailed even in this beginning overview. A summary due to go on and on for many more days.
Mitchell says he has copies of cheques and ledgers backed up by sworn witness statements. The names already drawn into this alleged web of corruption read like the beginning of a roster of the PNP.
The plans of corruption go back to 2002, says Mitchell, when Mike Misick was working with Smokey Smith to turn over a piece of land on Water Cay Smith had obtained with the promise to develop. However, he did not have the funds even to pay the survey and had to make payments to get this inexpensive preliminary step accomplished.
It is alleged that Mike was aware that waiting in the wings was a Swiss developer ready to pay millions for the land Smokey had a lease to buy for much less. After the PNP won the government in what the country knows was a tainted by-election, this Water Cay deal came down and Misick and Floyd Hall and his wife began to enrich themselves beyond what Mitchell says was their wildest dreams.
It is alleged they threw a few thousand bones to Jeffrey, Gilly and others. Smith, we are given to understand realized only 5,000 after one and a third million in clear profits is alleged to have ended up in the accounts of Misick, the Halls and other PNPs. $1.3 million that Mitchell says belonged to the people of the TCI . All the people.
Then we learn about the alleged dealings of Jak Civre, who is said to have had a fat Swiss bank account. He wanted land on Grace Bay that belonged to another developer, Mike is charged with intimidating the owner, who is told to sell the land to Civre. The deals Mitchell lays out seem to report that Jak paid a large amount in bribing the PNP.
Later Jak paid millions to the government in fines and was not taken to court. Given his relationship with the PNP how did he escape direct prosecution? Perhaps he sang like a bird to avoid the possibility of jail time.
Is this the beginning of a choir of song birds yet to publish their lyrics?
It is not only PNP individuals that Mitchell is tilting at, it is also law firms. Misick and Stanbrook, Saunders and Company, Stanfield Greene to name a few.
If this is only the beginning, where will the allegations lead us in the days, weeks and months to come?
We started down the road of following Mike’s antics at Christmas of 2003 when Mike and his supporters threw their first booze fest party at the Middle Caicos airport. Mike blew so much smoke he sounded like a typical used car salesman.
At this beginning, he was already obvious.