Turks & Caicos Islands judge denies Michael Misick’s assertion of privilege over government legal advice in Special Investigation and Prosecution trial

The Turks & Caicos Sun reported as follows, on Monday 22 August 2016:

In a 25-minute ruling, Mr. Justice Paul Harrison, a former President of the Jamaica Court of Appeal, said: “I do not accept that the Attorney General is the legal advisor to any individual minister to give rise to the legal professional privilege between them as lawyer and client.”

He added: “It would be contrary to the principles of collective responsibility, and would be quite untenable, if each minister was seen to have the option to waive or refuse to waive the legal professional privilege….Nowhere in Section 41 of the Constitution or Section 131 of the Constitution is the individual minister differentiated as a client of the Attorney General.“”

For more information, see: http://suntci.com/judge-rules-that-ag-is-lawyer-for-government-not-individual-cabinet-minist-p2436-108.htm

In other recent news, it has been reported that the SIPT investigation and the trial, led by Helen Garlick and Andrew Mitchell QC for the prosecution, have cost the  UK and TCI Government a combined total of $36 million to date.

Despite its original 6 month time estimate, the trial has now already lasted 9 months and it is predicted to continue into 2017, with the TCI Government refusing to commit additional legal aid resources to the case, suggesting that the UK Government should top up the balance: see http://tcweeklynews.com/cabinet-denies-funding-for-legal-aid-in-sipt-trials-p7333-127.htm

The trial offers a sobering reminder of the costs and challenges associated with corruption investigations and prosecutions in the British Overseas Territories.

See also: http://www.caribbeannewsnow.com/headline-Turks-and-Caicos-corruption-trial-prolonged-30194.html

The Special Investigation and Prosecution Team’s website is here: http://tci-sit.org





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