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Brazil police arrest former Turks and Caicos chief minister

Brazilian Police announced Friday that they have arrested [BBC report] former Chief Minister of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) Michael Misick, who has been in hiding since fleeing TCI 2009. Misick fled TCI following an inquiry into corruption on the small British territory which implicated him as having been engaged in widespread corruption and having stolen up to USD $180 million from TCI coffers. Misick was arrested in Rio de Janeiro where it is believed by Interpol investigators he had been living for over a year. British authorities are interested in having Misick extradited to TCI where he will be interrogated by the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team appointed by the British government to root out corruption on the islands.

The arrest of Misick comes only a month after TCI returned to self-rule following three years of British direct rule [JURIST report]. The assumption of direct rule was imposed by British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) [official website] following a report [text, PDF; part 2, PDF; part 3, PDF] compiled by the TCI Commission of Inquiry led by Sir Robin Auld [Lamb Chambers profile] documenting widespread corruption among government officials including Misick [BBC report]. The Inquiry Commission was established in July 2008 after media reports [BBC report] of corruption in TCI. TCI have had self-government since 1976, but plans for full independence have been abortive. Island politicians have several times considered and/or proposed a union with Canada [CBC backgrounder]; the east coast province of Nova Scotia [JURIST news archive] most recently floated the idea [CBC report] in 2004.

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