30 August 2011

Inconsistencies continue under British direct rule in Turks & Caicos


UK Governor of Turks and Caicos Lies About Delay in Corruption Investigation, Blames Labour Party

Exposing the truth behind Turks and Caicos Corruption Investigation, and the most recent lies by the British

by AnselLoya
ground report

Governor, Gordon Wetherell, just put out another interview as he is set to depart as the UK-appointed governor of Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). He oversaw the British occupation regime in Turks and Caicos after the UK takeover of the islands on August 9, 2009.

The topic of his interview this week was to address the dragging corruption investigation for which the Turks and Caicos people and parliament have grown increasingly impatient for its conclusion. Wetherell blamed the delayed and lengthy (so far, 2 years) corruption investigation of Helen Garlick’s Special Investigation and Prosecution Team (SIPT) on the former British Labour government.

Wetherell said in an interview this week, “the former British Labour government has delayed the investigative process.” Therefore, he said, SIPT could not progress properly because of inadequate funding, he continued, “SIPT was funded one year late and only after the government in Britain changed in May 2010.”

TCI people are shocked to hear Wetherell make such a claim of a delay or lack of funding. The truth is, there was no delay. “Helen Garlick was appointed as the Special Prosecutor to the Turks and Caicos Islands on 10 August 2009” (House of Commons report). Helen Garlick’s team was installed one day after the British takeover (August 9, 2009) and has been installed in TCI continually ever since.

The truth is that SIPT was working continually, thanks to funding by the TCI government treasury. A report by the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) noted that Helen Garlick herself expressed concern that her investigation had become a burden on the budget of TCI Government.

On March 10, 2011, Gordon Wetherell himself admitted that the TCI Government had been funding SIPT. It wasn’t until March 2011 that the British government finally agreed to fund SIPT to take the burden from the TCI treasury. It was Wetherell who made a statement on March 10, 2011 stating that “a $10.6 million discretionary grant will reimburse the government for the “full costs” for fiscal year 2010-11 for the Special Investigation and Prosecution Team (SIPT) and the Civil Recovery Team.” Wetherell acknowledged just there that the Turks and Caicos government was paying for the corruption investigation the entire time and further revealed the amount already paid by the TCI treasury, $10.6 million! How can he lie now that the investigation was not funded, which he says caused a delay?

If Wetherell’s lie is to be believed, that there was no funding for SIPT causing a delay, what was SIPT doing in TCI? They are continually installed in TCI on an expense account, living the high life in TCI in luxury whilst TCIslanders are waiting to have democracy restored pending this investigation. 2 years without democracy so that a poorly planned corruption investigation can proceed is an abusive of power. What is going on with SIPT? Why are the British now lying about a delay, and why is it being paid by a loan to TCI, and why is it taking so long, and why is democracy being withheld during this never-ending investigation?

Something quite amusing, the British say that the Turks and Caicos Islands are in a fiscal crisis requiring loans by the UK, VAT and more taxes. But this week Wetherell pointed out, “Colin Roberts visited the TCI and in a press conference said that (UK) assistance would not be forthcoming because the TCI was ‘rich’.” The British can’t get their story straight, is the TCI rich or is it in need of burdensome UK loans and taxes due to the PNP government’s (former local government) poor fiscal legacy?

Another amusing fact is in December 2009, MP Chris Bryant said that the FCO will not provide a loan or funding for the investigation because, “It has always been our view that the former TCI Government is responsible for its present financial crisis. It is therefore correct that the Territory pays to sort out these matters. It is not appropriate to ask the British taxpayer to do so.” Therefore, TCI treasury was required to pay the investigation even though the TCI people didn't ask for the investigation, nor did they get a vote on it.

None of the British bureaucrats know what they are talking about. Chris Bryant said he believed that the former PNP administration should pay for the corruption investigation, even while the TCI treasury was paying it, because the PNP (random people who have not even faced trials nor have had the benefit of a completed corruption investigation) had been forcibly removed from office by the British.

The people of TCI should not suffer financially, socially or lose their freedoms because of a corruption investigation ordered by the British government, especially the incompetent and delayed circus it has become by both parties in Britain. It is absurd.

The people of TCI are still wondering why there haven't been any results from this ongoing investigation, nor have any persons been identified to stand trials yet. It is curious why the British Governor felt forced to (albeit clumsily and falsely) address the investigation delay. Members of Parliament, including Lord Nigel Jones, have been asking questions about Turks and Caicos' return to democracy and local elections. The corruption investigation is a milestone which must be completed prior to TCI returning to self rule.

In the meantime, the delay caused by the bumbling corruption investigation is suspected to be a calculated means to stall the TCI people while the British installed their new constitution in TCI, a constitution for which the people did not vote.

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