Could it be right that you can pay to avoid prosecution or jail?
TCI Sun newspaper report of Professor Munroe letter to the Governor
April 3, 2014 at 7:11 am #75
jerzykolKeymasterIntegrity group writes to Governor Todd about SIPT US$12million settlement with Sandals
The head of a leading Caribbean action-corruption agency has written to Governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands Ric Todd about the recent $12million settlement between Government, the Special Investigations and Prosecutions Team and Gordon “Butch” Stewart’s Sandals International.
In a letter dated January 24th, Professor Trevor Munroe, director of the National Integrity Action (NIA), expressed concern about the perception surrounding the settlement. Munroe, one of the Caribbean’s leading public scholars, has written extensively on issues of corruption and governance, including authoring Transparency International’s National Integrity System country studies of Jamaica, the Caribbean and, most recently, the Turks and Caicos Islands.
He wrote: “Dear Governor Todd, I write in my capacity as Executive Director of the National Integrity Action, a Jamaican non-governmental organization whose objective it is to build integrity and combat corruption, and I do so in response to the news release (dated January 23, 2013) issued by your spokesman entitled “SIPT Recover a Further Twelve Million.”
As you are aware this release and the matter dealt with therein involving Sandals and the Turks & Caicos Islands Government is attracting wide spread attention from not only citizens of the Turks & Caicos Islands, but as well persons throughout the Caribbean and wider afield. One aspect of public concern and attention relates to a fundamental principle of the rule of law and of democratic governance, namely, that there should be one law for the rich and for the poor, one law for the connected persons and for the man in the street.
In relation to this fundamental principle, Caribbean people have been, for decades, distressed at its inadequate application in so far as the perception, and I dare say to a significant extent the reality, is that the full extent of the law is applied to the ordinary citizen while the wealthy and the powerful find ways to get around the law.
Within recent times, the issue of arrest warrants for highly placed politicians and private sector persons by the authorities in the Turks & Caicos Islands, as well as in Cayman, have provided some reassurance that traditional “untouchables” are not beyond the reach of the law.
In the matter between Sandals and the Turks & Caicos Islands Government, NIA and every well thinking citizen must acknowledge that each individual and entity must be considered innocent until found guilty before a court of law; equally, that no illegitimate consideration should preclude any individual or entity, however well connected and however much a contribution they have made, from having their day in court to establish innocence or to be found guilty.
I am therefore writing you to seek your reassurance, not only on my own behalf but on behalf of the many thousands of citizens of the region, that these fundamental principles, long upheld in the British judicial system, are in no way being undermined by the agreement reached whereby the SIPT “recovered” USD 12 Million Dollars from Sandals “without any admission of liability by the company, its directors and/or officers.” I do look forward to hearing from you.”
Professor Munroe is currently an Honorary Visiting Professorial Fellow at the Sir Arthur Lewis Institute of Social and Economic Studies, UWI, and has served as Consultant to the World Bank, the Organization of American States, the Carter Centre, the United Nations Development Programme, Transparency International, the USAID, the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) amongst other international, regional and national organizations. He is currently a member of the Advisory Group on Global Political Finance established by the International Foundation of Electoral Systems.
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