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T&C premier testifies to $21M in loans at hearings

T&C premier testifies to $21M in loans at hearings

The premier of Turks and Caicos testified Wednesday that he received loans totaling $21 million from international banks since taking power in 2003.
Premier Michael Misick, who earns an annual salary of $288,000, told a commission probing alleged government corruption that he is prepared to pay back the loans from banks in the tiny tax haven of Liechtenstein and elsewhere in Europe, but offered few specifics.
"My assets outweigh my liabilities, so if I am called upon to satisfy those payments, I will be able to," Misick said on the second day of testimony in Providenciales.
Former Turks and Caicos Islands' Gov. Richard Tauwhare created the commission in July to investigate possible corruption _ especially allegations that Misick and other officials illegally enriched themselves by selling government-owned land to developers.
Misick has denied the allegations, saying they were invented by his political opponents.
The premier was sworn in for a second four-year term in 2007 after leading his party to a sweeping victory in general elections.
But a backlash against Misick has recently spread in his party's leadership, and nine of 13 ruling Progressive National Party parliamentarians said last month they no longer have confidence in him.
The investigative commission, which has no formal power to enforce its recommendations, is scheduled to hold hearings until Jan. 26.


Updated : 2021-10-22 22:29 GMT+08:00