Media reports on trial without jury – 17th September 2014


Press Release

Wednesday, 17th September 2014

Media reports on trial without jury

The current online edition of the Turks and Caicos Sun carries an article, which refers to the recent Court of Appeal judgement that upheld the decision of Harrison J that the trial of Michael Misick and others should take place without a jury. The article contains claims that are untrue. In particular it is claimed that “legislation was introduced that allows hearsay evidence to be admitted in corruption trials.” There is no such legislation.  It is also claimed that Andrew Mitchell QC, leading counsel for the prosecution “recently hired a British bodyguard for protection.” That is untrue; Mr Mitchell had no personal protection of any kind.  It is to be regretted that none of these claims were verified before being published.

The printed edition of the Turks and Caicos Sun newspaper dated 13th September 2014 contains the following claims, namely that there had been the “introduction of the Hearsay Ordinance which takes the highly unusual step of allowing hearsay evidence to be admitted; and it seemingly will only apply to the SIPT trial”. None of these claims are true.  There is no Hearsay Ordinance. The admission of hearsay evidence is “not highly unusual” and is permissible under the law of the United Kingdom and in other modern criminal justice systems. There have never been any proposals to introduce laws that would “only apply only to the SIPT trial.”  Once again it is to be regretted that verification of these claims was not sought before publication.

Note to Editors:

  • On 11th September 2014 the Court of Appeal gave its judgement on the appeal by all the defendants against the decision of Harrison J that their trial should be held without a jury. The Court dismissed the appeal.  Under s7 of the Trials Without A Jury Ordinance the determination of the Court of Appeal is final. The Court of Appeal also dismissed an application that the appointment of Harrison J was contrary to s6 of the Constitution. The defendants have the right to appeal this point to the Privy Council.
  • The next court date for Michael Misick and Others is scheduled for Tuesday 21st October  2014.