Munroe still awaiting Turks and Caicos' response on Sandals matter
More than a month after Professor Trevor Munroe wrote to the governor of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) regarding the recovery of US$12 million from Sandals Resorts International, the questions raised by the noted academic are still unanswered.
Munroe, who wrote to the TCI governor in his capacity as executive director of National Integrity Action (NIA), told The Gleaner on Monday that the governor's office confirmed receipt of his missive, but nothing else has been received addressing the substantive issues he outlined in the letter dated January 24, 2013.
"Following the acknowledgement of receipt of my letter, we have received no further correspondence from the TCI governor's office," Munroe noted.
The NIA describes itself as a Jamaica-based non-governmental organisation "whose objective is to build integrity and combat corruption". Munroe had wrote to Governor Ric Todd in response to a news release issued by the governor's spokesman dated January 23, 2012, titled 'SIPT recover a further twelve million'.
RESPONSE LIKELY COMING
However, Neil Smith, the TCI governor's spokesman, told our news team yesterday that it is unlikely that the concerns raised by the professor would not be addressed.
"I am sure he will," said Smith when asked if Governor Todd would respond to Professor Munroe's letter. "It is most unlikely that the office won't respond," Smith added.
In the missive to the TCI governor, Munroe noted that "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".
He added: "In the matter between Sandals and the Turks and Caicos Islands government, NIA and every well-thinking citizen must acknowledge that each individual and entity must be considered innocent until proven 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."
In closing, the professor said he was seeking assurance from the governor that the fundamental principles long upheld in the British justice system were in no way being undermined by the agreement reached by the TCI's Special Investigation Prosecution Team (SIPT) and Sandals Resorts International, whereby the former recovered US$12 million from the latter "without any admission of liability by the company, its directors and/or officers".