Turks and Caicos Islands judge delivers mixed verdict in high-profile gov't corruption case
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico (AP) — A nearly decade-long corruption case involving top government officials and attorneys in the Turks and Caicos Islands ended Monday with a mixed verdict for those accused of bribery, money laundering, and other charges.
The case had sparked outrage across the archipelago, which came under direct rule by the British government in 2009 after it found widespread corruption in the Caribbean British territory.
Chief Justice Mabel Agyemang found former Deputy Premier Floyd Hall guilty of bribery and of concealing the proceeds of criminal conduct.
He was found not guilty of three counts of conspiracy to defraud.
His attorney, Earl Witter, did not respond to messages for comment.
Agyemang also found attorney Clayton Greene guilty of concealing the proceeds of criminal conduct.
His lawyer did not respond to a message for comment.
In addition, Agyemang found former government minister Jeffrey Hall and attorney Melbourne Wilson not guilty of conspiracy to defraud.
Hall's attorney, Ian Wilkinson, told The Associated Press that his client is grateful for a “just and true verdict.”
“He had maintained his innocence from the beginning and is happy to have been vindicated,” Wilkinson said, adding that Hall would speak further at a later date.
Wilson's attorney did not respond to a message for comment.
The suspects were arrested after the British government suspended the Turks and Caicos government in August 2009 and imposed direct rule following a commission of inquiry that found systemic corruption in the Caribbean British territory.
Most of the corruption consisted of bribery by overseas developers and others to secure government land on “favourable terms, coupled with government approval for its commercial development,” according to the commission's report.
A 2009 interim report also found “clear signs of political amorality and immaturity and of general administrative incompetence.”
Follow The Gleaner on X, formerly Twitter, and Instagram @JamaicaGleaner and on Facebook @GleanerJamaica. Send us a message on WhatsApp at 1-876-499-0169 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.