In the last post, I addressed the latest events in the case of Michael Misick, former Premier of Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI). Today's post is a continuation of that discussion and an update of a related post from earlier this year.
INTERPOL’s constitution forbids its involvement in politically motivated cases
Regardless of that fact that Mr. Misick’s political asylum claim was denied in Brazil, it would be surprising if he did not also challenge his Red Notice directly to INTERPOL on political grounds as well.
Article 3 of INTERPOL’s constitution establishes that
It is strictly forbidden for the Organization to undertake any intervention or activities of a political, military, religious or racial character.
Given that the allegations against Mr. Misick stem from his tenure in office, one might assume that the question of INTERPOL’s involvement should end there: activities conducted in a political office are necessarily political.
However, the analysis of whether a Red Notice is politically motivated requires a more thorough review of the underlying charges and Red Notice application. The question of political motivation requires a study of all the circumstances involving the allegations, as well as a review of the political landscape and history of the requesting country. Additionally, the relationship between the Red Notice subject and the requesting country must be considered along with their respective activities.
If the predominant reason for the Red Notice is the accomplishment of the issuing country’s political goals, then the Red Notice very well may be politically motivated to an unacceptable level. However, if the true overriding basis for the Red Notice is the underlying criminal charge, then a challenge based on the political motivation of the Red Notice likely will not succeed.
TCI responded to allegations of political motivation behind charges
Earlier in 2012, the TCI government addressed concerns about the reason behind the issuance of the Red Notice. Mr. Misick’s supporters had speculated that the notice against him was politically motivated based upon a public argument in March of this year between Mr. Misick and Governor Ric Todd. The argument was precipitated by Mr. Misick's criticism of Mr. Todd.
Governor's Office spokesman Neil Smith, in response to those allegations, reportedly stated that the country had applied for the Notice back in February. Therefore, goes the logic, the Notice could not have been based upon a spat that occurred in March.
While the timing and manner of the Red Notice issuance is yet unclear, one thing is certain: any Red Notice challenge by Mr. Misick's attorneys will certainly include evidence of his criticism of, and later argument with, Governor Todd. The success of such a challenge will depend on the strength and validity of the documentation of the underlying criminal charges.
** Note to readers: Red Notice Law Journal placed a request for verification of the grounds for the Red Notice in Mr. Misick's name with INTERPOL’s press office. As of today’s date, no response has been forthcoming.