Two pages from a document headed “Witness Statement of Shaun David Malcolm”
By Caribbean News Now contributor
PROVIDENCIALES, Turks and Caicos Islands — In an incident reminiscent of the infamous Watergate break-in of the 1970s in Washington, a number of documents claimed to be from the files of the special investigation and prosecution team (SIPT) have apparently been leaked in mysterious circumstances and copies are now being widely circulated among members of the Turks and Caicos Islands public at large.
Those in possession of the documents have claimed they were leaked from the SIPT but the images seen appear to be more than hurriedly copied pages. It is thought, therefore, that if they were sourced from the SIPT they had to have been physically removed. It has been suggested that the claim that they were leaked or removed from SIPT offices may be a ruse to cover the true source(s).
One of the documents appears to be a witness statement by former Progressive National Party (PNP) backbench member of parliament, Karen DeLancy, which reportedly includes evidence, likely furnished under oath, by the former MP regarding questionable activities of ministers and possibly others related to the administration of her own party.
DeLancy’s name has been circulating as a potential repeat candidate for the PNP in the upcoming election. The appearance of this document might, sources say, affect her chances of being named a PNP candidate.
The other document is a 16-page document described as “Witness Statement of Shaun David Malcolm”, whose signature is said in the document itself to have been witnessed by Alan Hedley.
Years ago, Malcolm was associated with the PNP and had hoped for a candidacy for that party. Refused, he later left the PNP after Michael Misick took control of the party. Malcolm then began to support the Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM) and eventually became chairman.
The Malcolm document is dated October 2010, during former Governor Gordon Wetherell’s term of office, when Malcolm was often seen with Wetherell. The copies now circulating have had portions redacted by means of blacked out sentences and words. In that the documents are said to have come from the secure files of the SIPT, questions have been raised as to the purpose of blacking out these presumably sensitive portions.
On one page, a third party witness’s name has been blacked out, preventing verification of the information sworn to by Malcolm. It is thought locally that the original document, presumably in the possession of the SIPT, would not be redacted in any way.
One portion of the Malcolm document claims that the former PDM government, then headed by Derek Taylor, in preparing for the 2003 election accepted a donation from a named major developer of $400,000. The PDM won that election by a narrow margin but subsequently lost control of the government when a by-election switched two seats over to the Misick-led PNP.
In a section of the document headed “Jak Civre and the Seven Stars Resort,” Malcolm said, “On an occasion leading up to the election of January 2007, I was riding in a car with Arthur Robinson and Floyd Seymour [then PDM leader] when we passed the Seven Stars Resort on Providenciales. I was aware that prior to the election of 2003 Jak Civre, the owner of Seven Stars, had made a huge donation of somewhere in the region of $400,000 to the PDM, so I thought to ask how much he had donated to the PDM for the 2007 election. Arthur Robinson said it was $20,000. However, I later discovered through a person who spoke to me in confidence that the actual amount was $100,000.”
Another portion of Malcolm’s statement is said to be given over to what is referred to locally as “sour grapes”. Malcolm claims in the document that he was slated to be the appointed member for the 2007 PDM opposition but a late party caucus appointed then Chamber of Commerce president and later elected leader of the PDM, Douglas Parnell. Cheryl Astwood Tull was also reportedly slated for that position after she retreated as an election candidate, having spent a large amount of her personal funds campaigning.
“Cheryl Astwood Tull was very upset that the second part of her Election Agreement had not been fulfilled and thereby had not become the Nominated Member of the Turks and Caicos Legislature on behalf of the PDM. In retribution she attempted to sue the PDM for not honouring the agreement. She contacted Conrad Griffiths of the law firm Misick and Stanbrook and tried to force those that had entered into the agreement with her to complete the transaction. However, after researching the situation Mr Griffiths advised her that the agreement was not enforceable,” Malcolm said in his statement.
In 2008, Malcolm was known to be the co-founder and a leading contributor of the TCI Journal weblog, which targeted the allegedly corrupt activities of the PNP and Michael Misick in particular.
In the lead up to the Commission of Inquiry, the TCI Journal also began to run articles claiming there were unethical dealings within the PDM. These articles did not disclose the author.
published on 12th March 2012 in Caribbean News Now