|Turks and Caicos Net News, Grand Cayman,
Cayman IslandsMcClatchy-Tribune Regional News
Oct. 20, 2009--After the Dellis Cay development was placed into receivership last Thursday, developer Cem Kinay has blamed the Commission of Inquiry into alleged government corruption for the resort's problems.
Controversy arose when a "confidential" donation of $500,000 by Kinay to former Premier Michael Misick shortly before the 2007 election was uncovered during the public hearings held by the Commission of Inquiry.
Kinay claimed that the payment in question was a political donation and moved to the TCI Supreme Court to have references to himself and the Dellis Cay development redacted from the Final Report of the Commission of Inquiry. However, due to an apparent oversight, it was found that the report in its redacted format could be restored to its original unredacted form by computer users with the knowledge to do so.
An injunction issued by the court preventing publication of the unredacted report was subsequently lifted on the grounds that an unofficial version of the full report was in the public domain and continuing the ban on publication served no useful purpose.
Kinay subsequently filed a civil complaint in the US against the TCI Journal weblog, alleging that unidentified contributors "intentionally and maliciously published defamatory statements" about the developer and his companies.
He also obtained a court order requiring Google to turn over information that might identify the anonymous authors of the allegations.
Kinay's company, Turks Ltd, stopped construction on Dellis Cay some two weeks ago, having reportedly missed an interest payment on its debt due on August 22. Efforts to renegotiate financing with the lender, Trinidad and Tobago Unit Trust Corporation, failed and the lender took over the property last week, appointing William Tacon, an accountant in the British Virgin Islands, as receiver.
The resort on the 560-acre island was to include a 25-room hotel, 78 condominiums and 17 villas, all managed by the Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group. Construction started in 2008 with an estimated completion date in late 2010. Among those who reportedly bought villas at the resort were movie celebrities Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta-Jones.
According to a press statement, Kinay has not given up. "This is certainly not the end. I have invested all I have into Turks and Caicos Islands, and I don't have the intention to lose it all," he said.
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