A property magnate embroiled in a corruption inquiry that has plunged a Caribbean offshore tax haven into a constitutional crisis is leading a legal challenge to curb publication of a report on the affair.

Mario Hoffman, developer of the tiny paradise island of Salt Cay, is due to go to the Turks & Caicos Islands’ supreme court today to try to excise what he says are unfair criticisms, which he expects to be made of him by a British government-sponsored official inquiry.

The case – which has led some islanders to denounce London for neo-colonialism and hypocrisy over political corruption, given its own MPs’ behaviour – has highlighted concerns about governance in Britain’s offshore financial centres.

Hoffman is among developers going to court in an effort to quash material about them, which they fear will appear in a report sent to the Turks and Caicos governor this week by Sir Robin Auld, a senior English judge who headed the commission of inquiry.

Financial Times