Operation Tempura rolls on

| 19/12/2008

(CNS): A new advisory team called the Special Investigation Advisory Group (SIAG) has been established by Acting Police Commissioner James Smith to oversee Operation Tempura which includes SIO Martin Bridger, despite calls from elected officials indicated that he and the investigating team should go home. Smith indicated that the investigation would continue and that CS John Jones had been interviewed and plans were in place to interview Stuart Kernohan.

The new committee or group, according to Smith, consists of the Deputy Chief Secretary and Chief Officer for the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs Donovan Ebanks, Solicitor General Cheryl Richards, Chief Immigration Officer Franz Manderson, Strategic Advisor to the Chief Secretary Peter Gough, SIO Martin Bridger and a representative from Government Information Services (GIS) to advise on media and community relations. 

Smith, who took up the senior post at the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) at the beginning of the month, said he wanted to redress as far as it ispossible the flow of information to the public but still said that in protracted sensitive enquiries delays in providing information are sometimes inevitable for what he said were valid reasons to protect the innocent or because there was nothing to say.

“Let there be no dubiety, in my role as Acting Commissioner of Police that my primary focus is to ensure that the RCIPS is given strong leadership and clear direction with a focus on service delivery and continuous improvement,” Smith added.

He said however that part of his job was responsibility for the team conducting the enquiry known as Operation Tempura which he said would still involve Acting Commissioner John Yates of the Metropolitan Police Service. He also said he would be updating the Governor Stuart Jack regularly. However, he obviously did not feel the same regarding the elected officials who had on Friday afternoon still not seen his statement regarding the formation of the SIAG.

In the statement Smith made no mention of the elected government representatives request for Bridger to leave and for Operation Tempura to be wound up.

He said that since arriving he had spent time with Bridger discussing the investigaiton. At his opening press briefing Smith said he was very familiar with Bridger having worked with him and Yates when he was with the Metropolitan Police.

“I have reviewed both the progress of the investigation and the way they conduct their business.  I am satisfied that enquiries are being made with due diligence and speed and that the quality of the investigative work is to a very high standard,” he said. However Smith did not say how he reconciled that with the Chief Justice’s ruling in February this year and more recently the damning ruling of Sir Peter Cresswell which directly criticized the work of Bridger and his team calling it the “gravest abuse of process.”.

Although Smith said that he was working with the Solicitor General’s office and he hoped that this would assist in a speedy resolution he said investigations regarding the 3 September entry into Cayman Net News’ offices were still continuing. “I cannot set an exact timeframe because of matters out of our control; however I hope significant progress will be reported early in the new year. I can confirm that recently Chief Superintendent John Jones was interviewed in the Cayman Islands in the presence of his attorneys by members of the Tempura team,” Smith explained. “In respect of Stuart Kernohan, arrangements are being made with his legal representatives and officers from the Tempura team for him to be similarly interviewed.” 

Smith then said a formal assessment of the other allegations of criminality within the RCIPS is due by the end of January and decisions on any further investigations and areas for improvement will then be made in light of the facts contained in the report. He did not explain however if this meant therefore that he saw the actions of Jones and Kernohan as criminal.

He said that the service was in the spotlight for the wrong reasons, but as serious allegations have been made he was determined to prove or disprove them.”The people of Cayman need to have confidence in the integrity of its Police Service,” Smith added. “I am still relatively new to the post but with the strong support of my senior staff, I believe we can make a difference to the way we do business and play our part in securing the safety of the Cayman Islands.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Now that Sir Peter Cresswell has, with the concurrence of the Solicitor General Ms. Cheryll Richards found the arrest to be unlawful, and further that it reflected  "gross incompetence" and now that Ms. Richards is a member of the SPIT Advisory Committee we must assume that she has given similar advice to the Governor, will the Governor now resile from his claim that Mr. Bridger’s work was "exemplary", or will the civil servants he appointed to his advisory committee be used as cover for continued bad decisions by the Governor?   

  2. Anonymous says:

    We must realise that this investigation is being carried out and supervised by head of department.
    Now where and how do one incriminate himself in places where one is able to avoid?
    Someone mentioned before that the investigations were not valid anymore because the main parts (liker the Judicial System) had been stopped, a place much need of investigation to be carried out on.
    Having said that to say this, “This might just be another Farce and investigation that might run another four million dollars and Perhaps another Lawsuit like the Henderson one and just cause more problems.
    I would like to add to the fact that because “only” the Police will be investigated, and the Judicial is stopped, then Lets get the SPIT and the SIAG teams concluded and wrapped up and sent home unless the Judicial System be investigated and the SIAG is NOT supervised by the Acting Commissioner of Police who seems to have great favor in heading the Investigations.

  3. stunned says:

    This is a travesty. 

    Just when reasonable people had reason to hope that the self-destructive behaviour of the Cayman leadership was starting to be over (except for paying the awards of damages), it it announced that "the fun’s just starting!!!", and the abomination continues. 

    OK, keep it up.  But to save electricity, maybe they should put up a sign at the airport that reads "Would the last hedge fund, professional, expat or international business to leave the Island please turn off the cash machine".  Either that or move it to Dubai.








  4. Anonymous says:

    Hypothetically speaking, what exactly would a very special constable with many years of policing experience in the UK have to do in order to have his commanding officer commend him for having performed at “a very high standard” in relation to both conduct judged to have involved the gravest abuse of process, and also carrying out the unlawful arrest of a judge. Undoubtedly such an achievement, if it were ever to occur, would be exceedingly rare if not unique in the annals of policing.

    Clearly the commanding officer in such circumstances would wish to ensure that as many of his officers as possible adopted the same very high standard exhibited by such a very special constable. He would undoubtedly wish to make clear that in meeting such “a very high standard”, points were given for both technique and style. Technique points were given based on the amount of money squandered in the process, bringing critical institutions into disrepute, and achieving some degree of destabilisation in the country as a whole. Style points of course are only given to those who show a complete distain for everyone and everything in the local community.

  5. Anonymous says:


    Can there be more than one conclusion? Sir Peter Cresswell, one of the most experienced judges in the UK, has identified the work of SPIT in relation to Justice Henderson as involving the “gravest abuse of process”. Our new Acting Police Commissioner having reviewed the same work finds it to be of “a very high standard”.  The logical inference would appear to be what many have long suspected, the purpose of SPIT is to abuse the Cayman Islands, its institutions and its people. 

    Does anybody wonder why everyone on the SPIT "advisory committee" is a civil servant directly answerable to the Governor, and no Caymanian who is not directly under the control of the Governor has been appointed? The people chosen are without doubt highly respected and deservedly so. Without that attribute they would have been useless to the Governor.

    Two questions need to be asked of the civil servants who the Governor has conscripted as members of the new “advisory committee”/collection of local fall-guys providing cover for the ongoing waste of millions of dollars.

    First, what fair tribunal anywhere in the known universe could ever again even possibly accept as credible anything submitted by SPIT? Second, and on the assumption that the answer to the first question is clearly none, could there possibly be any justification for the Governor to be continuing to be spend millions more on Mr. Bridger and his buddies while very much needed schools are being shelved and our hospitals are going without equipment and patients without needed care?  When one of your loved ones is denied tests or treatments, think of the Governor. 

    Wouldn’t it be nice if under the Freedom of Information Act which will come into effect very shortly, whatever advice the “advisory committee” provides to the new Acting Commissioner and the Governor became known to the people of Cayman. Any bets on whether the Governor would ever allow such transparency in governance?

    Merry Christmas to all.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Typical white Met arrogance.

    To quote your story, "However, he obviously did not feel the same regarding the elected officials who had on Friday afternoon still not seen his statement regarding the formation of the SIAG."

    This is exactly the problem that has dogged the whole investigation with certain individuals treating members of the government and serving RCIPS officers like, in the words of one person involved, "ignorant wogs." 

    There’s a prevailing attitude amongst the people conducting Operation Tempura that they are dealing with influential and well-educated Caymanians who they regard as little more, "jungle bunnies." 

  7. Anonymous says:

    I have to smile to myself as a former law enforcement officer at all that is being fed to the public on the "concluded and upcoming  interview(s)" of Jones and Kernohan. It is being suggested to the publc by Martin Bridger, James Smith and Stuart Jack, that "so much have been and will be gained" from these interviews.

    Ladies and gentlmen, the "Laws of Evidence" will have to applied before/after these interviews are to be conducted and concluded. 

    Before any questions or suggestions are put to these two individuals, they will have to be reminded and told the following, "YOU ARE NOT OBLIGED TO SAY ANYTHING UNLESS YOU WISH TO DO SO BUT WHAT YOU SAY MAY BE PUT INTO WRITING AND GIVEN IN EVIDENCE" 

    So tell me, do you really believe that John Jones and Stuart Kernohan will not exercise their constitutional rights, and say anything to incriminate themselves to Martin Bridger and his croonies ???????

    Trust me, they would have to be absolutely "DAFT/STUPID" to say anything whatsoever while under caution, as is mentioned above.

    Yet the public is being led to believe that "Both will have to spill the beans" on being interviewed. ABSOLUTELY RUBBISH !!!!!!

    The only thing that will be obtained from interviewing Stuart Kernohan in Scotland, is that Martin Bridger and his croonies will get a free vacation to visit family and friends back in the UK at the Cayman Islands Tax Payers Expense. Nothing more, nothing less !!!!