Case closed cheque cashed

| 05/02/2009

(CNS): The case concerning Justice Alex Henderson’s unlawful arrest and the illegal searches of his home and office has been officially closed and settled. His legal representatives, Campbells Attorneys, have confirmed receipt of a cheque fromthe attorney general’s office for the sum of CI$1.275 million. Appearing on behalf of Henderson before Acting Judge Angus Foster, Ramon Alberga QC said he was grateful to the AG’s office for the settlement of such a “distasteful matter”.

In the absence of Sir Peter Cresswell, Judge Foster delivered the order on his behalf in court on Thursday morning, 5 February, confirming the settlement between the parties and the stay of the Judicial Reviews. “Upon all parties agreeing terms it is ordered that all further proceedings are stayed,” Judge Foster said.

Alberga then thanked the attorney general’s office for what he described as their professional courtesy and expedience in dealing with the distasteful matter — “especially as they had nothing to do with the inept conduct, the illegal acts and the unjust treatment that Justice Henderson was subjected to,” he said.

For the first time since the Judicial Review commenced, SIO Martin Bridger of the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT), which was responsible for the arrest of Henderson, was not in the court room.

With the Henderson case now settled, it is understood that a number of other law suits may well be filed concerning issues surrounding the work of SPIT. CNS understands that Campbells may also be acting for Burman Scott, a former senior police officer who was arrested by members of SPIT last year and kept in jail over night before the case against him was stopped; Chief Inspector John Jones, who has been suspended on full pay since March 2008 but against whom no charges have been laid; and Stuart Kernohan, the former police commissioner who was also suspended from his post in March and never charged but who was sacked by the governor for being absent from the island.

Lyndon Martin, who is represented by Ben Tonner, is scheduled to appear in court next month on two charges relating to falsely accusing a police officer, down from 17 original charges also relating to the ‘Netnewsgate’ affair. However, it is understood that the primary witness in the case, John Evans, who is now residing in the UK, will not be appearing to testify despite being summoned, and that without any evidence or witnesses, the case against Martin is likely to be dropped leaving the way open for him to also pursue a wrongful arrest case.

Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon is also facing charges brought by SPIT relating to misconduct in a public office that are unrelated to ‘Netnewsgate’.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    I am disgusted that this case has been closed with no evidence of any effort on the part of elected officials to even investigate whether Bridger, Polaine, or the FCO should have been obliged to shoulder responsibility for the outrageous errors committed. Refusing to sign the cheques themselves while meekly accepting that the Governor would order the Attorney General to settle on terms which let those responsible off the hook is also disgusting. If the elected government did try to protect Cayman tax payers, then I suggest that they explain just how hard they tried long before election day if they wish to get my vote and the votes of others who are equally disgusted.

  2. | Saharaka | says:

    Mr. Henderson. Show everyone what you are made of and donate the $1.275 million to several good and needed causes. The Pines, Humane Society, Families in need, A Youth Center/After School Activity cause, Older Folks who need Medical Assistance etc, The NCVO, Meals on Wheels. The list goes on and not in any particular order. Do it and I know you will feel better using this public money for the greater good, only if it helps someone/cause for a while. You might just get something started. I can see the headlines now: “Judge Donates Entire Lawsuit Proceeds to Charity”. You would then be known as Alex the Great to many who would benefit from this kind and unselfish gesture.

    Now wouldn’t that be great?

  3. Anonymous says:

    As someone who had vast experience with the arrest and detention of prisoners in the RCIPS, (approx 20 years)  let me explain where SPIT went wrong.

    The arrest of Judge Henderson and Rudolph Dixon for the offence of Abuse of a Public Office ia a common law offence. According to the Criminal Procedure Code of the Cayman Islands, which governs what offences are Arrestable or not, Mode of trial, Summons, Search Warrants etc etc, this offence is a NON- ARRESTABLE OFFENCE.

    What SPIT and Martin Polaine should have done, was research the Criminal Procedure Code and once seeing that the offence is clearly NON- ARRESTABLE, then SPIT should have invited Judge Henderson and Rudolph Dixon tactfully and with diplomacy, to the police station or another location, for interviews as per JUDGES RULES.    

    What is Judges Rules ???? Judges Rules are not laws but recognized guide lines to be followed by police officers during the course of a police investigation. It covers matters such as the warning of persons, prior to a question/answer interview as to their rights in relation to the answering of questions asked of them etc etc. (SIMILAR TO THE ¨MIRANDA RIGHTS¨ IN THE US)

    Plain and simple, Judge Henderson was awarded almost $ 2 million CI dollars because he was unlawfully arrested, detained, searched and humiliated in public.

    The big question now is, what about Rudolph Dixon ???????

    Remember he too was ARRESTED for this same offence as Judge Henderson but additionally CHARGED for it, whereas Judge Henderson was not charged. Additionally, Rudolph Dixon was arrested and charged for another offence which is PERVERTING THE COURSE OF JUSTICE.  It is my understanding, this is also another NON- ARRESTABLE OFFENCE according to the Criminal Procedure Code of the Cayman Islands.

    The big question now is, will there be a ¨CASE TO ANSWER¨ in the GRAND COURT TRIAL of Rudolph Dixon, since SPIT made a MAJOR BLUNDER in arresting him in the first place for offences that are NON-ARRESTABLE. ?????????

    Let´s not forget Ex- Inspector BURMOND SCOTT. He too was arrested for the same NON-ARRESTABLEoffence and was even detained in police custody for 48 hours and humiliated in public. Now if this isn´t a travesty of justice and abuse of authority, then tell me what is ?????

    Frankly speaking, it is my belief that all charges before the GRAND COURT against RUDOLPH DIXON will be withdrawn or there will be ¨NO CASE TO ANSWER¨. As for BURMOND SCOTT, he will be awarded a substantial sum of money, for false imprisonment and detention which will likely be settled out of court.

    AS for LYNDOM MARTIN, we will just have to wait and see if the main prosection witness (John Evans) whom they depend on for a successful prosecution and conviction, will testify or not, or become what is known as a ¨Hostile Witness¨ and testify by video link from the UK.

    STAY TUNED !!!!!!!!

  4. Anonymous says:

     Do we have different laws for different groups?

    I have been following the Operation Tempura investigation and find it rather curious and fascinating at the same time that six months before the arrest of the Eminent Judge Henderson Deputy Commissioner of Police Rudolf Dixon had been arrested. Both were arrested on the same charges – the common law offence of misconduct in a public office.

    At the time of the arrest of Dep Comm Dixon no indication was given that his offence was not arrestable. There was confusion around whether he was made aware of the crime he had committed and he had to be re-arrested after having been initially released. The Attorney General’s office were very involved in the whole debacle of his release re-arrest and charging to appear to answer those charges.

    Then the same investigators taking advice from Solicitors approved by the Attorney General arrested Judge Alexander Henderson on the same charge of unlawful behaviour in a public office. This time the Attorney General’s office supports the assertion and judgement made by Judge Sir Peter Cresswell that the Investigation Team led by Martin Bridger had behaved unlawfully because the offence Judge Henderson was arrested for was indeed not an offence you can get arrested for in the Cayman Island.

    But hold on…..the same legislation was used to arrest and charge Dep Comm Dixon by the same law enforcement officers and overseen by the same Attorney General’s office. Is it possible however to conclude that there is one law for Judges and another for the rest of the population?

     For someone watching from outside of the Cayman Islands it seems this inconsistency derives from situations where powerful people are able to change situations to suit their personal circumstances and end up with massive compensation whereas the rest of ordinary members of the public fall victim of laws which are robustly enforced and most often refuses to take into account injustices they face or suffer.

    For the Judiciary in the Cayman Islands to continue to enjoy the confidence of the communities it serves and receive the unqualified support it is demanding from all including HE Stuart Jack it must first hold itself to account be transparent and be able to face scrutiny when it comes. It is then and only then that all within the Cayman Islands and outside it will have continued confidence in its authority.

    • Anonymous says:

      however to conclude that there is one law for Judges and another for the rest of the populationBut hold on…..the same legislation was used to arrest and charge Dep Comm Dixon by the same law enforcement officers and overseen by the same Attorney General’s office. Is it possible ?”

      This harks back to a Cayman Net News article published on 31st December, 2008 published under the title ‘Bridger Relied on Attorney General’ which stated as follows:
       
      Local attorney-at-law Andre Mon Desir was accordingly appointed as independent legal counsel to the investigating team and acted in this capacity from November 2007 until the summer of 2008, when he returned to his native Trinidad and Tobago.
      The role of the local counsel was to provide independent advice in relation to the investigation as it unfolded and, once a prima facie case was established, then respective file would be submitted to the Attorney General for review and a decision to be made as to prosecution.
      Thus, in the case of former Net News reporter Lyndon Martin and Deputy Commissioner of Police Rudolph Dixon, both of whom were investigated by Mr Bridger and his team and subsequently charged with a number of offences, this is the procedure that was followed”.
       
      If this is correct, then my observations are:
      (1)   the AG has much explaining to do why his view of whether misconduct in a public office constitutes an arrestable offence  changed between the arrest of Deputy Commissioner Dixon and the Judicial Review of the arrest of Justice Henderson.
      (2)   I agree that it does raise a very serious issue whether there is one law for powerful people and another law for ordinary folk, or, depending on how you look at it, expatriates vs. Caymanians.
      (3)   There is no reason why Mr. Dixon cannot apply the ruling by Sir Peter Cresswell in his trial, but there are also two charges of doing an act tending and intended to pervert the course of public justice
      (4)   The result of 3) may well be another suit against the Cayman Islands government and possibly damages.  
  5. Anonymous says:

    Its a Crying Shame the way we Caymanians sit around and gobble all this from the Governor HE Jack and the Cabinet Ministers downward, The whole Government is responsible for what is happening to our Pride here.

    HE Jack saw corruption in the Courts and the Police, and thought  the most appropriate thing to do was to start an investigation into what he called "Corruption", therefore putting the SPIT Team at work.

     In this case, HE Stuart Jack had apparently choosen a SPIT Team/Members (Martin Bridger and Company) who was involved into a Corruption Investigation  previously, that had created a serious problem in his investigation, which now should had given HE Jack the foresight to had Not choosen the SPIT Team.

    The real objects to look at in this case, and like many more is that the AG Mr. Sam Bulgen, will inform the SPIT Team that the Offence the SPIT Team was about to arrest Mr. Henderson for was "An arrestable offence", and then after the "Arrest" had been made then the AG Mr. Bulgen will now switch his mouth around and say that the offence "Is not an Arrestable offence".

      Paving the way for Mr. Henderson Lawsuits here and to come, and for all the rest of the of HE Jack SPIT Team¨s Arrested to sue the Government for Unlawful Arrests and to have the Poor Caymanians who are struggling to make ends meet now,  have to Payoff all these Millions of Dollars account generated by His Execelency the Governor, Mr. Stuart Jack.

    Now take a look at what is happening… HE Jack is digging into his reserve powers to payoff the Problem makers to shorten us of even more while the Government is getting ready for "Independence" and sinking the Cayman Islands deeper into the hole.

      Caymanians…  I urge You to get up and select a "new Government" and Request a "New Governor to run our Beautiful Cayman Islands.

     

  6. Anonymous says:

    It is quite disgusting that a judge who is already probably earning a six figure salary is awarded such a large sum because of who he is.  I doubt anyone else of ‘lower’ standing would receive such a ridiculous amount of money.   Yes, it is bad that he was arrested for an non arrestable whatever, but is this got going to far?  Really what is the point of having a vote?  If this was a government error we could vote them out for a fruitless and seemingly pointless investigation, but our vote means nothing when the big boys in the UK bully us into making the payment!

  7. Bracker says:

    Agree with Twyla Vargas’ comments on Mr. Burmon Scott 100%. Not only does he have the support of family, friends, present and past co-workers in Grand Cayman but, we just want him to know that he can always return home to the Brac any day and not worry about the negative affects of what was done to him because the Brackers’ outlook of him has not changed.

    To Brdiger and rest of you that remains in the RCIPS who played a role in this shameful act against Mr. Scott, to hell with you! And to Mr. Scott, we’re waiting for your band’s next gig in the Brac and the good ole rendition of "Caribbean Man". Keep smiling!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Why is it that no one is even bringing up the fact that Mr. Evans could testify in the trial via video conferencing. Its been done before in many cases. He doesn’r personally need to be in Grand Cayman to be a witness. DUH!!!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just to clarify your report – " However, it is understood that the primary witness in the case, John Evans, who is now residing in the UK, will not be appearing to testify despite being summoned, "

    Evans is currently locked in a dispute with SPIT over expenses and the failure of the Met to properly deal with a number of complaints made about his treatment. The issue of whether or not he will attend the court is, allegedly, not directly connected with these but with the question ofwhether the summons is enforceable in the UK. In question is how he will be treated if he returns to Cayman and if the protection afforded to individuals in the UK by the European Convention on Human Rights will prevent him being forced to attend.

    CNS: Hmmm…..Something tells me "Anonymous" is John Evans himself.

  10. Twyla M Vargas says:

    POOR CAYMANIANS

    The poor Caymanians, now let us see what will happen to them.  I guess they will be the only ones who will get hung.  I however hope justice is split, what is good for the goose is good for the gander,  a finer Officer than Mr, Burmon Scott you cant find.  He was one of the exceptional Police Officers that should still be in the Force.  So when all is said and done where does it left the poor opressed taxpaying people of Cayman.   Read on.

    Broke Governemnt…………  It breaks my heart when I think that we have Caymanians on this Island who is having difficuly paying their light and water bills and even going to the supermarket.   The eldrely cant afford to buy bread and milk, mothers cant afford to buy milk for babies and giving them sugar and water, Children going to school without lunch and decent uniforms, young people cant get a job,  OUR ELDERLY WISHING THAT THEY COULD DIE  and domestic voilence on the rampage.   Hurricane season upon us again , more STRESS and the usual PLYWOOD ration, because so many Caymanians cannot afford to buy hurricane shutters.  Flooding in areas where no one  cares too hoots about.   Dear Father how much more opressed, stress and wastefulness can we take, how much more pay out to persons who are not even from here.   SOME ONE HAS TO BE RESPONSIBLE FOR all of THIS, and mark my word there is more to come, and one day some idiot in Cayman like any other place in the world, is going to say ENOUGH is ENOUGH and goes on a crime spree. 

    I have been listening to some young people talking who are very angry after listening to their parents suffer through all of this.   Listen up,  and listen good, living here and having a big house, big boat and lots of money in the bank may be nice to you now, but when  the day come that you have to live in fear,  you will wish you had taken interest in all I have refered to above.   Remember Cayman is a very small place where everybody makes it their business to know your business.    Stay Blessed

  11. Jedi Dread says:

    Now just imagine if that money had went toward helping small business startups, and revamping the poorly operated CIDB.

    Oh and yes, the Helicopter money could have helped tremendously as well, but that’s in limbo somewhere and will eventualy find it’s way into somebody’s undeserving pocket, hence small business just can’t come in from the cold.

    The banks wont and don’t help ya, and the private investment firms/entities want way too much in return for what they may offer, small business startups have just about no help in the Cayman Islands.

    Crazy and useless isn’t it?

    Do you see the Karma of the present Administration, folks!!??

    Spend Spend Debt Debt Mistake Mistake….. Spend More, More Debt, More Mistakes… and the whole vicious cycle continues.

    Admin went along with SPIT for so long, that no one took them serious when Admin told SPIT to stop.

    Now if only I could get Bridger to check me for a little False Arrest, perhaps I can swing couple million my way….  I wonder what his cut would be?

    – Jedi Dread –