MLA accused of ‘wicked lies’

| 01/09/2009

(CNS):  Prosecuting Attorney Andrew Radcliffe, QC went to great lengths on Monday afternoon to explain the charges against former Member of the Legislative Assembly Lyndon Martin to the jury and exactly what they had to be sure of before finding him guilty. He suggested that the case hung on the existence or non-existence of a red file which Martin had claimed contained incriminating evidence against a senior police officer. Accusing Martin of “wicked lies”, Radcliffe suggested that, had he been believed, Martin could have ruined the career of RCIPS Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis and with it unjustly brought down newspaper publisher Desmond Seales.

The long awaited trial opened in Grand Court five on Monday to a jury of seven women, who heard the prosecution suggest that the former politician had falsely accused a very senior police officer, Anthony Ennis, of leaking highly sensitive information regarding Royal Cayman Islands Police operations and of discrediting the Police Commissioner to the Cayman Net News editor in chief.

Radcliffe told the jury that they had to be satisfied that Martin had made these allegations knowing that they were not true and that he deliberately intended to pervert the course of justice with his “terrible baseless and wicked lies” that could have brought down both Ennis and Seales. He also warned them to put aside any knowledge they may have relating to the case concerning the dramatic unlawful arrest of high court judge Alex Henderson, the charges against Deputy Police Commissioner Rudolph Dixon and the removal of the former commissioner.  All of these connect to Operation Tempura, the costly investigation into corruption in the RCIPS.  

Outlining the accusations that Martin had made against Ennis, Radcliffe said they were all made up and when the police had pressed Martin for evidence he was not able to produce it, not because it was just difficult to get but because it never existed. Yet Martin continued to “up the stakes” with his lies.

Radcliffe said the lies and a red file formed a key part of the prosecution’s case against the defendant and that once the prosecution had demonstrated that this file did not exist, the jury may believe that Martin had maliciously fabricated the allegations against Ennis and Seales.

The red file which Martin had told other senior members of the RCIPS existed and contained emails sent by Ennis to Seales (evidence of the leak) was important, Radcliff told the jury, because Martin had claimed its existence on many occasions to both local police officers and the Special Police Investigation Team from the UK, but it was never forthcoming. “How could he produce it?” Radcliffe asked the jury rhetorically, “The accusations were false.”

The prosecuting attorney suggested that if the file did not exist it could be perceived by the jury as evidence that Martin made the accusations knowing they were not true. Radcliffe only speculated at motive and said the target may not have been Ennis but Seales, Martin’s boss, with Ennis inadvertently drawn into Martin’s lies.

Radcliffe recounted for the jury the alleged chronology of events relating to Martin’s accusations against Ennis and Seales and up to the arrival of SPIT and the instigation of Operation Tempura. The QC cited leaks that Martin claimed Ennis had made, including RCIPS concerns over Justice Sanderson allegedly having so many guns in his room (“The cleaners got scared"), the issue of the auditor general’s report on the Turtle Farm financing being turned over to the police, drug operations, family disputes causing conflicts of interest for senior police officer Adrian Seales, the need to expedite an ivestigation regarding Dr Frank McField, a former UDP Minister, and the removal of firearms for RCIPS officers, all of which, he said, came from an email inadvertently sent from the RCIPS press office and not a leak by Ennis.

He also said that a major part of Martin’s allegations against Ennis related to the former commissioner’s purchase of the helicopter and that Ennis had regularly contacted Seales to undermine its purchase. Radcliffe revealed that Martin alleged Ennis was telling Seales the purchase was merely to enable the commissioner to increase his own flying time and that the helicopter was not needed.  However, in his statement Radcliffe conceded that this evidence against Martin may fall into another category as the jury would hear allegations from witnesses that Seales had encouraged the belief that Ennis was the source for these stories.

Radcliffe will continue with his opening statement on Tuesday when the first witness will be called in a trial that is expected to last two weeks and hear from more than a dozen witnesses, including former police commissioner Stuart Kernohan; Chief Superintendent John Jones, who has just returned to work after being suspended for 18 months in relation to Operation Tempura; John Evans, a former reporter at Net News; Richard Coy a former member of SPIT; as well as Desmond Seales and Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    It will be very interesting to observe how this plays out.