Tempura players involved in local compliance reports

| 16/05/2011

(CNS): The former Scotland Yard cop who led the discredited police corruption investigation along with a UK lawyer who was struck off for his role in the unlawful arrest of a Cayman Grand Court judge have both been involved with compliance reviews of the Cayman Islands for the British government since leaving the islands. According to the Department for International Development in the UK, SIO of Operation Tempura, Martin Bridger, and the legal adviser to the investigation, Martin Polaine, have been employed to work on evaluations of Cayman’s compliance with various international regulations regarding corruption.

The two men were reportedly given contracts by the UK government via Amicus Legal Consultants, now known as SBP (Sambei, Bridger and Polaine, a legal and law enforcement consultancy firm) assessing the UK’s Overseas Territories and Crown Dependencies' compliance with anti-corruption conventions in early 2008 and again in mid-2009.

In response to an enquiry made by John Evans, who was a witness in one of the Operation Tempura’s failed court cases, DfID said that Bridger and Polaine were involved in assessments and updates on progress of the OT and Crown Dependencies’ compliance with the Council of Europe Conventions on Corruption, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development's Convention on Combating Bribery of Foreign Public Officials in International Business Transactions and the United Nations Convention against Corruption.

Bridger was asked to leave the Cayman Islands at the start of 2009 as the then PPM government said at the time that the investigation he had led was “a disgraceful and terribly damaging episode in Cayman’s history,” and he eventually left in the spring of 2008. Later that year Polaine lost his licence to practice as a lawyer following the advice he gave to the Operation Tempura investigators. Polaine was struck off not least because of what turned out to be the unlawful arrest of the Justice Alex Henderson, a local Grand Court judge, who was awarded $1.25 million in damages as a result.

Despite three court room cases, the removal of the former police commissioner and deputy commissioner from their jobs, whose cases have still not been settled and some $7 milllion spent from the public purse, the investigation did not reveal any evidence of corruption in the local police or judicial system.

In the wake of a decision by Sir Peter Creswell, who declared Henderson’s arrest unlawful, in which he said Bridger and the Tempura investigation team had themselves abused the process in 2008, the opinions of Bridger and Polaine in regards to the Cayman Islands and issues of corruption were still sought and paid for by the UK government. The men also list the work they did with the UK government on their website, in which they offer their services as international law enforcement consultants.

Last year Bridger and Polaine had filed a complaint with the Foreign and Commonwealth office in London regarding the closing of the Tempura investigation, which was dealt with by the current governor, Duncan Taylor, who rejected the complaint. However, the reasons for the rejection have not been made public, despite FOI requests made both here and in the UK.

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Comments (20)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Every legal advice and action involves an aspect of compliance.  The UK disbarred the barrister for non-compliance and the Cayman Islands is down millions for Bridger's non-compliance.  Now they are released to give further advice on Cayman Islands compliance and paid big bucks as well.

    What next, are they going to give Levers a contract to review the Judiciary?

  2. Anonymous says:

    I wonder if their consulting firm is hiring…based their lifestyles while down here is looks like a pretty sweet gig….just put random folks names on a list when someone asks you for results…then hit the beach.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Well if the old-guard do not understand by now that the UK is selling us out down the tube and fast too, then what will wake them up?

    This is the UK's latest attempt to muzzle us, if the Tempura investigation was not enough. When is the public education for the benefit of the old-guard going to start as to the ways of the UK because they clearly do not know and refuse to accept our mother's ways.

    Our politicians have failed us to not educate us over the years of the ways of the colonial administering power, and that includes Tru Tru especially. His attitude and view even up until the last elections and constitutional reform was pathetic and sadly ignoring of reality. I hope this wakes him up from his slumber.

  4. Anonymous says:

    As I have said in the past it appears that they are giving us room to hang ourselves and the UDP seem to be taking full advantage of the liberty.  Now the UK will have the support of consultants who have, as indicated in below post, an axe to grind and have illustrated a willingness to defame these islands.  While I won't go as far to say it is an orchestration to support intervention, it may provide justification for disassociation from an embarrassing overseas territory.  Ultimately such action would resultin the end of a financial industry competitor. 

    • Morse says:

      I am inclined to agree with anon 00.18. For the past few years I have been studying what has taken place in the Turks and Caicos Islands. As we all know there was a huge amount of corruption and a team of lawyers and police from the UK have been seconded to the islands for not less than two years. Arising out of this the task force has started reclaiming land given away by the government when Premier Michael Misick was running the country into bankruptcy. There will be substantial further recoveries and multiple arrests.

      In looking at Cayman whilst there has not been the flagrant corruption that took place in the Turks and Caicos XXXXXX. Moreover there has been a lack of accountability coupled with a lack of transparency. I will not name all those Government contracts and projects that favour the few as we mostly know about them.

      I would not be at all surprised if we did not get hit by a similar investigation team. At least it would clear the air for us all.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Has any one heard whether poor Mr Burmon has received a settlement as yet for his humiliation? It is a shame that that poor boy was treated so badly.

  6. Anonymous says:

    You have to love the symmetry. The Governor on behalf of the FCO recently refused to release Bridger's official complaint in relation to Tempura, apparently because it is was baseless and defamatory. Perhaps those were the key qualifications looked for in this review which the FCO is paying for?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Maybe the night parties and swimming pool parties should form part of their consultancy.  What a joke!  Are they real?  Cayman Islands is at the bottom of the pool.

  8. Dennie Warren Jr. says:

    Imagine their are people who want me to believe that the UK is looking out for our best interest? smh

    • Backstroke!! says:

      Dennie, no one in their good mind beleive that the U K has the Cayman Islands in their best interest and it will never be any other way. Caymanians need to wake up and fast, this is a slap in the face to all of us and to put those two goons in charge of the Cayman affairs.



    • Anonymous says:

      I like the photo of him coming out of the ocean with his rubber floaty best.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Clearly, these two men have an axe to grind with the Cayman Islands. Why would the UK Govt. employ them in this capacity if it did not have as its agenda the closing down of the Cayman Islands? 

    • Yawn says:

      Because they specialize in corruption. Have I missed anything?

      • Anonymous says:

        The only corruption here is with investigators who should have recused themselves from this contract because of a conflict of interests.

        How can two people who authored a 'defamatory' (the Governer's term, not mine) complaint about the Cayman Islands judiciary and apparenty several local politicians be objective?

        • Anonymous says:

          Thanks to that response to Rip Van Winkle. I can see why he is yawning.

      • Anonymous says:

        If Operations Tempura and Cealt are anything to go by their expertise in that area is highly dubious.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's just the old boy network at work, though they may have an axe to grind at this point.

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes, and just look at what the axe grinding has caused a good and popular like Burmon, two days or so in jail, and without compensation. Oh I forgot he is a Caymanian . I have never heard of a settlement being given to him. I checked with a Bracer friend and learnt that he is off Island on vacation and promoting Cayman with his music while on holiday but I will certainly check with him on his return to confirm whether or not he has been given a settlement. Can you tell us. If not what a shame for a good retired caymanian cop.

      • Anonymous says:

        Good for him! He's using his time in such positive and creative ways, we should not begrudge him his income. I'll bet he's already come to a settlement or is lawyered up for one. 

        • Anonymous says:

          No one said that Burmon is off playing for money. I understand that as expected and most natural he met with musicians and is out playing with them for fun, but at the same time is promoting the Cayman Islands. Even if he off earning monies he is well deserving of it being one of Caymans best musicians. Unless its very recent I do not believe that he was granted a settlement, and after all this time most likely he wont poor guy.