Archive for September 1st, 2011

Dual citizens catch a break on US tax disclosure

| 01/09/2011 | 27 Comments

(CNS): Caymanians who are US citizens or green-card holders have been given a bit more time to come clean about their assets to the US tax man as a result of the disruption caused by Hurricane Irene this weekend. Taxpayers who need to apply to the offshore voluntary disclosure initiative (OVDI) of the US Internal Revenue Service (IRS) now have until 9 September to submit their request to participate in the programme to address their past failures to report taxable income to the authorities. There are three processes that people should take in advance of 9 September if they elect to apply for this programme, which includes the pre-clearance process, an OVD letter and requests for extensions.

By obtaining this pre-clearance from the IRS’s Criminal Investigation division, officials from the financial services secretariat said taxpayers would be able to find out if they are already under investigation and therefore ineligible to participate in the OVDI.

“To request pre-clearance, use the procedure outlined in FAQ 23 of the OVDI FAQs at www.IRS.gov. Fax your pre-clearance request at least 24 hours in advance of 9 September in order to leave time to receive a fax reply indicating if you are preliminarily eligible to participate. Due to the anticipated last-minute rush, it’s best to submit this document as soon as possible before the deadline,” officials advised in a release this week, adding that any information submitted by someone already under investigation could be incriminating.

“Therefore, a person who learns from the pre-clearance process that he or she is already under investigation is advised to seek the advice of a qualified US tax lawyer before submitting additional information to the IRS,” the secretariat said.

Once pre-cleared, tax payers need to submit the Offshore Voluntary Disclosures Letter (OVD Letter) using the format available in FAQ 24 with the taxpayer’s name, address, date of birth and social security number, and as much additional information as possible. And send it to Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Coordinator, 600 Arch Street, Room 6404, Philadelphia, PA 19106.

After that people can request a 90-day extension of time to submit the remaining OVDI materials and payments as outlined in FAQ 25.1 and requests for an extension need to be sent to Internal Revenue Service, 3651 S. I H 35 Stop 4301 AUSC, Austin, TX 78741. ATTN: 2011 Offshore Voluntary Disclosure Initiative.

“There is no guarantee that a request for an extension will be granted. Nevertheless, it is anticipated that the IRS will not want to turn away taxpayers whose submissions indicate a sincere desire to make a full and complete disclosure and pay all amounts that are due,” the secretariat stated, adding that the information was being provided as a public service and does not purport to serve as tax advice.

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Baines calls for appeal

| 01/09/2011 | 77 Comments

(CNS): The police commissioner made it clear in the wake of the acquittal of Devon Anglin on Wednesday that he believed a guilty man had walked free, despite the findings of Justice Howard Cooke. Anglin was found not guilty of the murder of 4-year-old Jeremiah Barnes after a judge alone trial. The child was killed by a masked gunman at a West Bay gas station while sitting in the family car last year and both his parents had identified Anglin as the killer. However, in his ruling Justice Cooke rejected their visual evidence. Immediately after the verdict Baines said that he had asked the director of public prosecutions to look at the case and launch an urgent appeal, citing the need for the criminal justice system to support the work of the police.

“I think it is a sad day for the family and I think it is a desperate day for justice on this island,” Baines said as he came out of the court house on Wednesday afternoon. He said he was concerned about the judge’s comments and said that there needed to be an appeal to offer some justice for the people of Cayman. 

“If we don’t do that then we leave the guilty without having to account for their actions. It's right that the people on these islands see justice once in a while and if we can’t do it for an innocent four-year-old, who we can do it for?” he asked rhetorically, making it clear that he believed the judge had made the wrong decision.

“I believe we had a strong case … this was police work at its best,” Baines added, as he emphasised that given the high profile nature of the case, everyone had done everything possible to secure a conviction, which was borne out by the judge's public commendations of the investigation from the bench.

Baines noted the need for everyone to work towards securing justice, including the courts, but said the judge alone trial seemed to have become a choice for the wrong reasons. “Bad news travels quickly among the criminal fraternity,” the country’s top police officer said, referring to the recent spate of acquittals in murder and attempted murder cases involving firearms following judge alone trials.

Although the police and the attorney general had previously looked at the possibility of legislating to mandate judge alone trials in the case of firearms related offences, the issue was not pursued as a result of considerable opposition.

Baines said that the judge alone trial had been one possible solution to the problems of potential jury tampering and the difficulties in finding twelve people not connected in some way to the defendants, victims or witnesses. The recent string of acquittals and what may be a growing preference reveals that the mandatory removal of juries would not have produced the outcome sought by law enforcement officials after all.

In the last three months there has been a surge in defendants facing firearms charges actually electing to face trial by judge alone rather than a jury, suggesting that those charged with crimes have no more faith in the local jury system than the law enforcement officials who had suggested removing them.

There are concerns from some quarters, however, that defendants are ‘forum shopping’ or weighing their chances against a judge alone versus a jury as a result of how the evidence against them stacks up, as opposed to a genuine belief that they cannot get a fair trial in front of their peers.

According to the law, defendants should only be making an application for a judge alone trial when they can demonstrate a real reason why they do not believe they could achieve a fair trial by jury.

In the crown’s case against Anglin the defendant’s mother, Katina Anglin, said her son had not “elected or chosen a judge alone trial” but, as a result of the nature of the case, the extensive media coverage and bias in the community, her son could never have hoped to have a fair hearing in front of a local jury. With no possibility of being tried outside the jurisdiction, Anglin had no choice at all, she stated, and was forced to rely on a judge to hear the case.

There have, however, been a number of judge alone trials in the last few months which were not such high profile cases, including some that did not even make the headlines until the trial started. Although not uncommon in Cayman, the recent increase in defendants choosing judges began following the conviction for murder of three men in a joint enterprise for the shooting of Omar Samuels in Mcfield Lane, George Town, in 2009, by a jury.

Since then, Simon Jose Newball was acquitted by Justice Charles Quin in August following a trial in which Newball was accused of trying to shoot his brother in a case that had little to no media coverage. In July, after a judge alone trial Justice Harrison also acquitted three men accused of gunning down Alrick Peddie in what was believed to be a gang related shooting in West Bay. In June, sitting alone, Justice Quin also found teen defendant Jordan Manderson not guilty of killing numbers man Marcus Duran in March 2010 in what the crown had said was a robbery gone wrong.

Some experts say the failure of the prosecution to secure a conviction in front of judges is down to the poor quality of the evidence, however. Some critics suggest that the authorities are bringing cases in front of the courts that are simply not solid enough or where they literally have the wrong man. When cases are assessed by judges, decisions are based on evidence and law, and as a result, the weakness in the prosecution’s cases is becoming more apparent.

Local attorney Peter Polack, who has been persistently critical of the standards of Cayman’s legal department, said that the recent string of failed convictions is further indictment on the department and its leadership. “There has been a fundamental break down of prosecutions in the Cayman Islands and a misunderstanding of the standard of proof required, which any law student would understand,” he said, as he pointed to the significant cost to the public purse recently with so many failed prosecutions.

Baines admitted that the Jeremiah murder enquiry was a costly investigation but he said he believed a strong case was presented against Anglin. Peter Kennett, the senior investigator, also said there was considerable evidence and expressed his disappointment that the judge had not examined the supporting evidence in the case. This included enhanced CCTV images, gunshot residue, matching clothes, witnesses putting Anglin in the getaway vehicle and the animosity between Andy Barnes, the intended victim, and Anglin.

However, the judge had cited the animosity as reason not to believe Barnes, the crown’s key witness. Justice Cooke said he thought Barnes had assumed the gunman was Anglin but had not seen him. The judge dismissed both his and his wife, Dorlisa Ebanks’ visual evidence as “worthless”, and as a result did not go on to consider the rest of the evidence as both lawyers had agreed during the course of the trial that it was not enough to support a conviction alone.

Katina Anglin said Thursday that Baines’ comments regarding an appeal were inflammatory as the judge had made his decision based purely on the evidence. “What Mr Baines did with his remarks regarding the judge and judgement was to throw a hatchet into the judicial machinery of this country,” Anglin said. “He would have done much better to follow myself and Mrs Ebanks' (Jeremiah’s grandmother, Dora) calls for peace and left the legal matters to the director of public prosecutions,” she added.

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TT marks Independence under a state of emergency

| 01/09/2011 | 3 Comments

(Jamaica Gleaner): Trinidad and Tobago is celebrating its 49th year of political independence from Britain under a state of emergency, an eight-hour curfew and President George Maxwell Richards saying now is the opportune time for citizens to reflect on the supreme law of the land. The Kamla Persad Bissessar lead coalition People's Partnership government put the oil-rich twin island republic under a state of emergency and a curfew since August 21 as it sought to deal with the rising crime situation in the country. So far nearly 900 people, including more than 33 gang leaders and members, have been detained under the measures and the government has already signalled that it will seek an extension of the state of emergency. 

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Local artist’s film pushes to keep grouper ban

| 01/09/2011 | 23 Comments

(CNS): Local marine artist and conservationist Guy Harvey has teamed up with award-winning filmmaker George Schellenger to convince the environment minister to keep the current grouper fishing ban at the spawning hole, via celluloid.  “The Mystery of the Grouper Moon” — shot entirely in the Cayman Islands and supported by REEF (Reef Environmental Education Foundation) and the Cayman Islands Department of Environment the 45-minute documentary which covers what scientists call one of earth’s “great migrations” is scheduled to premiere on September 13 at the Harquail theatre.

The film is part of an al out campaign to keep the crucial fishing ban at the spawning aggregate in order to give the Nassau Grouper a chance at survival. The spawning ground on the West End of Little Cayman is one of the last-known intact spawning areas for the Nassau Grouper in the world. An eight-year ban on fishing at the aggregation introduced in 2003 by the Cayman Islands Marine Conservation Board is due to expire in December of this year.

“The Nassau groupers in the Cayman Islands used to congregate over the full moon in January and February at eight specific sites,” said Harvey. “Local fishermen have known about these sites for years, but recently, overfishing at these sites has led to the rapid decline in this species. Today, one active site remains in the west end of Little Cayman.”

Harvey said that thanks to the ban at this site and other locations, colonies are beginning to grow again, thus helping the Nassau Grouper populations to recover.

“Part of our awareness effort is to enlist the support of residents, especially school age children, to send e-mails to Mark Scotland… (environment minister) to express their wishes to see the extension on the protection of the grouper holes,” added Harvey.

Two showings of the documentary are planned, with the first starting at 6 p.m. The general public is invited and Harvey will be distributing “Save Nassau Grouper” posters to those attending the screening as well as to students on subsequent school visits in October.

To see film trailer go to www.guyharvey.com

For more information on the Nassau Grouper visit www.reef.org

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Cayman judge says injunction legislation outdated

| 01/09/2011 | 4 Comments

(CNS): Following the recently lauded decision by a local judge regarding free-standing injunctive relief in the Cayman Islands, another judge from the financial court has said the decision was wrong but that the law needs to be changed. In the recent Gillies Smith v Smith case in the Grand Court Justice Charles Quin granted a free standing Mareva injunction, freezing assets in Cayman despite there being no action in the local courts. Last week, however, Justice Peter Cresswell concluded that the decision was wrong but nevertheless granted a free-standing freezing injunction against Cayman companies, despite there being no action here, and pointed out that Cayman legislation was outdated.

Following an urgent ex parte hearing in the financial court last month, Justice Cresswell considered Justice Quin’s earlier ruling, which held that the court has jurisdiction to grant leave to serve out in respect of free standing injunctive relief in the absence of substantive proceedings in the Cayman Islands. Cresswell said he was unable to follow Quin as he found that an injunction in support of proceedings abroad was “interlocutory” and, accordingly, Order 11 of the Grand Court Rules specifically prohibited the granting of permission to serve out of the jurisdiction a writ seeking only such an injunction.

However, he said the Court did have jurisdiction to award freezing orders over the assets of “non-cause-of-action” defendants domiciled in the Cayman Islands, and freezing orders were granted in respect of the assets held by two Cayman companies.

Cresswell noted that legislation in England and the Channel Islands provides for the grant of free standing injunctive relief in aid of foreign proceedings and it was regrettable that Cayman legislation had not yet evolved in this manner.  He said the court supported the policy considerations which have led to changes in the foreign legislation, and noted “this lacuna in Cayman legislation and the outdated nature of the Rulesrequire urgent attention.”

In the case, Nigel Meeson QC and Bernadette Carey of Conyers Dill & Pearman represented the plaintiff, which is an English bank seeking to freeze the assets of a defendant resident in Russia and the assets of two Cayman Islands companies, which the plaintiff alleged were under the control of the defendant.

In its application to the Grand Court, the plaintiff, who had already obtained a worldwide freezing order from the English Courts in support of ongoing litigation there, claimed no substantive relief in Cayman other than a free-standing freezing injunction in support of the UK proceedings.

Cresswell’s decision means that these defendants could be served in the jurisdiction via the so-called Chabra jurisdiction, where a freezing order could be granted over the assets of a party against whom no cause of action is asserted, on the basis that those assets may ultimately be available to satisfy a judgment obtained against the defendant against whom a cause of action is asserted.

What was novel about Cresswell’s decision, the attorneys involved said, was that only the non-cause of action defendant was before the Court. However, the court would grant the injunction in support of the English proceedings and a prospective judgment of the English court, which would be enforceable in the Cayman Islands.

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Bush applauds CS bosses

| 01/09/2011 | 31 Comments

(CNS): Although not normally considered an unusual achievement, finance bosses in the public sector were lauded by the premier this week for getting their financial statements to the Office of the Auditor General (OAG) by the 31 August deadline as prescribed in the Public Management and Finance Law. It was, however, unusual as it was the first time since the law was implemented some seven years ago that all of government ministries, portfolios, statutory authorities and companies actually managed to get documentation to the public audit office within two months of the financial year end.

The premier, who is now also the finance minister, stated, “This is a great accomplishment by public servants and it reflects the government’s drive and determination to achieve the expectations of the Law and those of the public. My government congratulates all public servants on this accomplishment.”

Bush said that the “accomplishment” was down to the hard work of chief officers, chief financial officers in central government and the wider public sector, as well as a co-ordination team which was established in June at the end of the financial year.

This was made up of Debra Welcome, the accountant general; Ian Fenton, who is the acting chief officer in the Portfolio of the Civil Service; and the director of the budget management unit, Ronnie Dunn. An oversight committee was also established to oversee the coordination team, consisting of Deputy Governor Donovan Ebanks, Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson and Deputy Financial Secretary Sonia McLaughlin.

However, Alastair Swarbrick, the auditor general, said yesterday that so far his office has not yet been able to examine the submissions closely to see if the 37 entities have all given sufficient information that could be regarded as a proper financial statements. He said he would be updating the public on that as soon as possible.

During his update on Wednesday regarding the current backlog of government's financial statemnts, however, Swarbrick confirmed that government had a goal of completing proper consolidated accounts for the last financial year 2010/11 and would, for the first time since the PMFL was introduced, be accountable to the public about how it actually spent tax payers dollars.

The deadline, according to the law, to produce the Entire Public Sector or ESP document is 31 October, which, Swarbrick said, would be a challenge for government to meet as most of the submissions made to his office to be audited all arrived on 31 August. He said that many are coming from entities that don’t have verified starting balances due to their failure to complete previous years' accounts and government’s effort to produce a proper set of audited accounts by October will be a tall order.

See Swarbrick’s latest report on where government entities are with financial reporting and which government reports, despite being ready, have still not become public documents.

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Government to strategise on Cayman Brac

| 01/09/2011 | 40 Comments

(CNS): Cabinet ministers, UDP back-benchers and top civil servants will be convening on Cayman Brac today (Thursday) for a strategy meeting, CNS has learned. Coinciding with a public meeting being hosted by the Department of Tourism, where the premier will be speaking about tourism in the Sister Islands, McKeeva Bush will also be holding a retreat with his ministers, MLAs and senior officers to discuss government policy. The weekend getaway comes at a time when the premier, in particular, is coming under increasing political pressure from a variety of sources and not just the opposition.

Having been elected to office on the promise of re-energising the economy by encouraging development and having posed numerous public-private partnership projects, none of which have actually broken ground yet, the premier is losing ground in the popularity stakes.

Although there are no official opinion polls in Cayman, straw polls conducted by the media appear to reflect a decline in support for the current administration having passed its halfway point.

One recent opinion poll on Cayman New Service (with 555 voters) found that only 5% of pollsters said he was doing an “excellent job” as premier, only 6% said that he was doing better than they had expected, while 16% said they were disappointed with his performance as they had expected better. Meanwhile, almost three quarters of the voters (72%) said he was doing a terrible job.

Postings on the CNS website have also become increasingly anti-government with the majority of ‘commenters’ and ‘bloggers’ expressing frustration and disappointment with government policy, from a more even split between supporters of the government and those who opposed it poted during the first year the UDP took up office.

Aside from the pressures of the police investigation into the Stan Thomas letter, the findings of the auditor general, the direct public reprimand from the governor and the not unexpected criticisms from the opposition, Bush is also receiving criticism, if less overt, from what is often considered his support base in the business community.

Bush himself has also complained bitterly about bureaucracy getting in the way of his planned projects and stifling potential progress, almost since taking up office in May 2009. However, Bush and his Cabinet colleagues still have some 20 months before the 2013 election campaign begins in order to pull an economic recovery out of the political bag.

If Bush manages to escape the pressure to step down as a result of the police investigation into "financial irregularities" or if the probe drags on without development — a not uncommone occurence with politically related investigaitons — he still has time to address the key issues which are fuelling his unpopularity, such as the high cost of living and cost of doing business, as well as rising unemployment.

Although CNS asked the premier’s office for details on the government weekend getaway and the possible issues on the agenda, we have received no response from the premier’s office.

While the strategy retreat, which is taking place at the Alexander Hotel, will be behind closed doors, government representatives will be mingling with the people from Cayman Brac at a public meeting on Saturday afternoon. 

The DoT will be hosting a town hall gathering on “Tourism Awareness 2011” at the Aston Rutty Hall from 4pm, when the department will be discussing plans and initiatives in the industry for the Sister Islands.

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Suisse-Army knifes through Heritage defence

| 01/09/2011 | 0 Comments

(Cayman Islands Summer Touch Rugby League): In a busy two weeks of touch rugby here in Grand Cayman teams have been pulling out all the stops to secure a place in the play-off finals.  Rounds 11 and 12 were incorporated within Super Saturday Mk.2 and Round 13 (unlucky for some) followed the week after. In Division 1, the best performance over the three rounds came from Ogier.  Winning all three games they beat DMS (4-0), Walkers Blue Iguanas (2-0) and Team LIME (6-2).  They are now challenging for a play-off place, just two points behind Appleby with one game of the regular season to play. (Photo by Caroline Deegan)

They have the onerous task of trying to get past Champions Maples 1 in that game to secure fourth spot.  Ben Hart, with seven tries in the last three games, has been central to this well-timed resurgence in form, and they will want to cover him in bubble-wrap and put him in a padded cell with 24-hour security until that game gets played.

Genesis Five Nations has weathered a difficult period with several key players missing through vacation and injury to win their two games and now sit on top the table.  They beat Walkers (5-1) and Team LIME (5-1).  Howard Byrne, he of the windmill arms and rubber legs, scored four tries and consistently kept defences guessing what he will do next.  Playing by instinct rather than design he adds some devilment into the otherwise well drilled and precise attacking patterns of the Five Nations. 

PWC lie third in the table level on points with Appleby but with a game in hand.  They struggled against a spirited Team LIME (3-2) but a better performance against close rivals Appleby (7-4) means I would expect them to take one of those play-off places.  The deadly duo of Duvenage and Du Plessis is central to their gameand they never disappoint.  Having scored more than half of PWC’s tries throughout the season, opposition would do well to watch these guys closely. 

Appleby are now looking over their shoulders and what once seemed a guaranteed play-off place is now in jeopardy.  Over the three games, good wins against Walkers (7-3) and DMS (9-2) looked to be just the ticket but that loss against PWC means they go into the last game of the season needing at least a draw against the league leaders Genesis Five Nations to be sure of qualifying.  Exciting stuff.

Maples1 haven’t played a game since Round 9 due to postponements as a result of player shortages.  A spokesman for Genesis Five Nations delivered a WWF-style smackdown claiming that Maples1 were running scared of meeting the Nations, as they were going to get their proverbial behind spanked.  Tough talk from Steve “Stone-Cold” Henshaw – we’ll see how you back it up on the pitch!

Sadly, Team LIME, DMS, or Walkers Blue Iguanas could not muster a win between them in these three rounds and now lay 6th, 7th and 8th in the league respectively.   They can reflect on a tough season but all have shown great endeavour and enthusiasm, improving their skills throughout, and gaining respect from their opponents.  They all have one game left of the regular season before they look forward to competing in the Plate tournament come Finals’ Day.  

In Division 2, Trident Titans demonstrated why they are the team to beat as they recorded three wins from three, and now cannot be beaten to first place. They gave Maples2 a real 9-2 womping (this is a technical term to depict something somewhere between a walloping and a thumping), with the usual suspects Riley Mullen, James Waters and Nick Swartz doing the damage on that occasion. This was followed by victories over Happyfish Ticklers (8-2) and Campbells (9-6), Can anyone stop them? Its DART’s turn next in Round 14 and it promises to be a belter.  Tune in next week folks!

The battle for the remainder of the top four places is extremely tight and these will be decided in the last round of matches.  KPMG1, currently second in the standings had a poor Super Saturday 2.0, losing to UBS (3-7), and getting a draw (1-1) against DART.  They have been finding it harder to cross the whitewash of late, which must worry Captain Gerhard Albertyn.  However, he did rally his troops as Round 13 saw them put away Maples2 by 6-2.  Their final game is against Harmonic who will themselves be looking to end their season with a flourish.

Maples2 continued their patchy form with only three wins in the last nine games, all of those against teams in the bottom half of the table.  A narrow 4-3 win over UBS was sandwiched between losses to the Titans (2-9) and KPMG1(2-6).  They too need to find their early season form when tries seemed easier to come by and it is likely that they have suffered from absences in the playing roster of late. 

Happyfish Ticklers cemented a place in the top four but will be trying to avoid finishing fourth as that would result in a game against the Titans in the play-off semifinal.  They wouldn’t want a repeat of the 8-2 defeat in Round 12, their first loss in six games.  Their tries have mainly been scored by the blond bombshell brothers Riley Mullen and Simon Crompton, both small in stature but as fast a Venezuelan guinea-pig – and trust me they are fast – really fast!

The bottom four (UBS, Campbells, DART and Harmonic) can relax for the last round of matches knowing that it is the Plate tournament for them. A defeat to Happyfish Ticklers in Round 13 (3-4) scuppered UBS’s chances of a top four finish, even though Agueda Broderick scored her first try of the season, it wasn’t enough to get the points.

Campbells continue to be one of the most entertaining teams to watch.  One thing you areguaranteed is a high-scoring game as they are great going forward but defensively frail.  Special mention must go to Dicky Sawle-Thomas.  With 21 tries this season, he is the division’s 2nd highest scorer and can often be seen contorting himself into all sorts of shapes to get through gaps that appear not to exist.  His absence in Rounds 11 and 12 was a blow for Campbells but they welcomed the return of Johnny Doak, his brace of tries helping secure a 4-2 win over Harmonic.

DART, with only two defeats in their last seven games, secured a win over Campbells (6-4) and two draws against KPMG1 (1-1) and Harmonic (6-6).  In a fast game, Gavin McMaster played a blinder for Harmonic running in five tries, whilst Neal Ainscow of DART showed just why he is the top try scorer in the entire league with a well taken triple. 

In Division 3, the teams that will challenge for the division title have also been decided.  With three wins out of three, Deloitte’s march to the summit continues.  They handed heavy defeats to Ernst &Young (7-1), Queensgate Grizz’s Old Fellas (7-2) and their main rivals KPMG2 (9-3).  The recent performances of Dean Curtis, with seven tries in the last four games, have added an extra dimension to what was already a potent attack.  They have scored 92 tries this season and are the highest scoring team over all three divisions.  What odds on them bringing up the ton in their last match against Credit-Suisse?  It’s Burlington Bertie 100-30!

KPMG2 are secure in second place but that heavy defeat against Deloitte will sting like a lionfish as it ended a six game unbeaten run.  The tries seem to have dried up a bit lately too and they’ll need to get their main scorers back if they are to challenge for the title.

Credit-Suisse and Rawlinson & Hunter lay third and fourth, level on points, separated only by try-difference going into the last game.  Credit Suisse came off a five game winless streak to get two valuable victories against Ernst & Young (6-0) and Island Heritage (7-1).  Hat-trick Hero Dave Bailey, formerly a commissioned officer in the New Zealand Army, engaged and defeated his enemy by out-manoeuvring them, finding gaps big enough to drive a tank through.  Like a Four-Star General on the battlefield he directed the troops, brought the big guns into play and ordered wave after wave of relentless attack that left the Heritage defence in shock and awe.  Adapting the skirmish tactics of “the Four F’s” he helped Suisse find the gaps, fix the defence, out-flank the wide-men and finish with a score – classic military strategy.  In the end, Heritage was forced to surrender.  When I tried to capture Captain Bailey for an in-depth interview after the game he would only divulge his name, rank and number and muttered something about the Geneva Convention.  A tough nut to crack!  Lance Corporal Ryan Black also got three tries and a medal of honour. 

After good wins against Island Heritage (7-0) and GCM (3-2), Rawlinson & Hunter experienced a shock defeat (6-9) to Queensgate Grizz’s Old Fellas.  They started brightly and led by three scores when onto the pitch stepped one Venassio Toketokevanua.  This Fijian has more magic than David Copperfield, more trickery than David Blaine and faster hands than Quick Draw McGraw (I know he technically had hooves but you get the point!)  He set up Johnny Wagner for four tries and “bang, bang!” – scored two himself. 

Of the four teams in the bottom half of the table only the Old Fellas and GCM recorded wins.  GCM beat Ernst & Young 6-1 with Neil Montgomery getting three.  It’s back to the drawing board for Ernst & Young and Island Heritage for the last stretch of the season.

Player of the Week

This week’s Heineken Touch Player of the Week goes to Ben Hart of Ogier.  A consistent performer all season he really helped his team press on with three important victories, scoring seven tries in the process.  Ben, six cold green ones can be claimed at the bar!

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‘Dudus’ comes clean in New York court

| 01/09/2011 | 16 Comments

(Gleaner): Christopher 'Dudus' Coke is facing a maximum 23 years behind bars following a guilty plea in New York Wednesday. The 42-year-old pleaded guilty before US District judge Robert P. Patterson. Coke, who was extradited to the US on June 24, last year to answer drug and firearm charges, will be sentenced on 8 December.  Court documents released by a United States press office stated that the former Tivoli Gardens don confessed to racketeering conspiracy in the US and conspiracy to commit assault in aid of racketeering. "The defendant hereby acknowledges that he has accepted this agreement and decided to plead guilty because he is in fact guilty," the plea document signed by Coke states.

It added that, "By entering this plea of guilty, the defendant waives any and all right to withdraw his plea or to attack his conviction either on direct appeal or collaterally, on the grounds that the government has failed to produce anydiscovery material."

On the racketeering-conspiracy charge, Coke faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, a maximum term of five years' supervised release, and a maximum fine of $250,000, or twice the pecuniary gain from the offence.

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Season’s second hurricane poses no threat to land

| 01/09/2011 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Although Hurricane Katia was predicted to become a major hurricane over the next few days, the second storm of the Atlantic season as yet poses no threat to land. On Thursday, the national hurricane centre morning Katia was travelling at westward at 20 mph with winds near 75mph the storm is a category one hurricane with storm force winds reaching out 125 mph from the centre. Meanwhile, a tropical wave responsible for the recent bad weather in the Cayman Islands was moving north and was given a 70% chance of becoming a tropical cyclone. Back home weather conditions were improving and local forecasters called for a 20 percent chance of showers and possible thunder, mainly overGrand Cayman.

Temperatures will rise Thursday to the low 90’s with a heat index of 113 degrees Fahrenheit. Winds will be east to southeast 10 to 15 knots. Seas will be moderate with wave heights of 3 to 5 feet.  The outlook is for continued light southeasterly winds through Saturday morning.

See local weather here

For tropical weather visit NHC

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