CoP defends slow Mac probe

| 30/04/2012

baines3.jpg(CNS): In a short statement released on Monday afternoon the police commissioner defended the timeline of the investigations into the Cayman Islands premier, explaining that financial investigations can be protracted when the allegations involve witnesses as well as other evidence located overseas. Breaking his silence on the three enquiries involving McKeeva Bush, one of which has lasted for some two years, David Baines said that the level of interest into the investigations and the speculation was not fair to those involved. However, he said he would ensure that a thorough investigation was completed with the resources available in as timely a manner as possible.

The commissioner released the statement just over a week after the RCIPS issued a statement confirming that Bush was the subject of three police enquiries. Last summer the public was informed of the first investigation, which related to a letter Bush sent to former Cayman landowner and Texan developer, Stan Thomas, as a result of various document leaks and then an eventual admission from the Governor’s Office.

The fact that there was more than one probe was revealed by the governor on Friday 20 April during a press briefing with the British OT minister, Henry Bellingham. A police spokesperson confirmed on Saturday 21 April that the premier was at the heart of a second investigation into financial regularities, the details of which have not been released, and also a third, which involved the recent seizure by the authorities of a shipment of unlicensed dynamite.

However, both the police and the governor have remained tight lipped about the probes, one of which has been underway for some two years.

As a result of what the commissioner called “a considerable amount of public, political and press speculation” regarding the time it is taking to complete the investigations into the premier, Commissioner Baines said he could not comment specifically about the ongoing enquiries but that every investigation undertaken by law enforcement agencies was different.

“The speed with which an investigation can be completed is dependent on many factors and is often protracted — particularly financial investigations when the allegations involve witnesses, and documentary evidence, located within other legal jurisdictions,” Baines said. “Whilst I appreciate that there will inevitably be a high level of interest in these investigations, the continuing speculation is not helpful, nor fair to those under investigation, but I will ensure that a thorough investigation is completed with the resources available in as timely a manner as possible.”

He also noted that when the investigations have been completed, a file would be forwarded to the director of public prosecutions, who would determine whether there was "evidence of criminal conduct and any actions therefrom.” He added, “It would not be appropriate for the RCIPS to provide any further information about these investigations in the meantime.”

The police have said little else about the probes, which have caused considerable alarm in the community, nor has Baines revealed why the premier has not been interviewed in connection with any of the enquiries involving him. As a result, the premier has persistently stated that he has not been informed of any investigations relating to him and any allegations would be baseless.

In a statement released last weekend he said he has done nothing wrong and there is no reason for him to step aside, as he pointed the finger at UK civil servants in the FCO who, he claimed, were involved in a conspiracy to discredit him and the Cayman Islands.

Category: Politics

Comments (74)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    How can an individual be the subject of THREE separate police investigations, one which has been ongoing for at least two years yet not have been interviewed once?  

    Commissioner Baines, you have some explaining to do.  

    • Sat on a wall says:

      Patience my dear. Patience. Humpty Dumpty is not far from a monumental fall.

  2. UDP Supporter says:

    The reason these investigations are taking so long is that there is nothing to find! Why can't people believe that our Premier is a man of God who has already done what is right by his people and stop all their jealously and destructive ways? The truth will come out and all the doubters and sinners and expats will have to repent to our Lord for running this good man down!

    • Anonymous says:

      Here we go again…

    • A real UDP Supporter says:

      Nice try flipping on the conservative side. You will find more of that religious talk in the PPM camp. Who says this has anything to do with religion. The Premier is not right or wrong. It is just that he is not charged for a crime – why the speculation.  And the Opposition has done nothing to support the projects that will help our economy; instead, they continue to go against development. If you are a PPM trying to make us look religious, nice try.

    • Anonymous says:

      It might be that as they investigate they untangle a spiders web of possible wrong doing. And untangling this web , across multiple jurisdictions, can logically take a long time.

      To do justice to all parties, hurrying is not necessarily a good thing.

  3. Anonymous says:

    CNS we keep hearing about avoiding another Tempura. Please remind us how Tempura began

    • Anonymous says:

      Check out yesterday's online issue of the UK's Independant newspaper – the headline is Cayman Islands: The Met's Caribbean connection 

    • Anonymous says:

      In one word – "BADLY" – then it just got worse and worse. LOL!!!!

      • Anonymous says:

        True, but who caused it to start?

        • Anonymous says:

          Desmond Seales? After all he's the one who falsely named Ennis as his source.

          • Anonymous says:

            Actually it was started by two persons: Lyndon Martin and McKeeva Bush (apparently relying on Martin's account). They believed that Seales had a corrupt relationship with Deputy Commissioner Ennis and reported that to the Commissioner of Police.   

  4. concerned expat says:

    Of course, its not fair to ask someone to step down and they have not even been charged. People make allegations against people everyday at the RCIP – should these people all leave their jobs?  Of course not. And this is not a child molestation case where a victim could be in immenant danger. It is an elected official that is being investigated for corruption pertaining to finances. There are many MPs as I speak in the UK that are still in office and being investigated. It is also not fair that the Opposition and certain media would sensationalize this story to insunuate that the Premier is indeed guilty of a crime. "Innocent until proven guilty"

    • anonymous says:

      RCIP has a right to be "MUM" about everything. I don't think its in Baines hands

      what curtails this investigation. Its at a much higher level out of his hands.

      maybe MI 5 or Scotland yard you think?

      I suspect.

      • Anonymous says:

        How sensational  can you get 16:42? you bunch just wont quit! why would the MI5 waste time on such frivolous issues you all creating just to try and topple our Premier.

        • Anonymous says:

          Check your facts. MI5 are UK domestic intelligence only but MI6/SIS are on-island 24/7/365 looking after the offshore accounts (remember BCCI?) that are used to channel money for their covert (as in black) ops.

    • Anonymous says:

      Was Commissioner Kernohan charged when he was suspended? Was Director of Labour Onnie Tibbetts charged with anything when McKeeva’s govt.

      You completely miss the point about MPs. They are not Ministers let alone the Premier. They are not making decisions on behalf of the country. They cannot bring the country into disrepute. There is nothing for them to resign from. If McKeeva resigned he would still be an MLA.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Why should Baine rock the boat, his commission will soon be over and he will retire with full benifits and sail of into the sunset to another country where corruption is not the norm.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Arden lives in a single-member constituency, so after a single complaint he went to the Chief of Police with evidence to exonerate himself.

    Mac being from West Bay, a four-member constituency, will go to the Chief of  Police with all his documentation as soon as he announces the fourth investigation.

  7. Knot S Smart says:

    In other words 'Mac's Goose' is in the slow-cooker…

    We ca expect more volatility as the heat is turned up…

  8. Anonymous says:

    he would ensure that a thorough investigation was completed with the resources available

    so who controls what resources the police get? oh yes the premier.

    Is that a conflict of interest, being in charge of the resources available for 3 investigations into yourself

    • Anonymous says:

      Not the Premier – RCIPS is controlled directly by the Governor.

      Didn't Tempura teach you anything?

      • Anonymous says:

        The Governor has no power to vote appropriations, not even for himself, funding for the RCIP is squarely in the hands of the elected Government. Know your facts before you try to correct others.

        • Anonymous says:

          Not true, when the LA tried to block funding for Tempura the then-Governor Stuart Jack used special powers to keep the gravy train on the rails.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Defending the Indefensible?

    The investigations are clearly stalled so the Governor, who just happens to be in overall charge of RCIPS, decides to drop a comment to the media that Mac is under investigation fuelling a burst of outrage, mostly amongst people who should know better, and demands for him to stand down.

    Mr Taylor it's your job to deal with things with like this, that's what the UK taxpayers pay you for, so please stop trying to 'out' the elected leader of the Cayman Islands by backdoor methods.

    If he's done something wrong get off the fence and suspend him otherwise you and the CoP should keep your mouths shut.   

    This has now shifted from looking at whether or not Mac has engaged in any wrongdoing into an investigation into what the heck the Governor, the FCO and now RCIPS are playing at.

     

    • Sad says:

      well commenters like yourself put salvation into their hands, and then when they do something dissappointing, say it must be a hiccup… from day one I never trusted any of them nor my own politicians

    • Anonymous says:

      The Governor's salary is paid out of 'the revenues of the Cayman Islands'.  He is on the government payroll, at the highest grade.

  10. Anonymous says:

    maybe there needs to an independent uk investigation of the investigation……….. 2 years is a bad joke…..

  11. Anonymous says:

    I find it sadly amusing to read all those posters who think they can do a better job from the comfort of their armchairs armed with 10% of the facts.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Man, just get the US Authorities involved.  Someone up there will start to squeal and you will then get to the bottom of it.  People who have done wrong and facing time for it like to trade cooperation for reduced time you know, especially when the wrong committed was instigated by someone else.  Come on RCIP, surely you must still have some good investigators who know what they are doing.  If not, try to get some of them older ones to come back and show you what and how to do it.  I also know that the changing of the law in the last four years may not have helped, but there is always the common law principles that you can use. 

  13. The lone haranguer rides again! says:

    Do you know, if ever time people accused me of doing something wrong, I closed my business down, I would not be very successful, and if it where my enemies making theseaccusations and I allowed it to effect my business I would be stupid.

    I am neither of the above and neither if McKeeva.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is not a business, this is an elected official supposedly working for the people of this country and paid enormously for it.  It is morrally wrong for him to represent the people with inconcluded investigations (note the plural).  He is in the public eye and subject to public srutiny.  Investigations do not happen without cause.  It is not unusual for criminals to be remanded in custody until their court date.  All that is being asked of the premier is to stand aside as the leader.

  14. Anonymous says:

    REally, now can you expect us not to be concerned when the leader of this country is under 3 separate investigations.  The longer this goes on, the more damage to the Islands' reputation.  What do you think we are?  Idiots?  We just blindly go along without a care in the world while the premier is under investigation.  Everyone involved in this investigation is a govt. employee, paid by the people of these islands and you owe it to us to come to a swift and accurate conclusion, or we, the people, your employers will be demanding accountability. 

  15. Anonymous says:

    The police commissioner has said the speculation is unfair to those involved. Well yes, Mac’s been under a cloud of suspicion by an investigation that’s lasted over 2 years but one that to date doesn’t require an interview with him. In the meanwhile 2 other investigations have been announced and we are none the wiser on the details of the second one but yet we are calling on the Premier to step aside, notwithstanding the Commisioner says speculation would be unfair. WTF! The last Police Commissioner was also cleared after an investigation removed him from his post and dragged on for years. In the end he was exonerated and given a pat on the head meanwhile his career is ruined. WTF!

    • Anonymous says:

      When facts are provided to a deserving public there is no need for "unfair" speculation.

    • Anonymous says:

      You've forgotten to mention that he's suing the CI Govt for wrongful dismissal…and his payout, should he win the case or settle out of court, will be in the millions of dollars.

      Baines is speaking of public speculation about the state of the investigations but he's made no mention of the public specualtion that is calling for the resignation of McKeeva Bush.

      Until Baines completes these investigations and passes on his files to the prosecution service…the public speculation on all fronts will continue.

      • Anonymous says:

        No you are correct i didnt mention it as perhaps that would be the real travesty: the idea that the Premier will find it difficult to find restitution after being forced out of office without a trial, actually without even being interviewed by the police.  By the way, we are no longer speculating, 'we' are treating him as guilty on very little known facts, thats why 'we' are calling for him to step down out of office. 

    • Anonymous says:

      If a teacher was accused of child abuse, would you let them carry on having unsupervised one to one time with your children?

      After all, they are innocent until proven guilty

      • Anonymous says:

        if he were accused of murder i might also rethink my position, but if we compare apples to apples, i cannot change my view until i actually know the facts on these investigations. It would seem very rash for me to call on the Premier, whoever it may be that holds that post, to step down without knowing the facts.  I assume Baines has most of the facts and after almost 3 years he apparently still feels he's not yet in a position to move forward to the DOP for prosecution, let alone for me to join in and call for Mac to step down now.  I'm only sayin'….! Once he is charged by the DOP i will rethink my position then….

        • Anonymous says:

          and there you go folks, many in Cayman do not beleive corruption or stealing ours and ours childrens money and future is a serious offence

          It appears to almost be expected now of those in charge

          What a sad shame for Cayman

          • Anonymous says:

            One has to be charged with an 'offence' as you refer to!  we were talking about speculation and its dangers.  No i believe if you have been charged with an offence then its a different story although in fairness i do believe in innocence until proven otherwise.  But thats just me!

      • Anonymous says:

        i dont think this is a fair comparison.  i'm no fan of mac but all we know is there is an investigation into financial irregularities.  anyone in the finance field knows that most of the area of finance is a grey area.  child abuse is not a grey area… at least i dont think it is. 

        We as parents have the option of switching schools.  unfortuanetly as tax payers we dont' have the option of switching governments.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Note the part, statement,

        and evidence located in other jurisdictions  / overseas.

    Just wait,

    they will make sure these cases are  not rushed,

       = head aches for some.

    Take your time and clean house!

       better late than never.

  17. Anonymous says:

    can I pass this joke on to Letterman, Leno or Bill Mayer…… we must be the laughing stock of the world. Three ring circus….

    • Anonymous says:

      "…laughing stock of the world."

       

      Most of the world cannot find the Cayman Islands on a map and the most of the world does not care.

       

      If we screw up our tourism industry, the few people that come here will simply move on to other tropical paradises (there are many to choose from).

       

      If we screw up our financial industry, the money will simply move on to other financial centers that compete with us (there are many to choose from).

       

      Letterman, Leno and Mahyer would never use Cayman in their jokes because the world would never "get it".

    • Anonymous says:

      I doubt it.

       

  18. Truth says:

    At last.  Someone who knows something and shared.  Way to get the ball rolling Commissioner!

  19. Anonymous says:

    "unfair to those involved"…doesnt' sound unbiased to me.  Even "innocent til proven guilty" would be "may be unfair to those involved".  Just publish the decision if it has been made.

  20. Anonymous says:

    How’s the First Cayman Bank investigation going?

    • Anonymous says:

      an update on Syde is probably due now too, I think that one is in its 5th year, perhaps an "I don't have enough resources statement" will tide us over for another 5 years while you continue your vacation.

    • Anonymous says:

      It's still under the rug.

  21. Anonymous says:

    Ok. How is the investigation into the most egregious of the status grants going then?

    • Anonymous says:

      Anon 17;59

       

      Good question, you migt want to ask the Human rights in Strasburg, or wait untill the act  is inacted fully come 2013.

       

      • Anonymous says:

        Yes, my basic rights like to have the police investigate crime, to have my borders governed by passport controls, not the payment of cash or favors, to be treated equally before the law. Those rights…

    • Anonymous says:

      Thumbs downs? Are you suggesting the selection of deserving candidates arose with pure heart and clean hands? Do you know that no one paid to get on the list? Were you on the list?

    • Anonymous says:

      Er…that must be a pretty big rug.

  22. NeoSurvivor says:

    Well, what Commissioner Baines was quoted as saying sounds logical to me in the sense that asking questions of a high-level person also telegraphs where their area of interest is;  perhaps the RCIP want to conduct the investigation without Premier Bush's testimony influencing the investigation.    In other words, conducting the investigation without a presupposition of the outcome.  

    Like many of you, I am anxious for the outcome of these three investigations.    If the Premier is charged with the commission of any crime, I want the evidence to be conclusive, and I'd much rather that than filing charges without all their ducks in a row.  

  23. Anonymous says:

    So much for a Fair Trial!

    I'm glad the Commissioner has admitted that the "…the level of interest into the investigations and the speculation was not fair to those involved."

     

    • Anonymous says:

      What's he thinking about? If he wants it to be secret then the government should have kept the secret. It's not the public's fault that this is a cause celebre–it's his.

    • Empty Chair says:

      "with the resources available"??? That does not sound too encouraging as far as justice for corruption is concerned! If someone is suspected of doing something criminal (muchless 3) then all resources should be made available, & used! Spare nothing to bring justice.

    • Anonymous says:

      This is a weird approach to any situation. The Comm. of police leaves the public with no other choice but to speculate.
      This  RCIP recent announcement that there are three investigations, naming two of them as financial irregularities and one involving importation of explosives.This is reverse accountability on the part of RCIP. This shortchange response only serves to incite public speculation as there is no comprehensive description  of the 2nd investigation of financial irregularities making it a total of three police investigations.  This leaves much room for speculation.    

      • Sad says:

        Well my answer to you is to then is to stop the speculation and the gossip, because in the long run it will only hurt us as a country. Let the Police do what they have to do!

    • SKEPTICAL says:

      Get ready for the ” Insufficient Evidence ” plea from either the COP or the Prosecutor’s Office “.

  24. Peanuts says:

    BS

  25. Anonymous says:

    2 years!!!…. pathetic incompetence from the police farce