Governor wins legal review in Tempura secrets battle

| 20/02/2013

briger_0_0.jpg(CNS): The governor has won the first round in his legal fight to keep details of a discredited internal police investigation secret. His office confirmed Tuesday that Justice Sir Alan Moses had stayed the release ofa document that Information Commissioner Jennifer Dilbert had directed should be given to an FOI applicant. The request was for a copy of a report relating to a complaint filed by Martin Bridger (left), the lead investigator on the ill-fated operation into potential police corruption. However, the governor is fighting to keep the report under wraps and out of the public domain. As a result, his office is the first government entity to attempt to overturn one of Dilbert’s decisions through the courts.

The British judge has approved the governor’s application for judicial review and the next step is to set a date for the substantive hearing, but in the meantime the report remains secret.

The document being sought by the applicant is a review of a complaint filed by Bridger, which cost the public purse around $300,000 to produce. Bridger has seen the document relating to his complaint, which was not upheld, but he is not able to release it as he was bound by confidentiality.

However, some of his complaints were reported in the UK Press and the former Scotland Yard cop's main gripe was his investigation was prematurely ended by the authorities in Cayman in what he claims amounted to an orchestrated cover-up of errors and bad decisions by the powers that be.

When a member of the public filed an FOI for this report it was refused. However, Dilbert in her decision overturned that denial and ordered the office to release the report. The governor then filed an application for a judicial review on the 45 day deadline, which has now been granted.

Given the efforts that the UK representative is making to in order to keep the content of the report secret, it is unlikely that the judicial review hearing will be open to the public.

Category: FOI

Comments (15)

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  1. ST says:

    FCO usually take their sweet time before they tell the truth or someone has to declare an apology for them: – See

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-asia-india-21520132
     

  2. Anonymous1969 says:

    lol… his office is the first government entity and will be afterwards… typical Foreign Office!

    • Anonymous says:

      What says he to the WEST BAY ROAD closure???  Should we take that to COURT?

  3. Lori Buchanan says:

    Another look at bureaucracy…..and the many regulations that are put in place, yet not adhered to….

    Good job Jennifer!!! Please continue to do your job and let NO man comprise your values!!!

    For the Governor to be so hardlined concerning this matter, it goes to show what is really being hidden from the CI public.

    REAAAALLLL JOKERS!!!!!!!

    I can't wait forMAY 22nd!!!!……I hope his name on a ballot.

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      13.26..what exactly, like the rest of us do you actually know or not know? We all know nothing until the court rules one way or another. Of course we all have views if we want that in the open or not, however that this Governor wants the court to stop the publishing means in my mind that either:

      1.It will be very damaging to Cayman and UK to release that report and give Bermuda and the likes a chance to go one step ahead

      2. Possibly that the UK government would be very embarrassed

      3. That publication now may undermine other serious cases going on.

       

      We do not know, we will have to wait for the judge to decide. This Governor is for openess and transparency in general as he has shown on many occasions. So you have to bet there is something pretty serious in there. I do not beleive for one minute that this is about Mrs. Dilbert. On the contrary I think the Governor probably holds her in high regard for her efforts despite Mac and Co's efforts to stymie her.

      • Insider says:

        You got point 2 spot on.

        This farce was all overseen by Colin Roberts when he was OT Director.

        Guess what very sensitive job Mr Roberts is scheduled to take up in 2014? He's currently Governor Designate of the Falkland Islands.

        Don't somehow think HMG is very keen on the idea of documents beingmade public that might raise questions about his competence and possibly even his respect for human rights.

         

  4. Anonymous says:

    The outcome was always obvious.  I have a great deal of respect for Mrs Dilbert, but the poor judgment shown in this decision really undermined her credibility. 

    • Anonymous says:

      "Poor judgment?" Would you care to be more specific?

      You're clearly the person who's made these kind of allegations before without backing them up. Why not tell us what the problem is?

      I smell a big fat Troll here.

      • Anonymous says:

        The original opinion had more holes in it than a piece of Swiss cheese.  The best place to start?  Well probably that it was overturned by judicial review . . .

      • Please Plead Me says:

        Any decent lawyer on island will tell you that the Dilbert opinion on this request was far below her usual high standards.  It was pretty clear to anyone with experience of FOI type issues that the Governor had a valid reason not to provide, aside from the obvious fact that the Law does not apply to the Governor so there was never any jurisdiction in the first place.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Brilliant Photo CNS!!

    Headline should be:

    "Drowning Man saved by Inflatable Judge"

    Just in fun, have greatest respect for the Governor for doing things the legal way.

    • Insider says:

      Sadly Mr Bridger and his rubber ring are not invited to the judicial review, which (as accurately predicted in the story) the Governor is insisting must be closed to press and public. 

      However, I understand John Evans (who was the original applicant) has not only been formally served with a copy of the ruling on Lord Justice Moses' specific instructions and but also plans to attend the hearing.

       

    • Anonymous says:

      If the governor is doing things the legal way, why not go legal with the road closure too.  We are the victims.

      • Anonymous says:

        I suspect, as with other deals, if anything illegal was going on with the road, he would have called it..