Jack and Bulgin face enquiry

| 27/05/2013

jack2 thin_0.jpg(CNS): Former Governor Stuart Jack, Attorney General Sam Bulgin and the FCO's Caribbean Policy Adviser Larry Covington could face a criminal inquiry for allegedly lying to Metropolitan Police officers investigating corruption within the RCIPS, a Scotland Yard review has concluded. Jack has been cited by the Met in a letter to the current governor, Duncan Taylor, for possible attempts to pervert the course of justice over a break-in at the Cayman Net News office in 2007 by two of its staff. The senior investigating officer of "Operation Tempura", Martin Bridger, has claimed that Jack did not tell him that he had authorised the search and that if he had, the investigation would have lasted for only a couple of weeks. However, Jack has categorically denied the allegations made by Bridger, implying that he had told him about his part in the break-in.

In a statement to CNS, Jack said, “I categorically deny the allegations made by Martin Bridger. One can only assume that Mr Bridger’s continued attempts to undermine my credibility are designed to further his own interests in relation to the forthcoming civil proceedings in the Cayman Islands.

"Such baseless accusations are deeply upsetting to my family and harmful to my reputation. I look forward to giving evidence as a witness when those civil proceedings come for trial in the Cayman Islands Grand Court. I have no doubt that the Court will find Mr Bridger’s remarks to be wholly unsubstantiated."

Bulgin has also vehemently denied the allegations.

Bridger told CNS that he has documented evidence of his interviews with the former governor, the attorney general and Covington, the FCO official who was based in Miami at the time of the investigation. He said that these have been shown to the Metropolitan Police and on the basis of these interviews, Met officials had decided that an investigation into their conduct was warranted.

Stuart Kernohan, who was the Cayman Islands commissioner of police at the time, and his deputy, John Jones, have both made statements that Jack was fully aware of and had authorized the search of the Net News officers by John Evans and Lyndon Martin, who were both working as reporters at the newspaper at the time.

Much of the controversy over the investigation, which has cost the Cayman Islands millions of dollars, is now over the question of whether Jack knew about the break-in or not, as Bridger's position is that his entire investigation was based from the very start on a false premise. Kernohan, who was suspended when the investigation was made public in March 2008 and eventually sacked from his job, and Jones, who has since retired from the RCIPS, have supported Bridger's call for an investigation into the conduct of the officials.

"If it is shown that they lied to me in the course of the investigation, that is immense," Bridger told CNS. Jack has retired but Bridger saidthat AG Sam Bulgin and Covington could not viably remain in their posts if such an investigation takes place, in the same way that Kernohan and Jones were suspended from the RCIPS when Operation Tempura was in progress.

“From the outset, and continuing until this day, I have called for a full investigation into the conduct of the Governor and member of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Stuart Jack, Samuel Bulgin the Attorney General, the Chief Secretary George McCarthy, and others involved in this fiasco,” Kernohan stated in April. 

According to the The Independent on Sunday, which says it has seen the letterfrom the Yard's Commander Allan Gibson to Taylor, copied to Simon Fraser, the head of the Diplomatic Service, the claims against Jack and the other two officials, which Jack strongly denies, amount to possible "misconduct in public office, attempting to pervert the course of justice and possibly wasting police time.” Gibson wrote, “It is my view the allegations are serious and contain sufficient detail to warrant a criminal investigation."

The FCO is continuing its fight to keep details of Tempura secret. The Cayman Information Commissioner Jennifer Dilbert directed the Governor's Office to release a copy of a report relating to a complaint filed by Martin Bridger about the operation to a freedom of information applicant. However, Justice Sir Alan Moses stayed the release on appeal. The British judge approved Governor Taylor’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.

See documents regarding Operation Tempura in the CNS Library

Related articles on CNS:

Former Cayman governor silent on Tempura probe

Ex-London cop speaks out on RCIPS probe secrecy

Governor wins legal review in Tempura secrets battle

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The AG has proved time and time again he is mostly an empty suit collecting a paycheck year after year from the Cayman Islands people.  As for the rest of the characters it is always good when they go away and stay away, especially in this case when they have cost, and look to add to the cost of this money pit fiasco.

    The good ones like Sir Thomas Russell are always welcome back.

  2. Anonymous says:

    So perhaps now the Cayman Islands Government can sue the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) for the $10,000,000. dollars they caused the island to spend. At least that would give us some operating funds for a few months.

  3. Anonymous says:

    One thing is sure, one of these fine civil servants is lying.

    • Anonymous says:

      12:34: Have you thought of the possibility that it may be one of the ex-civil servants?

    • wa? says:

      Correction: it should be "…one or more of these…".

  4. Anonymous says:

    I'm amused by the reference to 'documented evidence of his interviews'.

    Unless the meetings were formally minuted it's Bridger's word against the FCO and that isn't going to fly very far.

    The Indy story also has an interesting quote from a former member of the Tempura team, who said, "It seemed some officers drew the investigation out for their own ends."

    Mr Bridger might bear in mind that a number of questions have been raised about the 2009 audit into his investigations and requests have been made for that investigation to be re-opened. This might just provide the excuse the FCO need to go down that road.

  5. Anonymous says:

    At last we are getting closer to the truth!

    • Anonymous says:

      Most of the sprats are eaten ((((((()))))))))))

       so now it is time for the barracudas to be swallowed.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Isn’t life just STRANGER THAN FICTION?????
    And who protects Caymanians from the Misrule of Law?

  7. Anonymous says:

    Former Governor Jack is worried about his reputation! Hahahaha, what a joke that statement is. 

    Unless there is full disclosure about this whole episode, his reputation is and will continue to be worth jack-s**t!

    I would hazard that he will go down in history as the worst ever Governor of the Cayman Islands!