Met back behind Bridger

| 06/08/2014

(CNS): The former employers of the SIO on the ill-fated Operation Tempura police corruption probe have signalled their renewed support of their ex-top cop. In what is perhaps the first indication that the Metropolitan Police has concerns about the ongoing cover-up of elements of the investigation conducted by Martin Bridger between 2007 and 2009, the London police force has suddenly turned the cash back on for his protracted legal battles with both the Cayman government and the former police commissioner, Stuart Kernohan. The cash flow returns just as the RCIPS said they are investigating Bridger and his allegations and as Cayman waits to see if the governor's office will finally release documents relating to the enquiry after fighting tooth and nail to keep them secret.

The governor's office remains tight lipped in the face of the latest order by the acting information commissioner to release the documents which were the subject of a freedom of information request, but there are now only a few weeks remaining before, in accordance with the law, the UK's representative must release the papers or take the ICO back to court for another costly judicial review.

Bridger is now reportedly the subject of an RCIPS probe into allegations he made to the Metropolitan Police about how he, and in turn Scotland Yard, may have been grossly mislead by Attorney General Samuel Bulgin, the FCO's Security Advisor for the overseas territories, Larry Covington, and then governor Stuart Jack. However, Bridger has now got the backing of his former bosses in yet another strange twist in the ongoing saga of Operation Tempura.

Sources close to the issue who cannot yet be named have confirmed that as much as $300,000 of UK tax payers’ money has been made available to Bridger to pay outstanding costs relating to his fight so far but also to use in his fight to expose damning documents that he wants to use in his defence against a law suit filed by Kernohan. The Met's sudden support of Bridger is a clear indication not just of their obligation to him as an employee at the time but also that the leading UK police service could have concerns about how the probe has been handled by the FCO.

During the lifetime of the discredited operation, which has cost the Cayman tax payer millions without a single successful prosecution, Bridger has persistently claimed to have acted in good faith and entirely on the advice of legal counsel provided by the attorney general or governor's office. He has stated publicly that he documented every twist and turn of the probe, which went from the clearance of allegations of corruption of one leading police officer to the suspension of three others and the unchallenged finding of an unlawful arrest of a Grand Court judge.

However, some of these documents generated by Bridger during Tempura are subject to a court order and he has been banned from using them to justify his claims or defend himself in the ongoing law suit with Kernohan.

During the course of the enquiry, Bridger, who arrived while employed directly by the Metropolitan Police, reached his retirement age and as a result he was re-contracted via the governor's office. But trusted sources have also told CNS that Scotland Yard continued to supervise the probe indirectly with the controversial John Yates remaining as the overall boss of the operation. As a result, CNS has learned the UK cops continue to have an obligation to Bridger to support him through the courts with regard to work he did under the Met's supervision.

However, the London force abandoned Bridger about two years ago and, according to sources, "left Bridger out to dry" but have suddenly done an about face and refunded the former officer's legal fights.

Bridger, who has been banned from talking about his complaint and the subsequent decision by Duncan Taylor that it was unfounded, recently told CNS that it is still difficult for him to talk openly about many aspects of the probe, something he would dearly love to do, but he said that his main hope is that the full truth of what happened during this much maligned investigation will eventually come out. He said, "When the people of the Cayman Islands know the full and complete truth, they can then make a fair decision about what I did and judge me accordingly," he stated.

Pressing for the whole truth, Bridger said he was hopeful that the report based on his complaint will be released in the coming weeks as that, he said, will reveal some important parts of the wider jigsaw that is Operation Tempura. However, he said, there is still much more that needs to be revealed and when he is able lawfully to tell his story, Bridger has stated he would be happy to come to Cayman and do so. He said the Caymanian people have a right to know the details of what happened and the reasons why certain decisions were made, based on what advice and by whom.

Although the complaint, which remains the subject of the FOI battle with the ICO and the governor's office, was originally made by Martin Polaine, a former legal advisor on the probe, when he withdrew Bridger carried on with the complaint. When the report into the complaint was concluded and he governor made a decision, Bridger was told he could only see the content of the report if he agreed to maintain confidentiality.

Since the fight to keep this report under wraps has been underway, Kernohan has settled with the Cayman Islands Government over his alleged unlawfuldismissal during Tempura. He has now also been silenced as a result of a payout estimated to be in the region of $600,000 and paid for by the Cayman tax payer.

However, there remains numerous unanswered questions over the probe, which has been the subject of allegations and counter allegations. As the twists and turns in the fallout from Tempura continue, all eyes remain on the governor's office and the possible release of what are believed to be damning documents concerning the oversight and mismanagement of the probe as well as who advised who about what.

If the documents are released, the Cayman public may begin to see at least some of the real Tempura picture, though by no means all of it. If, however, the governor decides the documents cannot be released into the public domain, the Cayman tax payer will once again be footing the bill to help the governor's office, and by extension the FCO, cover-up whatever it is they don't want the public to know.

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Category: Crime

Comments (48)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does anyone know why Bridger never had indemnity insurance to cover this? When he became a private contractor supplying professional services to CIG in May 2008 wasn't he required to do that?  

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Don't know anything about indemnity insurance, but I think I can add some perspective that may help.  One poster below said that if Bridger was unable to figure out who really knew what when he was investigating, he wasn't a very good investigator.  After all, Bridger had access to persons, such as Kernohan, etc., who would have known what was what.

      That poster, I believe was partially right.  What if Bridger was a good investigator — after all, he was well experienced.  That leaves us with: Bridger did know that the Governor knew and gave the green light for the, ahem, visit to Seales' office.  What if there is actual evidence connected to Bridger and available in certain records to show that Bridger knew that jack was told by Kernohan?

      What if Kernohan was paid off because he, as well, has evidence to show that Jack knew (the payoff was to protect Jack)?  And, by the way, that would likely include what Kernohan told Bridger about Jack's role, would it not?

      If all of that is true, then that would make Bridger a big fat liar when he said that had he known that Jack knew he would have packed up and gone home — which is what he should have done in those circumstances.

      What if all of these are the real reasons he did not meet with RCIPS?

       

  2. Anonymous says:

    In March 2008 Bridger had Lyndon Martin arrested for making false allegations against others and a jury decided he was innocent of the charges but now Bridger is being investigated for exactly the same crime?

    LOL, I guess senior Met police officers think the law doesn't apply to them.

    Old saying Mr Bridger, "What goes around comes around." 

     

        

     

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Juries do not decide that anyone is innocent.  That is not their job is to decide whether the evidence at trial is such as to establish beyond reasonable doubt the guilt of the accused.  There is a big difference.

  3. Slowpoke says:

    Instead of costing us so much money for lengthy Court battles, I just wish someone had the ethical standards to send the report to Wikileaks and get it over with.

    • Anonymous says:
      1. Actually, if you go to today's (Thursday's) issue of Caribbean News Now, you will find that it has published much of the criminal claim by Bridger — portions redacted, but we can infer names of people taken out.  It does seem to show that Jack knew in advance and may have even given the green light for the entry into Seales' Office.  I just don't see how Jack can continue to maintain that he did not know. Baloney!
  4. Catcha Fire says:

    All you writing personal attacks against Mr Bridger are truly truly lost. This will never go way for the simple reason that no mater how much money and no matter how much contempt anyone is holding for him he is standing up next to or holding up the TRUTH and the Truth is a snare you cannot have it,without being caught, you cannot have the truth in such a way that you catch it but only in such a way that it catches you. The truth unfortunately is the greatest enemy of this state.  Now!! please give us our documents that we paid over 10 million CI for.

                                                                                                                 signed   Mr. BobO

  5. Anonymous says:

    I think the investigation started some very important improvements that were needed in Cayman.  The conduct of Cayman juries is always variable and therefore to judge an investigation like this by conviction rates is quite silly.

  6. Knot S Smart says:

    The Cayman Islands…

    A rich little place in the blue Caribbean Sea that every poor-ass-person in the world wants to either move-to,  or bring a lawsuit against the government and get-rich-quick…

  7. Anonymous says:

    Well isn't this a twist in it all…

     

    "The Met's sudden support of Bridger is a clear indication not just of their obligation to him as an employee at the time"

     

    A british employer supporting their staff.

  8. Anonymous says:

    The FCO, the Governor's, the judiciary and the ever silent and quiet McKeeva Bush on this matter have allot to hide and be secret about. The Cayanian people have  right to know wh is behind this and all the facts concerning the case.

    • Anonymous says:

      Bush?

      There are plenty of things that he stands accused and if guilty he should go down for, and in my humble opinion, there are probably a few he hasnt yet been accused of, but how is he blameworty  in relation toTempura? 

  9. Whodatis says:

    When will we finally commence the conversation regarding our indepence Cayman?

    Until we are prepared to answer that question we don't have a leg to stand on regarding our complaints or collective frustration with Operation Tempura, the FCO, the UK government, Jack, Taylor, Kilpatrick etc.

    We cannot remain paralyzed by the fear of "what happened to other countries 60 years ago". 60 years is an entirely other era in terms of global politics. If that is an incorrect assessment then shame on THEM if we face the same fate today!

    As the masses are waking up to the reality of this world and realizing that they have been sold manure as "the way things are" for decades, we see greater acceptance of the shift in global powers. It is easy to educate one's self to what truly transpired, in terms of external powers, that led to the demise of many formerly colonized countries following their independence. Fortunately, we are able to avoid the majority of those pitfalls as our circumstances differ in many ways.

    Granted there will be some oppostion to these sentiments – as per usual. However, as the detractors pen their words, I trust they recall the other global realities that were at play around the world in regards to Europe, the UK, colonization, "3rd world debt", currency checkmate, emigration, race relations, oppression, civil rights (the lack thereof), apartheid etc.

    Unless of course we believe that in reality – not much has truly changed in this year of 2014 and beyond?

    If so, then by all means, let us maintain the status quo. Cool?

    • Anonymous says:

      I didn't read your post, but I disagree with whateva you said. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Global reality would mean an independent Cayman bankrupt in next to no time, crime a la Jamaica and other less desirable things. Go for it if you really want to..

      • Whodatis says:

        Hmmm … so let's see.

        Bankrupt and crime-ridden?

        Sounds much like the UK to me son.

        🙂

        • Anonymous says:

          Always the last repetitive "we have no problems look at UK" parting shot. Nothing original Whodatis? Losing your touch? Not that you ever had much touch to start with…. And I am old enough to be your father, not that I nor anyone else would want to be. Although you could possibly be the bastard everyone talks about around here…

          • Whodatis says:

            Actually, a reference to the UK could not be more relevant considering the discussion at hand.

            I will ignore the personal insults that made up the majority of your post. (By the way, they actually say much more than I imagine you would like them to.)

            Thanks for replying though.

    • Hear hear says:

      Please do not feed the bears. Independence in the Caribbean will only fuel the powerful politicians, the masses would suffer the same fate as our Caricom cousins and our financial industry that gives the $800 million to Cayman every year would disappear in less than 15 minutes.

      Unless you are in the international outbound shipping industry (to watch 25,000 expats and all the money leave) no one would benefit.

      thanks for your ideals, but history IS a good indicator.  Please tell me why and how you could succeed where all others have failed?

      • Whodatis says:

        Re: "… our financial industry that gives the $800 million to Cayman every year would disappear in less than 15 minutes."

        Please elaborate. As you do, ask yourself; "Is what I am describing a reasonable or logical reaction by the market / industry?"

        I.e. Could there be something more sinister and pathetic at play if this was to actually occur?

        • anonymous says:

          Who cares as we would be in Montreal, BVI, Bermuda, Jersey, Guernsey or wherever the next business friendly jurisdiction happens to be.

          Good "happy hours" are hard to find, New locations are not.

    • Ex Expat says:

      I beleive independence for Cayman should be the ultimate goal for any people, afterall how many Caymanians see themselves as British. BUT it should be on Cayman's terms and timeline, it will hit the Financial Services hard. Jobs will dry up and the Government will end up with a great deal more expenses and a lot less revenue, meaning less civil servants. The industry then will be tourism, or surving on foreign remittances. The problem is Cayman is very small in size and population to truely survive on their own.

      • Subway Snack says:

        Then say NO to Independence and YES to allying ourselves with another super-power other than the UK.

        • TJ says:

          And what superpower?  What alliance?  Caricom?  Canada?  Anyone? …   Is the UK so bad for Caymanians?

        • Anonymous says:

          13.16- Jamaica already got ridda us once…so its Cuba, Honduras, Belize or Mexico, take your pick. No one else wants us. Except Putin possibly. And then you would very quickly understand that we are doing pretty damn well where we is.

      • Whodatis says:

        Personally, I don't mind to see a reduction in the Financial Services industry.

        Reason being, as it grows, the overall "benefits" thereof to Caymanians are shrinking.

        An economy that "develops" to disproportionally enhance the existence of those not of said economy is a failed one.

      • Anonymousand says:

        Really? And could we then nationalise all of SevenMileBeach+Camana Bay? Huh?

    • Anonymous says:

      Why do you keep using "we" and "our" as if you represent any collective opinion of Caymanians? I consider your attachment to the Cayman Islands as far less than the teenage child of foreign parents who were born here and know no other place as home.

      Your opinion and zeal for what's "best" for Cayman reminds me of the person who staunchly supported the war (name any war). He had suffered the loss of two cousins in the conflict, but if necessary he was prepared to sacrifice his wife's brother.

      • Whodatis says:

        Ok … well, I think it would read quite strangely if I was to switch every "we" with "I" and every "our" with "my" – don't you agree??

        Anyway, again, like many of your friends before and after, you have utterly failed to address the issues at hand and the topics within my post to which you have replied.

        Tell "us" – what was the actual point of your contribution to this particular thread? Apart from taking shots at Whodatis, of course.

        (Nevertheless, your post has garnered support. Not sure whether to be amazed or saddened by the fact.)

        • Anonymous says:

          You are smart enough to know that "Anonymous (not verified)" is the nom de guerre of many disparate people who post here. I am more than five generations (both parents) born here, and the fact that you annoy me equally as well as those who have just arrived here, might lead a more intelligent person to consider that he just might really be an annoying person.

          The broad topic was corruption, and perhaps specifically focused on the area of policing. Since corruption exists in both dependent and independent countries, you broaching the subject of independence has nothing to do with the issue at hand. Yet, regardless of the topic,  you seem to think that whatever pops into you head at the time is relevant and must be highly important if it came from you.

          Perhaps the most annoying part of your posts is your constant harping on how things are worse in the UK. This again is just a detraction from the issue at hand. We know things are worse in Haiti than Cayman, also anywhere in West Africa, and probably another fifty countries we could name, but we find no consolation in that. If you are living in the UK then address the issues in the UK and leave them out of the CNS conversations, as it just makes you appear to be some sort of ungrateful mongrel who bites the hand that feeds it. As far as I know, anyone is free to leave the UK. Although, if I had to vote I would rather you there than here.

          Have I sufficiently addressed the issues at hand for you now?

          • Whodatis says:

            Actually poster, no, you have not sufficiently addressed the issues at hand.

            In fact, your most recent post still suffers from a distracting clear disdain for Whodatis – one that prevents you from making a worthwhile contribution.

            Your focus appears to be on what you consider is my perspective on the UK and that of alleged corruption which was the Tempura supposed basis – as an afterthought. However, neither of those issues were at the forefront of my mind as I penned my original post.

            My objective was to simply illustrate we have no right to complain about mistreatment by the FCO, UK govt, Governor's office etc. so long as we opt to remain under their control.

            When I grew tired of my mother's rule I made the decision to leave her house. Prior to that, I had to sit down, shut up and accept whatever came my way.

            That is all I am saying. Nevertheless, you saw that as an opportunity to "dig deep" into whatever bothers you about Whodatis and to attempt a public dissection thereof, lol!

            *Seriously, re-read your post – what the heck are you talking about buddy? What did 90% of what you wrote have to do with my posts? Stick to the issue at hand bro – if you can't then back away from the keyboard.

            I suggest you pick up a hobby or find some other soothing routine because quite frankly, you have invested far too much energy in processing the entity that it is Whodatis.

    • Anonymous says:

      Let us maintain the status quo.  Cool!

    • Anonymous says:

      Please do not feed this troll.  It has an overwhelming urge to respond to everything.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Is this the same Martin Bridger who cost us $millions and bought all his old mates over for a lengthy jolly at our expense? I only ask because my recollection of his past conduct is nothing like what is reported in this story.  

  11. Anonymous says:

    I have no sympathy for Bridger.  He cost the Cayman Islands millions of dollars and he still wants to cost us more money on his bungled investigation.  It was disgraceful how the Judge and former Police Officer Burmon Scott were treated by him and he should pay the price for that.

    • Anonymous says:

      Further to "I have no sympathy…" , I totally agree.  Bridger has gotten himself into this mess by his own greed.  He saw a pot of gold and tried to grab as much as he could. And he did not respect the law in his efforts to get illegal search warrants.  Thank God for the Chief Justice who stood on the law; otherwise, we might be in a much bigger mess right now.

      I think if ever the truth comes put, Bridger himself will have a lot of egg on his face — and maybe more.

      by the way, I am not convinced that his being constrained against publishing his document is the sole reason it was not  published before this. I believe that it may contain some defamatory allegations and that he himself might face a law suit if he published.

      I do recall in the early stages before it landed into court, etc., that the governor's office at the time had said that he could release it if he wanted.

      I also don't believe he is a very good investigator if he could not arrive at a simple truth at the time of his investigation  as to who knew about the so-called Break-in into /Seales' office.  I believe everone on the oversight committee knew that there was going to be a surreptitious entry into Seales' Office.

      One should not speak bad of the dead, but Seales had a big hand in this whole fiasco.  He was pulling the strings. He actually set the whole investigation into play in the first place by boasting about an insider in the police force feeding him information.  I seem to recall someone speculating that where he actually got information was from prisoners — and if u recall, he was an insider in that arena for a while.

      that was the character that poor Bridger was being "charmed" by.  

      Bridger was totally out of his debt — he simply did not know what he was getting into.  but we continue to put so much faith in these "experts", who someone once defined as a guy from out of town with a brief case. 

      As for the Governor "knowing nothing" in advance of the so called break-in, that is the same truth that he spoke when he said he knew nothing in admavce about the search of one of his judge's home — turned out we heard later that a high- ranking civil servant told the civil servant who signed the warrant that "the Governor knew" about the plan — which sadly was good enough for the civil servant JP to sign the warrant.

      dont forget about the rich heritage of the divine right of kings — barefaced lying is a tool of the trade.

      • Anonymous says:

        Last year Duncan Taylor told Bridger that he was not banned from releasing the orginal complaint just the Aina report. If Bridger had made the complaint public Taylor would then have been forced to release the Aina report and about $400K in legal fees could have been saved.

        Apparently the reason Bridger didn't comply with this suggestion is that he was scared of 'malicious' actions for defamation. More likely he knew the allegations would never stand up in court. I see a drowning man clutching at straws here. 

         

  12. Anonymous says:

    First Jack, then Taylor now Kilpatrick…man they really must have something to hide…

    Cayman people need to stand up and demand justice. Tehy took millions of our hard earned dollars and now they don't think they should have to tell us what they spent it on..

    Believe it or not, I have sunk to a new level and I am now believing that Mckeeva was right…but then again he didn't have the power or authority to hide anything..these guys can do anything they want and without accountability to anyone?