Justice Henderson responds

| 26/09/2008

(CNS): In the wake of a CNS report posted Thursday night, Grand Court Justice Alex Henderson has confirmed in a written statement that his arrest was a move by police officers investigating police corruption in the Cayman Islands to force him to be interviewed as to whether he asked or encouraged former Cayman Net News employee John Evans to commit any illegal act.

In the statement, issued 26 September through his media liaison, journalist and publisher David Legge, Justice Henderson said he was under investigation for “Misconduct in Public Office” buthad not been charged with anything.

“In 2007, a series of letters to the Editor published in the Cayman Net News made scandalous and untrue (but very general) allegations against the judiciary here. I began to suspect that the names of the authors were false (a suspicion which has been confirmed in at least one instance). I asked John Evans, the Sports Editor of the Cayman Net News about it. He shared my suspicion. I told Mr Evans I would be interested in hearing anything he might learn about the identity of the author(s). He said he would tell me if he learned anything. He has not done so,” the statement said.

It went on to say that, according to police allegations, Evans (right) entered his employer’s newspaper office in the evening of 3 September 2007 to search for a document unrelated to Justice Henderson’s conversations with him.

“It is alleged that he also planned to search for evidence of the identity of the letter writer(s) and that this entry into his own place of employment amounts in law to burglary. I did not ask or encourage Mr Evans to conduct a search of his employer’s offices. I did not ask or encourage him to commit any illegal act,” the judge asserts.

Justice Henderson further said that when asked by police to give a statement on the matter, he provided one in writing months ago andsaid he would answer questions posed in writing but would not submit to an oral cross-examination.

“The Chief Justice, Solicitor General and Special Prosecutor all agreed that was the correct approach in the case of a member of the judiciary being questioned in such circumstances. The police did not. They demanded an oral interview repeatedly. On 24 September the police arrested me. I have been interviewed for about 8 hours over the course of two days. I was arrested simply so they could interview me,” the judge maintains.

In an article in the Vancouver Sun, Henderson told a reporter, "I said to John that if, in the course of his employment, he was to come across any information, I would be interested to know it." He further insisted that he at no point asked or encouraged Evans to conduct any kind of covert search for that information. "He [Evans] had another reason for wanting to go into the offices at night, and he did."

The Sun reported that Henderson was arrested outside the condo he shares with his wife and young daughter early Wednesday morning, and that the investigation team also swept in on Henderson’s home, seizing computers, documents and Henderson’s Canadian passport.
"It was a shock to everyone. Totally," Henderson’s wife, Esther, said of the raid. Interviewed also by the Globe and Mail, she said that her husband was heading to work early Wednesday morning when six police officers arrested him outside his home.

The officers spoke nicely to the judge. They did not put him in handcuffs. They took his keys and phone, and then took him away for questioning, Esther Henderson said.

Justice Henderson and Evans are described by the Globe and Mail as "dive buddies". In an interview with the Vancouver Sun by phone from England, Evans agreed Henderson had informally asked him to investigate the source of the critical letters to the editor, adding that his search of the newspaper office after hours was not related.

Evans remains a witness in the investigation relating to the alleged burglary at Net News, according to Senior Investigating Officer Martin Bridger.



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  1. Anonymous says:

    Suspicious to say the lease.  I cannot help but to say conspiracy or incompetence-the investigation has done nothing more for me than to mar the image of the police even more.  I say, I speak what others prefer to keep low, and for very good reasons they keep the volume low, we have a lack of confidence in this investigaton and therefore smell corruption at that level which far outweighs anything that they have been investigating.  Let’s face it letting a speeding ticket off, or breaking into an open office (which another person walking around freely has done as well-same office, same purpose) and comparing that to what  is being portrayed to look like a collapse in Law of the cayman Islands, there’s really no comparison which is the more harmful of the  2 evils is it?

    Good news, we all will have our day in court and will all be judged fairly and rewarded for our rights and for some, our wrongs.


  2. Anonymous says:

    It is difficult to believe that in a time where the entire world faces stifff economic realities that a country can see the need to spend in excess of CI$4,000,000 on a investigation that is tatnemount to a burglary, arrest 50% of the judges in the country, suspend the major ranks of the police  force and not expect the world to think that such a country is a joke. Did anyone even bother to research the definition of burglary as per the Cayman Islands Penal code.

    It is clear that the manner in which this so called investigation has been carried out has sought to do more harm than good. Irrespective of what the Governor thinks this entire episode has simply been a waste of the country’s resources.

    CNS note: The Governor has acknowledged that the investigation has so far cost in excess of $1.67 million.


    • Anonymous says:


      CNS – I believe that the 1.67M is what has actually been budgeted for the continuation of the investigation.


      The 4M quoted I believe is inclusive of what has already been spent, in addition to the 1.6M now approved.


      It is understood that these officers receive:


      Daily Allowance,

      Hotel/Condo accommodation

      Rental vehicles

      Office space to work out of

      Frequent travel to and from UK for both themselves and family.


      Now if there are 9 of them and they have been here for over a year, you do the math and tell me if all of these expenses have only cost the CI 1.67M

      I believe that the true cost of this investigation should be one of the first questions asked when the Freedom of information Act comes into effect. Not the details of the investigation because those will never be revealed, just the over all cost to date of request, because I have a feeling that this investigation will still be going on in January 2009.

  3. Anonymous says:

    As to the behavior of Judge Henderson, if in fact he did ask Mr. Evans who the authors of these letters were, I would think that he was, at the least, overstepping his bounds. I know from being raised in a judicial family, that a judge should be extremely careful even in his or her free time, who he fraternises with, and must be ever wary of the way his personal views or opinions are taken. This is more difficult in a small community, however , this is one of the burdens that they must accept with the post. Why would he need to know who is writing letters to the paper? A judge of character and ethics surely would think twice before asking, even if it was just out of curiousity.

  4. Anonymous says:

    People Need to read this response carefully. If this is fact why would he want to know this, people have the right to criticised who they like, does not make it true.Sounds like some people want to operated the thought police agency. Besides what the netnews writes is seldom taken seriously most of the time. With all the Grand Court matters criminal and civil pending why is he out conducting his own "investigation" He is not paid by the Cayman Islands  government for investigation as to who is writing letters in the paper.I ask again why does he want to know this.This is very troubling and begs to what else he was investigating here. some places call this abuse of office and looks as if he was attempting to recruit/Ask and employee to finger persons who write letters in the paper spying on the Cayman public. Do your job Mr Bridger you are here to investigate not Mr Henderson shame shame on you Sir!