Bridger abused process

| 29/10/2008

(CNS): Quashing the search warrants against Justice Alexander Henderson and granting relief to the application, Sir Peter Cresswell accused Martin Bridger, Senior Investigating Officer in Operation Tempura, of taking a fishing expedition in waters he should never have been allowed to enter. Ruling the warrants unlawful, Cresswell said it was the “gravest abuse of the process".

In his ruling made on Wednesday morning (29 October) Cresswell, the presiding judge brought from the UK, decided in favour of the Judicial Review application by Henderson, stating that Bridger’s special police investigation team was “mischievous and wrong” to imply that Justice Henderson had sought to obstruct the course of justice. He criticised the fact that Bridger et al made the warrant application to an inexperienced Justice of the Peace and then deliberately withheld important and pertinent information.

“The respondent, (Carson Ebanks JP) was out of his depth and that should have been obvious to the police,” Cresswell said, adding that the special police officers in this case did not present a complete picture to Ebanks.

The judge also noted that Bridger had not informed Ebanks of the Chief Justice Anthony Smellie’s ruling made earlier this year which Cresswell considered to be relevant, contrary to the submissions made last week by Bridger’s legal representative, Nicholas Purnell, QC.

Smellie had ruled against Bridger’s request for search warrants for the homes of Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan and Chief Superintendent John Jones. He said there was a deliberate misrepresentation of the facts and had the full details as well as the ingredients of the crime of misconduct been given to the JP he would not have signed the warrants to search Henderson’s home and office and seize his computers and cell phones.

“I fail to see how the (JP) could have discharged his function to satisfy himself unless he knew the ingredients of the offence,” Cresswell added. In view of the catalogue of failures he said that it was not just that the warrants stand and he granted relief.

Cresswell made it clear that the police abused their powers and that the reason why police are supposed to apply for a warrant before they search any premises is to protect people from the power of the state. He explained that the police cannot simply decide to search someone’s premises for themselves. The court needs to ensure it is right and to identify if the circumstances actually warrant the search.

Cresswell was very critical of how Ebanks was both selected and approached to sign the warrant, and recommended that in future inexperienced JPs do not sign warrants without seeking legal counsel.

Henderson’s legal team was delighted with the results and agreed to the judge’s decision to hold another enquiry with regards the damages to be awarded to Henderson. However, Steven Barrie representing Bridger, or possibly the Acting Police Commissioner David George as this was still not clear, submitted an appeal, in particular with regards Cresswell’s ruling on point three in the application for review. He also asked for a stay with regards the materials taken from Henderson.

Cresswell advised Barrie to tell his client to read the ruling before making his appeal and asked if the Acting Commissioner, who he still considered to be the applicant had seen the ruling which at that point had not left the court. As he obviously had not, Cresswell expressed his puzzlement that Barrie had already been instructed by his client to appeal and request a stay. Moreover, he noted that his ruling had indicated that Bridger, who was in court, had made several failings and therefore everyone should think hard about the appeal.

The Judge stated that all Henderson’s original possessions should be returned to him and in acknowledgement to the appeal he said the police could keep copies in the Governor’s safe until Friday 7 November when they also had to be returned to Henderson unless the Court of Appeal ordered otherwise.

The Court of Appeal is expected to hear the application on 24 November and it is anticipated that the enquiry into damages and costs will follow once the appeal is over, given the ruling is not overturned. Henderson’s legal team noted that this was in fact merely a first step; the next would be to clear Henderson of the arrest, which would then be followed by civil action. If Henderson were to win a civil case against Bridger’s investigation, this could mean millions of dollars in compensation which would have to be paid for by the Cayman Islands Government.

Although Bridger made no comment to the media as the proceedings ended, he submitted a statement to the press late Wednesday afternoon: "Justice Sir Peter Cresswell has this morning given a reasoned and detailed judgement, 124 pages in length. I do not consider it prudent to comment at this stage, but after careful analysis of the judgement with the legal team and other people affected by that judgement, I will respond when I am able to do so."

 

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  1. Anonymous says:

    For the first time in our history we have a governor who is willing to stand tall! Commendable! This investigation may not have uncovered the right people as yet but we Caymanians know well that ……that Police Force has long been riddled with corruption …..and sorry to tell you many are our very own. They need to be weeded out and if the British go home without a resolution to this "dog eat our supper" and not to mention the judiciary! The wrong people go to prison and the criminals….. the real criminals run about free> the morale of the police cannot be demoralised any more…… there are only a handfull of Caymanians left there anyway….. most of the decent officer have fled the corruption due to victimisation and threats! We Caymaians have become so used to the corruption we now accept it as normal! We have sold our birthright to the highest bidder and the politicians continue to pretend that everything is all rosey! They have no interest in what happens to us besides self interest they are slave traders….they continue to sell us in the name of prosperity….for them and their friends….nepotism at it’s highest…we are in a war and the enemy is not even obvious! We have been overrun by forigners and Caymanians continue to "sleep" and gripe only when it effects their pockets and their lifestyle> Well news flash YOUR CHILDREN ARE GOING TO SUFFER! We dont own this country anymore…..and it is CORRUPTED! The politicians are screaming now because election tym is coming and they want to act like they had nothing to do with this entire fiasco> Who gave Mr. Kernohanthe money he certainly did not walk into the treasury and stick up the cashier with a gun! Someone gave it to HIM and someone signed the cheques and "somebodies" approved it! Now they want to blame him! He only did what they allowed him to do! That police force is full of foreigners and so is the judiciary so what do we expect that we will get justice and we wont be victimised???Frankly if I had to choose I prefer the British…at least they arrest people with respect….and treat people half decent! Mr Jack you are doing a good job! It is obvious wehave no other leadership and we CANNOT trust them cartoon charecters with our money! Keep the investigation going and if this crewe cant do it change them> WE CANT even being to add up the cost of the Corruption in this country for the past decade besides the victimization and violation of peoples human rights! Its bad its bad and has been bad for a long time!

    • Anonymous says:

      "For the first time in our history we have a governor who is willing to stand tall! Commendable!".

      The Governor is hardly standing tall and no commendations are in order. He has made a right mess of things and has to keep pressing on in the hope that the investigation will actually turn up something to justify it which it has not done to date.  

      "Frankly if I had to choose I prefer the British…at least they arrest people with respect….and treat people half decent! Mr Jack you are doing a good job! It is obvious we have no other leadership and we CANNOT trust them cartoon charecters with our money! Keep the investigation going and if this crewe cant do it change them> WE CANT even being to add up the cost of the Corruption in this country for the past decade besides the victimization and violation of peoples human rights! Its bad its bad and has been bad for a long time!"

      Yours is a mentality that has not served Cayman well. So what if they trample us underfoot and divide us against each other so that they can rule over us. They arrest and charge our people and let theirs go free for the same offences, but that is OK. They can demand that we be accountable and respect other’s rights but our rights to privacy  have no place against their own actions.  They can appropriate our funds to pay for their own blunders. They are the British who are inherently superior to us so we must prefer them and rail against our own.  How pathetic.    

       

  2. Anonymous says:

    The Bridger investigation into corruption has been an unfortunate situation. What I find amazing is that almost everyone I speak to about corruption in the Cayman Islands universally agree that corruption exists at very high levels but that it is untouchable and only the small fry will ever be caught and perhaps punished.

    It is almost an accepted truism within the country so when the investigation commenced into corruption I was hopeful. Apparently there really isn’t any corruption in the Cayman Islands.

  3. Anonymous says:

     

      Bridger You keep Up the Good work,, there is alot more to be done on the corruption Probe.

       Bridger was just digging on the wrong side, I Say "Get back to work and Clean this Place UP.

      $4 million dollars is but a drop bucket to what we will have to pay later if we let it infest our Cayman.

      Mr. Stuart Jack     please dont get discouraged…  weed out this Corrupted People we have here   and make sure to stick around for approximately for the next  eight years to ensure No Corruption is left in Cayman Islands…. And we thank you Mr. Stuart Jack.

       My money is involved here and that counts  as a born Caymanian.

     

  4. Anonymous says:

     

    Mr. Dixon these are the very same people you thought so highly of, I do hope that you have seen the light.
    By the way, why are the people of the Cayman Island paying for two Commissioners, when our Deputy Commissioner Mr. Innes has been observed from all accusations, and by right should be the acting Commissioner of our police service?  
  5. MB Ebanks says:

    This will not stop Bridger and it is naïve to think so.
    Bridger has a habit for simply ignoring any court rulings that do not suit his tastes.

    Even a stern, clearly worded ruling from the CJ was promptly ignored – so it is difficult to see that Bridger will respond any differently to Cresswell.

    Especially as Bridger has made it very clear that he has several other persons to be investigated -including Chief Justice Anthony Smellie.

    Well done to Cresswell for calling Bridger out for the uncontrolled menace that he is! But I do not think Bridger will stop because he and the Governor are too arrogant to admit that they are wrong.

    Plus its easy for Bridger to be so calavier when its other people footing the bill!!
    But this will not stop Bridger!

    He will continue on regardless and waste more money fighting a pointless appeal. And keep spitting in our faces.

    What a truly pathethic little country we are, to sit and let people abuse and disrespect us, our judiciary and our rules of law.

    Why don’t we just make it official and hand Bridger the keys to the treasury?
    Why do Caymanians persist in pretending that they have any autonomy or even should be granted any, when it painfully clear that you are incapable of governing yourselves – even with the UK holding your hand?

    Its not hard to understand why the UK is so anxious to rid themselves of these little backwater territories – they are nothing but a liability and a cross to bear. So any steps the FCO wants to “help” Cayman get the picture that the UK does not want to continue this relationship with Cayman as a territory – so be it.

    If Caymanians are silly enough to let the UK destroy it as a potential competitor at the same time – the both objectives can be accomplished at once.

    Governor and Bridger – BLEED THESE FOOLS DRY, YES! and make them pay for it, as well – absolutely brilliant coup de grace my man.

  6. Anonymous says:

    Well said my fellow man.  Well said!

    I too am wondering where the Politicians are?  With the economy the way it is someone needs to step up and demanda stop to this fishing business.  They have nothing solid on anyone.  Nothing worth the millions that theyhave caused us. 

    To add to this these folks who are supposed to be investigating corruption, has in fact committed and in a sense deceived others as well.  Since Lyndon Martin will still be in court, I expect to see Martin Bridger there (as a defendant) myself.  How do the locals say it? "Tit for Tat and butter for fish!"

    Enough is enough I think it’s time to shove off!

  7. Anonymous says:

     

    Dear Once Again, the MLA’s are not the elected represetatives of the people of the Cayman Islands, they are only the representatives of the limited electorate of the Cayman Islands.  While the franchise and right to stand are so limited by the local system of apartheid, about 50% of the population of this territory stand back and simply don’t care because power-hunger and jingoism bars them from democratic participation (if you can be jingoistic about somewhere that is not a country).

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    If there is any in the know reading this please answer this question, can’t THE PEOPLE of the Cayman Islands bring a civil suit against these people?

    I say everyone call your MLA and tell them, (if you don’t get them tell their secretaries they will get the message), do something about this or NO VOTE. To move politicians it takes the threat of NO VOTE, from the voters of a country to get them to do something.

    People I say lets put some fire under them. Publically hold these people accountable or NO VOTE!!!!!

     

  9. Anonymous says:

    Once again the people of Cayman will be forced to pay the price for the follies of this ridiculous investigation that has gone too far.

    Now that Justice Henderson has one his ruling, this paves the way for Civil Lawsuits and as everyone knows, this will come out of the pockets of the Cayman Islands Government.  I would like the editor of this online service to send my email directly to the Ministers for answers to the following questions:

    1) Now that Mr. Henderson has won his case and it is obvious that this Special investigation is a fiasco, do you as Ministers realise that your failure to stop this will now cost the Cayman Islands MILLIONS of dollars to be compensated to the judge?

    2) WHO IS GOING TO HURT from the millions to be paid to this judge? Can you guess who?

    3) WHAT ARE YOU ALL AS ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES of the people of the Cayman Islands plan to do now that this has all been thrown back in the face of the Governor and Mr. Bridger?

    Please keep in mind Cayman, that we as a people still control the direction of this country.  I truly believe that the governor now needs to resign as he has brought shame to this country and Mr. Bridger be put on the first flight out of Cayman, or he can easily jump on that 40ft sail yacht that I notice here in Cayman that belongs to him and set sail to somewhere else.  Has anyone realised that this man has made a mockery of the judicial system?

    To Justice Henderson, we as a people appreciate the work you do in our courts and we are sorry you had to get dragged in this man’s obsession.  I know that you have the option to sue to government and make alot of money, but I hope in good heart that you will realise that it will hurt the people of the Cayman Islands that you are here to protect as a judge and I hope you will consider this even though an apolagy might not make the healing process as easy as a few million.  But it would be a nice gesture.  I hope you read this or the editor sends this to you as well to read.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      Hello and may I reply to your comments here,

       As a Caymanian Born and raised, all living in the same Cayman Islands you live in, then I feel the urge to comment here. I will aggree that alot of what you have said is 100% true and we all must remember that as poor as Mr. Stuart Jack seems to handle the Results of these cases, then look here.

        "We did not have another Governor in the Cayman Islands who have accessed these sort of Uncovered Curruption cases, and that these Cases were going on along time before Stuart Jack thought about coming to the Cayman Islands".

          I do not give any credit to the Judge Henderson case and thought of the Financial burden that he will lay on the innocent Caymanian People for the ruination of Mr. Henderson charachter.

        However I am here to say that, as for Courts of the Cayman  Islands, I have lost all confidence in the Judicial System because of personal experiences and I do say that in the present situation with the other Judge in the Tribunal, I sure hope that Mr. Stuart Jack does not take the inititive he took with the Minister of Tourism.

         The, " You did wrong, but you did no harm" sort of excuse again".

       Using your comments below here,  you stated

      Please keep in mind Cayman, that we as a people still control the direction of this country. (1) I truly believe that the governor now needs to resign as he has brought shame to this country and Mr. Bridger be put on the first flight out of Cayman, or he can easily jump on that 40ft sail yacht that I notice here in Cayman that belongs to him and set sail to somewhere else. (2)  Has anyone realised that this man has made a mockery of the judicial system?

      (1) I know that the shame has been brought about, But it was not generated by them, and they are Uncovering it for us.

         Therefore, "Dont run them yet, You will pay much more  later"

        (2) If this is "Mockery" then it is some of what the Judicial System itself has created to become a "Mockery"

       

       

  10. Anonymous says:

     

    Please not so fast those of you who want to simply ship them out …. That may be the most expensive option in the long run, at least from this layman’s perspective.

    In the event that today’s judicial decisions are not challenged, or are upheld if there is an appeal, then simply sending our highly paid “guests” home, or allowing them to just disappear without accounting for their actions, may be the most expensive thing to do over the long run.

    One need only consider the current debacle as a foreseeable consequence of not holding the last bunch to account. The last bunch sent out by the UK disrupted our judicial system and got off without so much as a “noughty-noughty”, while the Caymanian people were left with bills for millions which are still reflected in the government debt which we and our children will have to repay. For those who don’t remember the details, read the following and think about that affront to our justice system and consider whether there are similarities or more in relation to the present mess:

    http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2003/jan/18/military1

    The Caymanian people should send a clear message that we will no longer tolerate any more double standards which allow those sent by ‘higher powers’ from the UK to be above our law.

    The judicial findings published today confirm what many have feared and require  answers to many questions. On the basis of what is available for anyone to read on the internet, the offense of misconduct in a public office deals with certain types of inappropriate behaviour in the course of a public office. It can apply to police officers and it would appear that it could also apply to any “special constables” when there is culpability which is; “of such a degree that the misconduct impugned is calculated to injure the public interest so as to call for condemnation and punishment”. This phrase is from the reported judgment of the Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales in relation to misconduct in a public office:

    Widgery CJ said:

    The allegation was not one of mere non-feasance, but of deliberate failure and wilful neglect. This involves an element of culpability which is not restricted to corruption or dishonesty, but which must be of such a degree that the misconduct impugned is calculated to injure the public interest.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Omission_(criminal)

    Hopefully our real police and our government officials will not be intimidated into ignoring the issue of whether any of the elements of this offense exist in matters dealt with in today’s decision and the underlying activities associated with what the judge described as a “fishing expedition”. Only a thorough investigation by our real police will answer these questions, and the answers may have very great significance in terms of how much this mess ends up costing the Cayman people.

    Under our legal system, as I understand it as a non-attorney, the taxpayers of Cayman should only be vicariously liable to pay for any actions taken by “employees” if such “employees” were acting in the course of their employment. Any course of employment must have limits, even for “special constables” sent from the UK. The terms and scope of employment of a “special constable”, even one sent by the FCO, could not possibly include the commission of any offense or abuse of process. So hypothetically, if any highly paid “special constable” was so far outside the boundaries of what “special constables” are employed to do that he or she could be said to be no longer working for the people of Cayman, then it should not be the Caymanian people who should pay for the damages that they cause. It should be on their own heads or let them get the FCO to pay.

    At the very least, if there are any claims against the Cayman Islands for damages coming out of the actions of this bunch, then I would hope that the Attorney General would consider denying liability relating to the actions of any of them and ensuring that each member of the bunch is added as a defendant in his personal capacity.

    I will vote against any politician that meekly accepts the bill for this mess without a fight and I would hope that every Caymanian feels the same way and will let those who wish to be elected in each district know. Why should our schools and roads and hospitals suffer just because a politician isn’t comfortable asking questions about this colossal waste of our money? Maybe the LA should also have a vote of no confidence in whoever put this mess on the road.

    That is the way I see it, but perhaps some of our many Caymanian attorneys who will lose their jobs if our competitors in the UK and the other OECD states are successful in shutting the Cayman Islands down, whether by disruption of our judicial and police functions, wasting our economic resources or otherwise, may wish to comment.  I also have some questions.

    What about our Auditor General? What would be required to start an investigation by his department into this huge waste of our resources? The money that is being wasted with this investigation could ultimately buy an entire fleet of helicopters, without even taking into account the damage caused to the reputation of the Cayman Islands. Can our MLA’s ask for such an investigation? Can this bunch be called before the public accounts committee of the LA for interrogation?

    Are the actions of this bunch within the investigative scope of Complaints Commissioner?

    Who decides if this bunch gets to appeal today’s decision and waste more money? Shouldn’t such appeals only occur if there are very substantive legal issues affecting the public interest at stake? Doesn’t the Attorney General have a say?

  11. Anonymous says:

    This will not stop Bridger and it is naïve to think so. Bridger has a habit for simply ignoring any court rulings that do not suit his tastes. Even a ruling from the CJ was promptly ignored so it is difficult to see that Bridger will respond any differently to Cresswell.
    Especially as Bridger has made it very clear that he has several other persons to be investigated -including Chief Justice Anthony Smellie. i

    Well done to Cresswell for calling Bridger out for the uncontrolled menace that he is! But I do not think Bridger will stop because he and the Governor are too arrogant to admit that they are wrong. Plus its easy for Bridger to be so calavier when its other people footing the bill!!
    But this will not stop Bridger! He will continue on regardless and waste more money fighting a pointless appeal.
    And keep spitting in our faces.

    MB Ebanks

  12. Twyla M Vargas says:

    I am not going to speculate on why Justice Henderson was arrested, but I am going to say I do not like the way it was done.

    If there is a breakdown in communication between the Judical and Police, that is very bad, further more I believe arresting a Judge, in the manner it was done was very embarassing and could have been dealt with in a more formal manner.   I would go as far as to trust a judge quicker than I would a police officer.  No they are not above the law, but  if we cannot communicate with our Justice system, who can we look up to.

    To justice Henderson I would say, If you have done no wrong, STAND TALL. shake yourself off and start all over again.  The people of Cayman are truly sorry, please forgive.

    • Anonymous says:

      I have an idea. Why don’t we as Caymanian people and residents alike, apply for a "permit" from the Act. Commissioner of Police as per the Public Order Law, to conduct a "peaceful demonstration" from the Government Administration Building to the Met Police offices and then back to the Glass House. We the people should demand that they cease their bogus enquiries immediately and leave this jurisdiction before more harm is done. Remember, for every day they are here it is costing you and me BIG BIG $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ !!!!!

      Maybe if this is done, Judge Henderson "may consider" not crippling us the tax payers with a hefty law suit.Afterall, it is not the tax payers that ruined Judge Henderson’s good name, it is Stuart Jack, Martin Bridger and the rest of his croonies. Never the less, for what Judge Henderson has been put through, he respectfully deserves "a public apology" from the Governors office and some form of compensation. I’m sure Judge Henderson is not angry with we the Caymanian people, "just pissed" with Martin Bridger and his croonies.

      Additionally, I doubt the Act. Commissioner of Police Mr. George, would have no other alternative but to grant such a permit if we remain steadfast and united as a people.

      Tell me though, where have all our politicans gone ?? Should their voices not be heard, faces be seen and be actively involved in representing us the people with our wishes concerning this most unfortunate saga ??  

      Tell me great people of Cayman, what is your views on the above idea  ??

  13. Anonymous says:

    Very Interesting developments.
    Funny how the persons tasked with investigating misuse of office have now themselved been found to be doing the very same thing.

    The phrase “Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?” comes to mind

  14. Anonymous says:

    Heavenly father above, here we go again !!! If you think Brian Gibbs and Associates made the tax payers of the country pay dearly in the past,  just you wait and see what Martin Bridger and Associates will cost us in the future.

    IT"S TIME FOR OUR GOVERNMENT (PPM) AND THE OPPOSITION (UDP) TO COME TOGETHER IN A BI-PARTISAN MOVE TO END THIS STUPIDNESS NOW, NOW NOW !!!!!

    This whole fiasco is nothing more than the UK trying to "DESTABILIZE" the Cayman Islands economy so that we no longer pose competition for them.

    Shame on you Stuart Jack and Martin Bridger. You bunch of  "LIMIES"

      

  15. Anonymous says:

    Someone needs to pull the plug on Bridger. An appeal to the Court of Appeal is a waste of both time and tax payer’s money.  He is out of control and someone must be personally accountable for his actions.

  16. Anonymous says:

    After this fiasco it would seem that it is time to cut our losses and demand that Bridger leave Cayman on the next flight. If the governor is a man of honour he should resign and seek to personally reimburse the Cayman Islands for all expenses incurred.

  17. Anonymous says:

    Keep an open mind as you read… How Much More, How Much More, Will People(Caymanians and Foreigners) Do to THE CAYMAN ISLANDS, HOW; MUCH MORE. I am just speechless, but full of pain. I as a Caymanian have done nothing wrong but yet, I as a Caymanian shall have to pay for other peoples mistakes! Situations taking place for example; this one, is more than dishearten because we (The People Of The Cayman Islands)are already in debt and look what we may have to pay. " If Henderson were to win a civil case against Bridger’s investigation this could mean millions of dollars in compensation which would have to be paid for by the Cayman Islands government." They state the government but to break it down they mean (THE PEOPLE OF THE CAYMAN ISLANDS). Keep up the good work Bridger, this may be what they call your mistake but keep going and Im sure you’ll find all their mistakes!

    • Anonymous says:

      "Keep up the good work Bridger, this may be what they call your mistake but keep going and Im sure you’ll find all their mistakes!"

      You were going well until you finished with this non-sequitur.  I hope it was meant sarcastically.  

       

  18. Anonymous says:

     

    It is no surprise that Martin Bridger has botched the job, and with any luck this distasteful chapter of history can be soon closed.  I fear though that the Cayman Islands’ taxpayers will not be done writing the checks for this for quitesome time.