Jack admits SPIT mistakes

| 05/12/2008

(CNS): Although ratherambiguous, H.E the Governor Stuart Jack has issued his first significant statement regarding Operation Tempura since Sir Peter Cresswell made his ruling in October, which quashed the warrants issued to search Justice Alex Henderson’s home and office. The statement appears to suggest that the main investigation may be coming to an end and admits that mistakes had been made, but Jack said that Martin Bridger and the Special Police Investigation Team (SPIT) had still acted in good faith.

 “We have to acknowledge that mistakes were made in respect of the Hon Mr Justice Henderson and, as already announced, the police decided not to appeal the judgment in the Judicial Review.  However, l would like to remind everyone that Sir Peter Cresswell’s Judicial Review and subsequent ruling, setting aside search warrants, does not negate the fact that a considerable amount of exemplary investigative work has been carried over the past year by the Investigative Team,” Governor Jack said in a written statement released to the media at around 6pm on Thursday afternoon.

He did not, however, indicate what the results were of the SPIT team’s work, which has so far reportedly cost the Cayman Islands government more than CI$4 million.

Governor Jack did say he had been assured by Bridger that during the investigation he had always endeavoured to act in good faith. “I have always found him to have acted in a very professional manner. The actions that Mr Bridger took in regard to the Hon. Mr Justice Alexander Henderson were taken based partly on advice that he had received from independent legal counsel, which has now been questioned,” the Governor added.

The advice reportedly came from a number of places, but one significant legal adviser has been Martin Polaine, a British lawyer who has visited Cayman on numerous occasions and was in court advising the SPIT legal team during the Henderson ruling, although he has not been sworn in at the Cayman bar.

Governor Jack also said that on the advice of the Attorney General the first part of Operation Tempura cumulating in the alleged unlawful entry into the Offices of Cayman Net News on the 3 September 2007 and other related matters, including the prosecution of Lyndon Martin, “must be concluded properly and with dispatch.” No explanation was given for this comment and Jack did not explain what “properly and with dispatch” meant in terms of whether or not the prosecution against Martin would continue, whether former Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan would be interviewed or not , or what the circumstances are now regarding the status of the currently suspended Chief Superintendent John Jones.

With the arrival of the new acting commissioner , James Smith, on Monday 1 December, the Governor said that Smith had been given a chance to consider the investigation and that he would now have oversight. “In his first few days in office he (Smith) has already focussed his attention on the investigations, but there are aspects which it will take a little longer to consider, notably in respect of the further unrelated allegations that have come to light.”

Although the Governor did not say what they were, it is likely he was referring to the charges against Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon which Bridger has maintained have always been separate and apart from the fundamental investigation surrounding Operation Tempura and the accusations that Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis and Desmond Seales, publisher of Cayman Net News, were in a corrupt relationship.

The governor also said that anumber of members of the community had come forward and spoken directly to Bridger and his team about other allegations of wrongdoing within the RCIPS, which would now be assessed. “Concerned with what I had heard, I commissioned an assessment to be undertaken of that information. That assessment will soon be completed and then decisions will be made as to how to move these matters forward,” Jack stated. “I am committed to taking action where there is alleged corruption in the RCIPS.  I wish to make it clear to those individuals who have demonstrated the courage in coming forward that the information they have provided will be dealt with in the strictest confidence.”

Jack ended his statement by saying that the new commissioner would be responsible for keeping the public up-to-date as developments take place. Smith, CNS has learned, has worked in the past with both Bridger and John Yates, the assistant commissioner from Scotland Yard who was supposed to have oversight of SPIT in the UK, and he also came to Cayman in 2005 to interview for the position of Police Commissioner, which was ultimately given to Stuart Kernohan.

 

 

 

 

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  1. Hanklin says:

     

      In my honest opinion, I think HE Mr. Stuart Jack had started some thing that was very much needed like the Investigations in the Corruption of Cayman Islands….. Because there is alot of Corruption in the Judicial System and the (RCIPS) Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, then I say, "someone needs to weed it out."

         Taking note that, "if HE Stuart Jack did not think there was "Corruption" in these areas of the Government, then HE would not had started the Investigations".

       The facts speak for themselves that SPIT has made a big blunder in the Investigations with Justice Alexander Henderson being the accused. However, we the Caymanian people will pay for the consequences of that one. The present Tribunal also tends to show another part of this worthyness to investigate even more so.

     The Judicial System, in Cayman Islands, has but proven on many occassions to be "Unjust" Yes, and the Police activity has seen enough "Wrongdoings". Therefore "Corruption" lies within these areas.

     The stopping of the Investigations in the "Judicial Sytem" will only leave the higher ranking "Corrupted" to do More Corruption and lead to a more Vindictive pattern in the Judicial System where Judges will take the Pattern in Justice of,  "I will handle you this time for what you have said about me in the past", and… "I will do this for  you, because your were on my side when I were in distress".

      Having the Commissioneer of Police heading an Investigation, where he himself seems to have some what less Integrity than the previous selected Commissioneer, would also seem to be a Farce or, having only investigations done in the Police and leaving the Judicial System to continue and lead their pattern of Justice would surely lead to a very ugly style of "Justice" in Cayman Islands.

      In my honest opinion, "If HE Stuart Jack is not going to continue the Investigations in the Judicial System, and only the Police Services, then I say we should get all our millions of dollars need to payoff the present bill for the SPIT investigations, conclude them.

       Then await the results of the present Tribunal and see just what happens there, while down the road we wait for the results of Justice Henderson"s expenditure, and then cast our opinions on the then present situations in our once beautiful Cayman Islands.

       We are still going to need Corruption weeded out.   

     

  2. Anonymous says:

    People make mistakes, and when those people act in ‘good faith’ mistakes can be forgiven. I do not however see how Bridger’s mistake was made in ‘good faith.’ Briger made an application to the courts for a search warrant, and was turned down for lack of evidence required for the warrant. He then KNOWILNGLY attempted to circumnavigate the courts, by going to a JP, who is just a well intentioned member of the public, with no legal knowledge, to have the warrant signed  off, because he knew the JP would do it as he knew no better. Its a bit like going to your boss and asking for a day off, and then when he / she says no, going to the deputy manager and asking them the same question as you know they are a ‘soft touch.’ How on earth this can be described as ‘acting in good faith’ is beyond me, to me it shows complete contempt of judicial process.

    The most laughable thing is that Kernohan and Jones’s ‘indiscretions’ pale in comparision to Bridger’s, yet Bridger gets commended for his work, and Kernohan gets sacked. The whole thing stinks.

  3. Twyla M Vargas says:

    BECAUSE !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    IF JUDGE HENDERSON WAS FROM ENGLAND, WOULD HE HAVE BEEN TREATED THIS WAY, WE SHOULD QUESTION THAT.

  4. Twyla M Vargas says:

    NOT WORTH THE PAPER

    PERSONS WHO REMAIN ANONYMOUS IN EXPRESSING WHAT THEY BELIEVE IN SHOULD CONSIDER WHY!

    wHAT IS WRONG WITH BEING TRANSPARENT, THERE IS NO REASON TO HIDE BEHIND WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN.  PEOPLE WILL APPRECIATE YOU AND TRUST YOU MORE.

    • tom mcfield says:

      People should be more concerned about defending their stated positions rather than worrying if a person is anonymous or not.

      Ask yourself why you decided to respond regarding a person’s identity rather than defending your position.

      What is so wrong with asking someone questions regarding their stated positions?  There is no reason to hide behind the straw man that not knowing someone’s name makes the questions and opinions invalid.  Defend your position and people will appreciate you and trust you more.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The point behind the governor’s attempt to say Bridger & his crew acted in good faith is to impede any claim Judge Henderson make seek to raise against government – in order to suceed, Judge Henderson must establish bad faith on the part of Bridger & government.

    It is curious to hear someone describe a person who has been responsible for making mistakes as having behaved in an exemplary fashion.  Bridger’s investiagtion(s) is/are only exemplary as abuses of power of the highest order.

    In the real world a professional who makes a mistake is held accountable either bu disciplinary action by their professioanl body or by an award of damages made by the court or both.  Damages reflect the extent of the injury caused by the mistake; the greater the injury, the greater the award.  One has to wonder where Judge Henderson’s damage award could be capped – an eminent and hugely respected lawyer in Canada; a sound Grand Court judge held in high esteem not only by the loacl bar but also by leading lawyers in London who is denigrated not only before the international press but also in front of his family.  It is appalling and wholly inexcusable.

    In the real world not only those responsible for this sort of abyssal behaviour but all those involved would have resigned.  In Japan, a number would have had to integrity to commit suicide; here the governor refers to it as exemplary.

    Wake up Cayman.

     

     

  6. Twyla M Vargas says:

    IT IS HUMAN TO MAKE MISTAKES

    I salute His Excellency  The Governor in the timely manner in which he  dealth with things.  Remember only fools rush in. 

      SPIT  made a BOO BOO, so who has,nt ?   We must remember that it is human to err. 

    Cayman, I am quite sure His Excellency was keeping close tab on everything, and waiting for the right time.

    I am quite sure Mr Justice Henderson will slowly heal, and one day sit back and laugh at it all. I believe he is a Fair Judge, and of course realize where and how the error was made.  But he is a judge and he knows what that is. 

    To the SPIT  team I will say tread softly and next time you wont miss  the  beat.

     

    • Anonymous says:

      If it is human to make mistakes, and you are willing to forgive the SPIT team for theirs, why are you not willing to forgive the targets of their investigations for the mistakes they might have made?

      Fact is, SPIT is the only group who so far have been found by a court of law to have abused their authority.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Nice smooth talking on trying to "cover up and save face" for your screw up’s and those of Martin Bridger and SPIT’s. The irreversable damage to the reputation of the Cayman Islands and it’s people has already been done, so don’t come talking your "Limie A_ _  B_ _ _  S_ _ _ _" in my ears now.

    You are the worst Governor that ever placed his feet upon the shores of these Cayman Islands and I hope that H.M. the Queen herself will firmly chastice you when you get back to England and pull monies from your pension monthly and SPIT’s as well. This, to help to cover the cost of the 4 million dollars CI that you squandered, not to mention the monies for the settlement of the future law suits that the tax payers will have to pay for as well.

    I hope when the day arrives that you and Martin Bridger leave this country, the good people of these Cayman Islands will comes out in record numbers and bestow upon you and Martin Bridger and SPIT, a well dererved token of our appreciation for your services to the Cayman Islands. May I suggest the token be, a new "Slop Pail" full with green mangoes for you to munch on, as you both depart the tarmac of the Owen Roberts International Airport for the wet, bitter and cold parts of mother England. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

  8. Anonymous says:

    The Governor has apparently indicated that unspecified mistakes were made by SPIT, some on the advice given by what the Governor indicates as independent legal counsel.

    Sir Peter Cresswell’s judgement, (which is available on several web sites), indicates on page 61 that a Mr. Polaine, described as a non-practicing UK barrister not qualified to practice as an attorney before the courts in Cayman, was the person who Justice of the Peace Ebanks understood to be a lawyer in relation to the application for a search warrant by SPIT members. Today’s CNS article indicates that he was also in court giving advice to SPIT. How did this come about? 
     
    As I have seen nothing in the press, and assuming the judgement to be accurate, it would seem that Cayman’s legislation and rules relating to holding yourself out, or allowing yourself to be held out, as a lawyer entitled to give advice in such circumstances are either completely defective, or perhaps do not apply to those who give advice or otherwise occupy a public office in relation to SPIT. If Cayman’s rules are defective then they clearly need to be fixed. For the present, would any UK rules relating to legal practice have applied?
     
    According to the web site of the Bar Standards Board of the Bar of England & Wales,  
     “Any barrister who does not hold a practising certificate, for whatever reason, is a non-practising barrister. The general rule is that a non-practising barrister must not hold him- or herself out as a barrister in connection with the supply of legal services.” 
     
     
    Perhaps someone from the Cayman Law Society, or the Cayman Bar, or someone else with a better understanding than I have, could look at the available information and decide whether it would be worthwhile to send a transcript of Sir Peter’s judgement to the Bar Standards Board in England for their opinion on what transpired. They seem to offer this service and Sir Peter is clearly a well respected member of the UK Bar.
     
    Transparency regarding the sources and quality of legal advice is no less important than anything else that is going on in relation to SPIT. However, it will require someone with Cayman’s interests at heart to look into how this tremendous waste has been getting its legal advice and whether all relevant rules have been followed in relation to who is giving such advice to police officers operating in Cayman, even when common sense clearly has not been followed in obtaining such advice.
    • Anonymous says:

      Excellent post concerning Mr Polaine’s right (or lack thereof) to practise Cayman Islands law in Cayman, or English law in England for that matter. This is simply indicative of the fact that these investigations were not carried out subject to the rule of law in these Islands. The Attorney General was circumvented. The Chief Justice’s rulings were ignored in preference to advice given by one not entitled to give such advice. Power was abused by the very persons who purportedly investigating abuse of power. Our laws were ignored. This is a matter for which the Governor is directly responsible and should be held accountable. It is poor for him now to suggest that it is all Mr. Polaine’s fault when this was precisely the situation that he engineered.  A failure of proper governance.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    Interesting comment from HE –

    "including the prosecution of Lyndon Martin, “must be concluded properly and with dispatch.” "

    So what exactly does he want? The process completed properly or quickly? The two are fundamentally incompatible particularly bearing in mind that at least one principal witness is now no longer available to back up the allegations. Is he now saying that the charges must be dropped?

    And what about the serious disciplinary complaints made in the Cresswell judgment against Bridger and other members of the Operation Tempura team?

    It all, particularly the revelations about the new Acting Commissioner, smells of a cover up. The release is nothing more than FCO double talk.