Kernohan accused of betrayal

| 06/09/2009

(CNS): Deputy Commissioner of Police Anthony Ennis said on Friday that he had been betrayed by the former commissioner of police, Stuart Kernohan, over the Operation Tempura investigation, which he said had been very stressful for him. Calling most of the allegations against him ludicrous, Ennis indicated that he believed that it was all about destroying his career as there were attempts to set him up. He said the former commissioner was behind a lot of the things that happened to him.

Appearing in court as a prosecution witness duringthe trial of Lyndon Martin, the deputy commissioner explained that he could not understand how things got to the stage they did as just basic policing would have revealed very quickly that the allegations against him were ridiculous. Ennis stated that Kernohan knew full well that he had a very poor opinion of both the paper published by Desmond Seales, Cayman Net News, and the man himself, to whom Ennis was accused of leaking sensitive information.

Ennis explained that he had known Seales by reputation for the 28 years he had been in the Cayman Islands but had not met him until after Seales came out of prison and began attending the same church. He said other than on a few occasions when they were in the same place or through the normal official communication with the press, Ennis said he had very limited contact with him. He said many years ago Seales interviewed him and revealed information about a certain specialist police course he had been on in the story after Ennis had specifically asked him not to. He also said that Seales had called him on his cell-phone once with regards to an operation he was involved with to recapture escaped prisoners.

Ennis told the court that Kernohan was well aware of the animosity that existed between Ennis and Seales, as he had at one point instigated legal proceedings against him because of stories, which Ennis believed were defamatory, published in Cayman Net News. Ennis said that although he had started the legal action in his professional role, he did not feel he was supported by his chief (Kernohan). He said when he applied for reimbursement of the $3,500 he spent on legal fees, he was told by Kernohan, in writing, that he would not get the money.

When the prosecuting attorney, Andrew Radcliffe QC, presented Ennis with the list of allegations, Ennis emotionally denied every one of them stating that the idea that anyone could have believed them was absurd. “It was so clear that this was about destroying my career,” he told the court. Raising his voice on occasion and veering off into explanations illustrating why the accusations were ludicrous, Ennis was clearly still very disturbed by the entire episode.

Recalling his interview with the officers from Operation Tempura, Ennis said he could not believe that they had come all this way based on the allegations as he said that if Kernohan had made just the basic background checks it would have found it was all nonsense. “I was absolutely betrayed by that gentleman,” Ennis added. Despite the fact that the allegations that Ennis was leaking sensitive information to Desmond Seales, the publisher at Net News, were made by Lyndon Martin, Ennis gave the impression that he was reserving his animosity for others and said he have never really understood why Martin had made the allegations as there was no bad blood between him and Martin.

Although he said he did not know Martin very well, he acknowledged knowing some members of his family. Martin’s QC, Trevor Burke, then indicated that Martin had made the allegations because Desmond Seales had told him that the information had come from Ennis.

Burke asked Ennis if he forwarded internal e-mails, such as parts of Gold Command minutes to other officers and individuals inside the RCIPS. Ennis said he did and he sent lots of emails to other officers every day that contained all sorts of information. Burke asked Ennis if it was possible that other people in the RCIPS could then in turn forward Ennis’ e-mails on to other people, and Ennis agreed they could.

“Do you see what could’ve happened here?” Burke asked Ennis, who nodded and acknowledged how it was that Martin could havegot sight of emails from his e-mail address that Ennis himself had not in fact sent. Ennis also revealed to the court that he had never been informed that Evans had testified that Seales had also told him that Ennis was the source regarding the helicopter.

During Burke’s questioning Ennis admitted that he had believed that he was not liked by everyone in the service and even said some people despised him because of his country of origin. He acknowledged a level of professional distrust between himself and the other Ddeputy commissioner, Rudolph Dixon, as Ennis said that, despite his reassurances, Dixon perceived him as a threat to job of commissioner, which Dixon hoped he would get one day.

Ennis told the court that when Kernohan had instructed him to remove officers from the RCIPS that were underperforming, he said he knew full well that those officers would run to Dixon and complain about him. Ennis said in those circumstances when he looked to Kernohan for support he felt that the former commissioner had let him down. Ennis also acknowledged that disgruntled officers had regularly run to the media with their grievances and that Seales had been a willing recipient of those complaints.

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