Martin won’t take stand

| 09/09/2009

(CNS):  The Crown closed its case against Lyndon Martin on Tuesday afternoon with a list of admissions from both parties, which included, among others, that officers from the UK special police investigation team had misrepresented the facts in the wider Operation Tempura investigation. On the heels of the list of admissions from both sides, came the news from Martin’s counsel, Trevor Bourke QC, that the defence would not be calling any witnesses. The jury will return on Wednesday morning to hear the closing summaries from both sides in a trial which has once again placed Operation Tempura under public scrutiny.

Before the list of admissions was read to the jury, the court heard the details of the interviews that Martin gave to the SPIT officers during the days following his arrest. Richard Coy, who was a member of SPIT and one of the officers involved in the unlawful arrest of Justice Alex Henderson, was only sworn in as a special constable in the RCIPS the day before Martin’s arrest but more than a month after he had arrived and began working as a police officer in Cayman.

Coy read from summaries compiled by the Crown from some nineteen interviews that Martin gave over a three day period. The court also heard that following his arrest Martin had been deprived of food, had serious concerns about the welfare of his children that the police did not address, and his family had been denied information of his whereabouts. The court also heard that while the chief justice had ruled that no such burglary had taken place, Martin was arrested for burglary, denied bail and kept in jail for fifteen days.  

Coy, a member of the Special Police Investigation Team and the last Crown witness, revealed that during his interrogation of Martin, he had told Coy that he (Martin) had felt under pressure from senior RCIPS officers after he had made what he considered merely a warning to Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon that there was a leak. He admitted how the situation had escalated but he insisted that he genuinely believed that Ennis was the leak at the time, based on the information he received from Desmond Seales, the publisher of Cayman Net News.

While he told the officers during the interrogation that he had exaggerated some of the information he had given to the first two officers from SPIT (Martin Bridger and Simon Ashwin), he had at the time still believed the accusations and as a result he had made some assumptions based on things said by, and the behaviour of, Seales.  Martin told Coy, “You have to understand the character of Desmond Seales,” Martin told the officers. “He thinks he can orchestrate who is where and has power over them.”

He went on to say that there was immense pressure from the commissioner, Stuart Kernohan, for tangible evidence and Martin said that CS John Jones had told him he needed to supply the “knock out punch".” Martin said that when he gave his original warning to Dixon he expected that the RCIPS would investigate themselves as he did not want to make an official complaint and had never intended to fan the flames.

However, Martin insisted that while he had lied about how many hard copy documents he had seen, he said there were still indications coming from Seales that Ennis was his contact in the police. He also said that John Evans had also believed Ennis was Seales’ source on the helicopter, and when Coy had suggested that it was the other way round Martin said it was not.

During the cross examination of Coy by Burke, it was revealed that during the interrogation of Martin, Coy and the other SPIT officers knew that Evans had also said that Seales was telling him Ennis was his source, but the officers had concealed that from Martin, making him believe he was the only person saying this about Seales.  

When asked by defence counsel why Coy had kept this information from Martin, the SPIT officer said he didn’t know why but he admitted that Martin was never once told that during the three days of interrogation. Coy also admitted that when Bridger had gone to a magistrate to get a warrant for Martin’s arrest he had not revealed that Evans, who was a prosecution witness, had said Seales was saying Ennis was his source.

SPIT officers were also revealed to have withheld information when they sought warrants against Henderson from a justice of the peace.

Coy was asked what he had known about Dixon (who is facing charges related to removing files on cases at the time), as one of the things that Martin had said Seales was feeding him was that Dixon was covering up arrests, but Coy said he couldn’t remember if he knew that at the time. He also again said he did not know if he knew at the time of Martin’s arrest that Dixon did father an illegitimate child with a Honduran woman, which was also true and had come to Martin via Seales.

The fact that Evans, who was a Crown witness and therefore considered a true witness by the prosecution, had told SPIT that Seales had told him Ennis was his informant was heavily emphasised by Burke before he ended his own questioning of Coy, who agreed that it was the case that Evans had made those allegations as well.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Levers Fiasco Please, you obviously do not understand whats is going there?If you think that is about Levers i would say to you What good fortune for Government that people do not think.

    • Anonymous says:

      I think you have missed my point which was with regard to the behaviour of the parties involved most of whom were women.  It was a fiasco.  

  2. Anonymous says:

    Yes we can agree it has not gone right but the principals who start this foolishness need to be held accountable. We can all read between the lines and lies. It is ironic that the people engage in this costly and ridiculous mess are all known to the general public and some would agree not for law abiding conduct. with that said senior Police officers should be above reproach, no wonder we have such a serious problem at the RCIPS. What a really really sad sad situation we are in Cayman.CI$10 million wasted on a power "struggle" SIckoooos More women in leadership are need the only solution to this problem.

    • Anonymous says:

      "More women in leadership are need the only solution to this problem".

      I think the Judge Levers fiasco has revealed what that would be like – with the exception of the Chief Justice all the principal characters were women.  

  3. anon1 says:

    They got the name right this time for this operation SPIT. SPIT on the Cayman Islands and SPIT on Caymanians.

  4. anon1 says:

    It will if he wins (the) case against him and then wins the follow up lawsuit for costs.

    Will this be another example of our good Gov and our Mother Country doing their best to cost the Caumanians money like the mess with Judge Henderson?

  5. $$$$ says:

    Who is paying for Martin’s QC – I hope it is not coming from the public purse. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Let me get this straight now…’s OK that the Cayman people paid for Judge Levers QC (and that was decided on before her case even started); It;s also OK to pay for Henderson but………not OK for Martin’s?


      Why, I wonder? Anything to do with him being a Caymanian?

      • No says:

        No it has everything to do with the seriousness of the alleged offence (or lackof it).  Wow who would have guessed such oversensitivity?  And Judge Henderson had to pay his own lawyers, but was received compensation after the actions against him were found to be wrongful.

        • Anonymous says:

          Well, he won! And hopefully you heard/read his comments about suing (or rather, not suing) the Government!

          This man is a true statesman and should be seen as a HERO having put his own life, career etc. on the line for the sake of what he considered to be the good of the country.