Trial exposes Op Tempura

| 14/09/2009

(CNS): The governor has been quick to defend his decision to support Operation Tempura and the special police investigation team (SPIT), despite the most recent court room revelations that the investigation was flawed from the very beginning. Late Friday afternoon the Governor’s Office issued a statement that Governor Stuart Jack had noted the outcome of the Lyndon Martin trial and respected the verdict of the jury, but he continued to back the investigation. During Martin’s trail, however, further serious weaknesses were exposed, especially the lack of supervision of the SPIT officers. (Photo: SPIT members at Rum Point).

While the governor said he believed it was “necessary to continue the pursuit of alleged police corruption", there was no indication of any intended investigation into the activities of Operation Tempura, no apologies to those that have been damaged by what was first described as nothing more than a “fishing expedition” by Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, then by Sir Peter Creswell as a “gross abuse of process” and, more recently, by Stuart Kernohan, the former commissioner, as “horribly wrong".

Despite all of these criticisms by experienced legal minds and a senior police officer with decades of experience regarding the conclusion that the officers jumped to within 72 hours of their arrival, the governor said that whatever may have “subsequently transpired in regard to Operation Tempura", he believes that it was important to get to the bottom of the original allegations. “It remains necessary to continue to pursue, under Operation Cealt, other allegations of police corruption,” he said.

The investigation, which has lasted more than two years and estimated to have cost the Cayman pursein excess of $10 million, has yet to prove corruption in either the police service or the judiciary. Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon is the last person arrested and charged in connection with Operation Tempura yet to face trial, which is scheduled to begin on 28 September. Dixon faces misconduct charges relating to two arrests, one in June 2003 and another in April 2004, in which Dixon instructed officers to drop the cases for various reasons.

Back in May of this year both, former CoP Stuart Kernohan and Chief Superintendent John Jones were cleared of any criminal allegations, and on Friday 28 August, in what was suggested to be a deliberate and contrived move by Martin’s QC Trevor Burke in terms of timing, Jones was exonerated of all disciplinary proceedings regarding his part in the entry to Cayman Net News on 3 September to enable him to testify and bring an unsigned witness statement of Martin’s to the court as evidence.

Currently two civil actions remain outstanding — one from Burman Scott, who suffered a humiliating arrest at the hands of SPIT (allegedly to “make him talk”) with regards to the case against Dixon, and one from Kernohan, who has also filed suit against the governor, members of SPIT and the police commissioner for their collective role in his suspension and ultimately his dismissal. Neither Lyndon Martin nor John Jones have filed suit at this stage, although Martin made it clear last week in the wake of his not guilty verdict that he has not ruled it out if there was a way to make the SPIT and not the Cayman people pay.

Both SPIT and Operation Tempura are being increasingly held in contempt by the people of the Cayman Islands in the face of continuing revelations about the conduct of the officers and the cost to the tax payer without results. Further revelations are also expected when Auditor General Dan Duguay submits his Value for Money Aaudit of Operation Tempura.

Duguay said recently that the response from the parties involved has taken longer to canvas than his original investigation – a clear indication that they are not keen for its contents to be made public. Duguay said, however, despite their reluctance to return the preliminary report to him with their comments, that he was be prepared to release it without their contributions if necessary, as he said he would not allow them to continue to delay its publication.

The report is expected to reveal how much SPIT officers were earning, how much they have spent on the investigation from an operational standpoint, as well as the money wasted persuing failed legal cases, such as the Henderson judicial review. While Justice Alex Henderson was paid some CI$1.274 in damages and costs, CNS also discovered through an FOI request that Bridger had also spent more than $½ million on court costs to defend that unlawful arrest.

The integrity of Operation Tempura has been severely brought into question again by testimony from a number of witnesses who took the stand during Martin’s trial. The investigation not only seems to have been characterized by a catalogue of errors, from the covert operation being exposed through the alleged activity of one of the investigators to the unlawful arrest of a high court judge. For several months SPIT was unsupervised save for two fleeting visits by John Yates from Scotland Yard, who supposedly had oversight of the investigation.

The local strategic oversight committee was not formed until February of 2008, and even then the day to day activities of SIO Martin Bridger and what were as many as one dozen SPIT members were not directly supervised. Bridgerand others were often seen drinking in around a number of Cayman’s bars, in particular the Triple Crown and Bamboo — which sources have suggesed explains the investigation’s moniker.

Bridger has also been severely criticised by many for making the decision within a few days of arriving that Desmond Seales was a truthful and dependable witness, despite the fact that the recent trial revealed that Seales probably did have an inside police source, although it was not Anthony Ennis, and his testimony given under oath was contradicted by a number of Crown witnesses.

CNS also understands from sources that, following the result of the Henderson review, Bridger was, if not ‘leaking’, at least placing significant information about Operation Tempura with Seales in an attempt to justify the continuation of his floundering investigation. This resulted in a number of defensive stories and, in particular, editorials regarding the entry into Net News by John Evans and Justice Henderson. Despite Bridger’s decision in 2008 to stop talking to the press, one former employee of Cayman Net News told CNS that Bridger “was calling Seales on adaily basis".

The growing calls for an investigation into the actions of Tempura is based on concerns that Bridger and his team did very little actual investigating and based much of the case, as they perceived it, on documentation already in the public domain. The early assumption of the burglary was, according to Kernohan, Jones and Evans, based on information disclosed to Bridger and Ashwin on their arrival. The trial also revealed that the so-called “missing files” with regards the Dixon case were never covered up and came from information supplied by Martin.

The judgement that Seales was a reliable witness was based on his testimony given during the Charles Clifford enquiry and not the circumstances building up to Seales’ involvement in the case, according to Evans and other sources. Each of the decisions made to suspend, arrest and charge people involved were based on information that was in the documents handed to them in the first few weeks of their arrival.

The legal advice given to Operation Tempura has also been severely criticised. Martin’s trial revealed that Andre Mon Desir advised SPIT to arrest Martin for burglary despite the chief justice having already informed the team twice that no such crime had been committed. Later, based on English law and not the local penal code, Martin Polaine advised Bridger to arrest Justice Henderson. Polaine recently faced the UK Bar Standards Board and admitted fundamental errors regarding the advice he gave to SPIT and is awaiting a decision on his license.

From the beginning and until now the governor has continued to offer his full support, not just to the investigation, but to Martin Bridger as well. Even in the face of the UK’s refusal to approve more borrowing by the CI government to get through the current economic downturn, the governor’s office has given no indication that it will be bringing Operation Cealt to a close or seeking money from the UK to pay for what has become a catalogue of errors with no benefit to the people of the Cayman Islands.

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  1. Harry Carey says:

    My goodness what a disproportionate and sensitive lot we have here.  It does seem like King Baby syndrome writ large.  People having a beer is apparently the worst insult imaginable (see anon1’s post) and a police investigation which may or may not have uncovered police corruption is compared to genocide and concentration camps.  Get a life.

    Think about the effect of the Martin acquittal – if probably vindicated SPIT.  If the jury did not think he made up his story about the binder of leaked information then there may have been a case that there was a leak.  A leak which the evidence indicates may have been known to senior politicians.

    We are happy to allege corruption every day on CNS.  When someone investigates it they are villians?  What you enjoy the cloak and daggers?  No-one local could investigate this – just as no local force members would invstigate this in the UK if it was a UK force being questioned.

    So yes it was expensive.  But we blow that much money on the turtle farm every year.  Yes the Henderson arrest was a debacle and should have been stopped earlier but for the incompetence of Polaine.  But no-one was tortured.  No one died.  

    • da wa ya get says:

      No one was tortured. No one died.

      However, it was a gross misuse of  a significant amount of public funds in the recessionary time. What makes it so appaling is that many Caymanian people and the sitting government had come to see the investigation for what it was, a farce; and the had chosen to not pay out anymore on this farce. The Governor however, in his pursuit of "good governance", went to the FCO for approval.

      Yes, we blow that much money on Boatswain’s Beach each year(although that was Mac’s bright idea), but the development of Boatswain’s Beach was our idea and our mistake. The gross misuse of public funds in the pursuit of "good governance" in the face of evidence to the contrary was not our idea or our mistake; yet WE have to pay for it….worse, in these recesionary times.

    • John Evans says:

      Not sure I follow your logic here…….

      Think about the effect of the Martin acquittal – if probably vindicated SPIT. 

      That doesn’t work. SPIT never investigated the possiblity there was a leak, they only looked at whether or not Deputy Commissioner Ennis was the leak.

      That point was hammered home during Lyndon’s trial.

      They never even looked at why Mr Ennis was fingered by Desmond Seales as a source of what was clearly inaccurate information.

      I know Mr Seales has challenged my account of this at some length in print but bear in mind that, even though he called me a liar during both the Levers’ Tribunal and Lyndon’s trial, he has never cited a specific instance where I made an untrue statement while he was testifying under oath – simple reason for that is because to do so he would have had to commit perjury.

      The first concerns I encountered about the ‘Ennis is my source’ allegation came not from SPIT but in a legal review just before the PI in August 2008 – some five months after Lyndon had been charged – and then it was only because the comments might weaken the prosecution case.

      So was there a real Net News mole in the RCIPS? It’s certainly possible and, based on statements made during three meetings on 27 March 2008, it’s highly likely that the leak tipped off my former employer about Operation Tempura months before he was officially told of its existence on 16 March. 

      What worries me is that if material sourced from the RCIPS, and possibly other government departments, is not being used to create news stories what is it being used for?

    • Anonymous says:

      "But no-one was tortured.  No one died"


      I suppose in your twisted logic, that makes everything that happend okay???   Millions of CAYMAN ISLANDS GOVERNMENT DOLLARS were wasted by this pathetic excuse of an investigation and the best you can say is no one was tortured and no one died???

      I bet those that were arrested and interrogated would disagree with you that they were not tortured!!  What do you call denying a man legal representation, food, sleep and contact with his family to let them know he is alright and then questioning for hours and hours upon end???    Sounds like torture to me!!

      • Baby Peach says:

        I think the poster was not saying everything was alright, but rather that comparing SPIT to genocide or concentration camps was ridiculous, which seems absolutely right.

  2. Anonymous says:

    RE: Chagos Islands

    Let us not forget that the UK had a CHOICE in that decision!

    Meaning – there was a choice between Aldabra (island to the North of Madagascar) and the Chaogos Islands but since the other was home to an endangered species of tortoises the political ramifications would have been too problematic.

    CNS: Just post the link to the BBC article, not the article itself.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What’s wrong with these folks having a drink after work.  When they were here, they would have worked hard like anyone of us.  They were not here to do bible studies or go to church on every sunday my friends.  Governor employed them and they have a right to take a rest after work or weekends.  I am sure they will promote Cayman when they are back in UK and it is good for our tourism.  Also, we do not know why they were drinking at various bars in Grand Cayman.  Maybe they were spying and looking for information to assist in their investigation.  It is common among intellegence officers to go to pubs/bars to meet people to help in the investigations.  We need to be patient until the Governor releases the final report.  I am sure there will be a lot of surprises.  Thank you.

    • anon1 says:

      This is the ultimate insult to me as a Caymanian. The very thought that there is a contengent of English tourists that we should be coddleing to boost our tourism industry is the final joke. It is a well known fact that the English traveller is one of the cheapest tourist that visit any country. Just ask the French.

      Gathering information to assist their investigation of what? We need to be patient until the Governor releases the final report? Don’t insult my intelligence please. Maybe HE will manage to get that out the day before he leaves in November but I am not holding my breath.

      Don’t get me started on what’s wrong with these filks having a drink after work ………

      One can only hope that this post is done with a sense of’tongue in cheek’

      • We love Anon1 says:

        Oh please do get started.  We love it when you get really angry. 

      • Makam says:

        Well known fact from where?

        It is a well known fact that the majority of the French do not travel at all!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Yeah, yeah, yeah and I have a nice lakefront lot on the moon, I’d like to sell to you! 

  4. Joe Average says:

    The issue of the Chagos Islanders ie. those from Diego Garcia, has been raised several times.  For those who don’t know….this was probably one of the worst cases of attempted genocide in modern history.  The British Government dislocated an entire people in an arrangement with U.S. authorities in order to locate a military base in the Indian Ocean.  In the process, the inhabitants of the Chagos Islands were lied to, starved, and had their houses and crops burned.  The remnants were loaded on ships and sent to Mauritius.  Never to return to their beloved and ancestral home.  To this day they live in acute poverty with all of its associated menaces.  Outcast from a society which does not and will not accept them.  This was done in the name of colonialism and/or divine right.  

    The people living in Britain, or anyone from the British Isles, would do best to remember….before they choose to point fingers at other nations….at the carnage and disruption THEIR government has brought to so many others on the planet in the name of the "foreign office".

    Information:  Stealing a Nation- John Pilger.  YouTube

    • Pale Rider says:

      Let’s not forget that other bastion of British Pride…the concentration camp…don’t believe me??  Google Boer wars and see for yourself…


      Oh, Yeah!!!  The Brits have A LOT to be proud of when it comes to their treatment of other cultures….

      You are right…they would DO WELL to think about the post in their eyes before they point out the splinter in others….

    • Plunkett says:

      It was not genocide.  That term should not be abused.

      It was in the mid 70’s at the height of theCold War when a secure US base was desperately needed when Communist interest in Africa and SE Asia was increasing.  Maybe it the scheme of things it was for the greater good.

      We cannot judge decisions of those times by today’s standards.

      Today Cayman abuses human rights far more than the UK does.

      • Anonymous says:

        1. There is nothing to justify the behaviour of the British Govt. in that case whether it was the 1970s or 2009.  Many evils have been perpretated because it in the mind of the perpetrator is for "the greater good". Hitler no doubt thought the extermination of Jews, Poles, gypsies etc. was for the "greater good".

        2. It continues today. 

        3. It totally exposes the hypocrisy of the British Govt.

        What nonsense. You should really have your human rights abused and then you would know about it.

        What a hypocrite.

  5. Anonymous says:

    Please do not ask our school children to come to the airport to say farewell to this clown in November.

    Lets start the movement to say "NO TO JACK"…..If we do go to the airport in November it should only be to protest the harm that Stuart Jack has caused our country.

    ….And even in the face of all of these screw ups, he continues to support Operation Cealt……Caymanians must stop beingso damn passive……its our damn tax dollars that these clowns are spending. 

    Its time to stand for something my people !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      It is a caymanian tradition for sometime now to grant the caymanian status to the departing governor by the Cabinet.  Are you going to break this great tradition now ???  I hope not….

  6. Anon says:

    Disgraceful, Police Officers having a day off and enjoying a drink at Rum Point – this is outrageous behaviour. I bet they eat lunch too.  

    • Anonymous says:

      Probably consuming oxygen as well.  Bastards.

      • Anonymous says:

        LOL! Had they been Caymanian this would have been powerful evidence of how lazy they are, always skiving off and not doing the job they are paid to do.  Much better to have an expat in their place who, by definition, is of superior worth.

  7. Party For Governor says:

    First off, CNS – Great story and even better photo!

    Let us take post at 09:02 to heart and plan a “Goodbye party” for Governor. We should arrange at least 500 persons to go to airport to say goodbye…now that is only proper hospitality, Cayman. However they will probably sneak him off island like they did Bridger.

    It is clear that the British should be paying for this “muck-up”. Obviously the Governor cannot say anything else at this stage but to continue to support this nonsense….The Captain should always go down with the ship in true British colonial style!!

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sure Governor Jack will enjoy his leaving party; he has been the only one to try to drag Cayman into the 21st Century. Will the new Governor specially selected to continue the present Governor’s work be welcomed with the same enthusiasm? 

      • Anonymous says:

        I assume you are joking. If Operation Tempura exemplifies the 21st century then God help us all. He has turned a blind eye to wrongdoing where it suits him/the UK Govt. and vigorously pursued matters that have little significance. His tenure as Governor is a digraceful episode in our history that I hope is never repeated.    

  8. Scrooge McTaggart says:

    This is all very negative, people. There is no need for it. Now kiss and make up and have a bit of mutual respect. Come together and do something positive.

    An Expat

  9. Anonymous says:

    09:48 – well said my man (or woman)

    You see, you Caymanians think you are so worthy of everything when you want to work for nothing.

    You want to treat people like dirt.

    You want to say what you want, no matter how wrong it is. You want to show your children just how to S**t all over every expat they meet.

    No wonder YOUR name is mud in the UK, & in many other countries.

    Just wait until Cuba starts its tourism plans YOU are F***ed my friends.

    Or, you just could start to treat people right, show your kids the correct way to behave by having them observe YOUR own good behaviour and then and only then might there be a light for you to aim for.

    Of course, in writing this I am sad, because there are some wonderful and great Caymanian people here, but they are a dying breed.

    Stop blaming everyone else for your own failures.

    Stop blaming us for your kids running around like wild animals.

    Stop blaming every expat for every crime that goes on.

    Save yourselves before it really is too late.

    Read your bibles. Raise your own children (as in no slave helpers), come on, you can do it, your ancestors did it, why can’t you?????



    • Anonymous says:

      You either do not understand or have chosen to ignore the role of the expat in the state of the relationship with Caymanians. Many Caymanians have been treated like dirt by expats in their own country and are now bitter.

      So far as I am aware the name of Caymanians (unlike certain other expat nationalities) is not mud in the UK or anywhere else.   

  10. Anonymous says:

    Re: "Get real man. If the UK


    • Anon says:

      D, that you?  If not, u got a clone.

      • Anonymous says:

        Hi Anon,

         I guess "D" does have a clone…because I am not him / her.

        Just goes to show that more and more Caymanians are waking up to the truth of the sham of a humanitarian nation that is the UK.

        • WestBayer says:

          Let’s invade.  Me and 2 guys on the block could clean their clocks in about a week.

  11. Richard Wadd says:

     To: Get real man. If the UK  – Well said.

  12. Anonymous says:

    this is the same governor that encouraged the people to take on the new Constitution — now we are finding it is at horrendous cost to further drain and bleed us out.

  13. SIR TURTLE says:


    SIR TURTLE (to Governor):





    What has happened to spending money on prevention and protecting whistle blowers???



  14. anon1 says:

    Your lead in picture is a telling and appropiate one. The first thing I notice is that there are three heads on bodies and three coconuts on tables. I would like to offer my analysis. The collective IQs of the three human heads, no make that four as I would like to include the head of out esteemed "good Governance" governor Mr. Jack, does not equal the collective IQs of the three coconuts.

    Is it only me or does other readers see the irony in the names Tempura and SPIT. Tempura referres to the drink that this wonderful team liked to drink while working on their much needed tans and SPIT is exactly what the Governor had in mind when he dreamed up this silly operation. SPIT on the Cayman Islands police force, SPIT on the Cayman Islands judicery and most importantly SPIT on every Caymanian and the beautiful Cayman Islands who so graciously welcomed him here………. Oh yea, and make us pay dearly for that SPIT.

    I would say good riddence, it can’t come too soon, to Jacko but I fear that the next Governor will be even less competent and have even more sinister orders from the mother country and an even more vicious agends than Jacko.

    It is a fact that every successive Governor in the past 45 years have each been worse than his predecessor …… now let us see how the next jocker that gets to sleep on Seven Mile Beach will treat us, his loyal subjects.

  15. John Evans says:

    Absolutely brilliant…….

    This is the most comprehensive summing up of Operation Tempura anyone could hope for and the people of the Cayman islands should read it very carefully because it is all true.

    One area is of particularly concern, the relationship between Martin Bridger and Net News Publisher Desmond Seales. I also heard from reliable sources thatwhat in the UK would be regarded as an ‘unhealthy’ relationship had developed between the two as Tempura started to hit the rocks and take on water. 

    There were also suggestions that the charges made against Justice Henderson were prompted by pressure from outside SPIT. The basis for this is the fact that they were based on what are normally civil complaints rather than criminal acts and the specifications might originally have been drawn up by lawyers acting for Cayman Net News to force SPIT to take action.

    I currently have a number of complaints outstanding over both my treatment by SPIT and the publication by Cayman Net News of material clearly intended to pervert the course of justice. It will be a telling test of the credibility of the new Commissioner of Police how he handles them. 

  16. Anonymous says:

    Support of "Operation Tempura" ??? Only a dunce would support them !!!

    I hope the FCO and all of the media outlets in the UK are taking note of these verdicts in Cayman and printing articles accordingly.

    Well, I’ve spotted locations for the gathering/collection of the "green iguanas" and "wild chickens" already, to present to Stuart Jack in a crocus sack in November 2009 on his departure.

    The ideal locations for easy collection of these wild chickens are just north of the Yacht Club along West Bay Road and for the green iguanas, Safe Haven near the Golf Course and the Grand Caymanian Resort. They are available in the hundreds, if not thousands.

    That is the only thing Stuart Jack and his Operation Tempura and Cealt cronies now deserves from the Cayman Islands.

    Lim – y  B – – – – – – –  !!!!! 




  17. Anonymous says:

    Why doesn’t the Guardian Newspaper report on this rogue Governor and his many failures! My guess they are right there with him doing what they can to further destroy our country!

    It’s time to send Jack home!!!

  18. Anonymous says:

    CNS:  The Cayman Public needs to know the exact date and time that Jack will be leaving this island. I and I know of many others, would like to be there to ensure that he leaves and the world press can know exactly how we felt about him and his English cronies!!

    This man is so arrogant that he will continue with this mess until we are so bankrupt we can’t even sue him.

    Enough is Enough, time to send this fool home along with his "Operations." We can’t afford any more of his foolish and reckless behavior which is destroying our country and its citizens!

  19. Anonymous says:

    Anyone else find it a suspiscious coincidence that the ordinary, moderate, and traditionally low-level rate of criminality has descended into one of high-level serious gun crime over the course of time that the UK has been poking around our country?

    History teaches me not to put ANYTHING beyond the UK and they will go to any means to destroy an enemy (Financial industry / banking) by way of covert actions – like flooding a small island nation with guns for example.

    People say the guns are coming from Jamaica and Honduras – I don’t really understand that as those countries have been right there for as long as we have. Furthermore, today is arguably the most difficult time in history to smuggle weapons internationally.

    Why now?

    Why the sudden explosion in gun crime?

    Where are the guns coming from?


    (Standing by for the passionate condemnations by our resident Brtis. Yes, of course – your beloved UK is a spotless, blameless, humanitarian gem of a nation. Wouldn’t hurt a fly right – especially their beloved fellow foreign British citizens!? Yeah … Chagos Islands anyone?)

    • Anon says:

      Get real man. If the UK wanted to do so, they would crush you like the cockroach you are. They wouldn’t bother smuggling these few guns in or whatever you reckon. They’ll be the ones having  to pay to bail you all out in a few years when the coutnry is on its knees

      YOU are the cause of the crimewave here. YOU and your narrow mindedness, always looking to blame others and refusing to accept that as a society you have failed.

      The children YOU have brought up have been ignored because you were too busy beating your wife, shaggin the mistress and drink driving to church. They had no upbringing and no education so have turned into criminals.

      People like you need to stop blaming others and look into your own failings, if you didn’t bring up your kids to expect such entitlement, and gave them better examples than your own single parent upbringing, then they wouldn’t be out smuggling, robbing and shooting.

      • Anonymous says:

        "Get real man. If the UK wanted to do so, they would crush you like the cockroach you are."


        And you people wonder why Caymanians hate you!!!


      • anon1 says:

        YOU of course are not bleaming anyone for anything. Least of all Caymanians.

        YOU of course was attracted to the Cayman Islands because you needed some cockroaches to live amongst.

        YOU of course are chosing to stay here because YOU like living with wife beating churchgoers.

        YOU of course stay because YOU need some ignorant people without education sothat you can feel superior to someone and there are NO ignorant people where YOU came from.

        YOU of course do not have an employer who has the money at immegration to pay for your repatriation back home so YOU are stuck with this horrible Cayman Islands.

        YOU of course are very open minded and tolerant and always look at the wider picture.

        YOU of course do not mind living in living in this broke ass country( correction, I mean British Overseas Territory) as long as that big paycheck keeps coming in.

        YOU of course are one ofthe smart educated ones who don’t spend money to support the economy because you are intellegent enough to horde your pay in these God forsaken tax free banks so that you can take it back home with you.

        YOU of course will kiss this ignorant place goodbye and good riddance the day after your work permit is ever refused and US ignorant, drinkard, wife beating, mistress shagging church going Caymanians will regret the day we ever pissed off the likes of YOU and you decided to leave. 

        YOU my friend make me SICK.