Archive for October 13th, 2009

Judge says Perez not guilty

| 13/10/2009 | 19 Comments

(CNS): The man accused of murdering Martin Gareau was acquitted on Tuesday afternoon by Judge Roy Anderson, who said that while it was plausible that Josue Carillo Perez could have committed the crime, plausibility was not enough and the crown had not proved its case beyond reasonable doubt.  Justice Anderson explained that although the defendant had elected for a judge alone trial, it was still the role of the judge to be both judge and jury and make the decision on the evidence. The judge said that while he believed it was possible that Perez was involved, he could not say that he was sure and therefore returned a verdict of not guilty.

The judge told the court that the Crown’s case was based on circumstantial evidence, and while it had demonstrated with the fingerprint evidence that he was likely there at the scene, there was evidence to suggest that if Perez had played any part he was not alone, but the Crown had presented the case as the defendant as the sole perpetrator of the vile murder.

The particulars of this case do not contemplate that he did it in concert with anyone else,” Justice Anderson noted and explained he could not be sure of Perez’s guilt. He explained that while the Crown had offered a window of opportunity for Perez to have committed the act on the Sunday afternoon and motive in stealing money, it had not proved beyond doubt that the deceased had cash in the apartment.

He also noted that while officers in the case had followed the processes in the execution of their work, the judge said there was a need document evidence and follow protocols. “Everything must be done to secure the integrity of evidence,” Anderson added.

The judge also acknowledged the two applications submitted by the defence to have the finger print and foot impression evidence suppressed, he said that there was nothing to suggest from the case that fingerprint evidence was not as important a tool to law enforcement as ever.

Justice Anderson said he believed that foot impression evidence can also be of great assistance in the process but on this occasion he noted that the expert had said that the evidence could or could not support the case.

In his summing up the judge lamented the end of innocence in Cayman and noted the unstoppable advance of the global village where the old order of tranquillity had ended. “It is my view that Caymanians should not allow the monster of crime to overrun them, but justice must be done,” he said before reiterating his not guilty verdict.

Perez was charged with Gareau’s murder in June 2008 following the discovery of Gareau’s body in his Beach Bay home, on Tuesday the 20 May, by a family member. The crime scene showed evidence of a considerable struggle and the deceased had received multiple blunt and sharp wounds. The pathologist stated that the fatal wound was a fracture to his skull.

See comments from Perez’s lawyer and family

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Protection for women crawls towards legislature

| 13/10/2009 | 6 Comments

(CNS): Although it is over a year since the murder of local activist and advocate, Estella Scott-Roberts, the legislation promised by the authorities in the wake of her death has still not been enacted. However, this week it took a step closer to the statute books with the public consultation of the law reform commission’s Protection Against Domestic Violence Bill, 2009. People are being asked to comments and submit views on the legislative proposal         posted on on the home page under features. Meanwhile on Saturday the BPW will be holding a silent witness march from the Glass house to the Legislative Assembly.

Government said submissions re the draft bill should be posted no later than 20 November, 2009 to the Director, Law Reform Commission, c/o Government Administration Building or delivered by hand to the offices of the Commission on 3rd Floor Anderson Square or emailed to

On Saturday 17 October hundreds of people are expected to join the Business & Professional Women’s Club (BPW) Silent Witness march which starts at noon outside the Glass House on Elgin Avenue and will make its way to Fort Street  and the Legislative Assembly where there will be a brief ceremony. Everyone is invited to attend to express support and commitment to the eradication of gender violence in the Cayman Islands.

The Silent Witness Project is a traveling memorial honoring the 26 women who were murdered in Minnesota in 1990 in acts of domestic violence. The exhibit is made of 27 life-size wooden figures, each representing a woman who once lived, worked, had neighbors, friends, family before her death. The exhibit was conceived and produced by an ad hoc group of artists and writers in collaboration with women’s organizations in Minnesota.
In October, 1998, the first Silent Witness National March was held in Washington D.C. with participants representing Silent Witness projects in all 50 states and the island of Guam.

The Silent Witness National Initiative had set a goal of zero deaths from domestic violence by 2010 and is coordinating efforts all across the United States to reach that goal

For further information on the local event please contact  Monica Czorny 9395558, Velma Powery-Hewitt 925-3606

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Cops & locals clean up

| 13/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): West Bay Neighbourhood Police officers PC Sharon Baillie and Sergeant Winston Forth along with West Bay MLA Captain Eugene Ebanks and several concerned residents pulled together to carry out a clean up along Stadium Drive up to Andresen Road / Conch Point Road, West Bay recently. Area Commander Chief Inspector Angelique Howell said that cleaner neighbourhoods can reduce crime and said her officers would continue to try and reach the people of the community with these kinds of initiatives.

Howell also reminded residents that throwing garbage out in the streets is an offence under the1997 Litter Law and is punishable with a $500 fine or a prison term of up to six months. “We appreciate Captain Eugene and the residents involving us in the clean up initiatives. We will continue to work with the people of this district to crack down on littering. Clean, well kept, neighbourhoods can bring about a reduction in crime,” she added.

“We thank MLA Captain Eugene and his team for including us in their clean up of the district.” West Bay resident and volunteer Jeana Ebanks said she would like to see this activity become a regular occurrence and encouraged residents to come out to work together for a cleaner West Bay.

Residents are urged to report anyone seen flouting the law by dumping waste or littering in their neighbourhood to the police or the Department of Environmental Health (DEH). The public can contact DEH to make a complaint at 949-6696 or call their local police station.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in theCayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Marine institute introduces budget fundraiser

| 13/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): This year’s Festival of Trees, organised by the Central Caribbean Marine Institute (CCMI), has the recent economic slow-down in mid by providing opportunities for people of all income levels to be involved in supporting the charity.  The Charles Dickens Store, set up in Camana Bay’s Gardenia Court between 18 and 20 December, will offer guests a chance to purchase raffle prizes for as low as $25.00 which organisers said the prizes make excellent Christmas stocking stuffers. Along with the auctioning of the decorated and gifted Christmas trees, there will be a larger number of holiday wreaths auctioned off this year, to cater to those who wish to support the charity butcannot afford to buy the trees.


Brenda Gadd, Managing Director of CCMI said the fundraiser is designed to appeal to all people. “There will be wonderful gift ideas for people of all income levels; we hope everyone will open their hearts and their purses to support this worthy cause during the Holiday season,” she said.

The grand finale, which takes place on Saturday 21 November at Ristorante Papagallo, will consist of a champagne reception, a sumptuous Italian dinner served with red and white wine, followed by live and silent auctions.  The fundraisers said ticket prices by comparison to other fundraisers, are a very reasonable CI$125 per person and can be obtained by emailing or calling 948-1094. Cash, checks, and credit cards are accepted.




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Thirteen year old arrested over drug use

| 13/10/2009 | 11 Comments

(CNS):  The RCIPS said it carried out several arrests over the weekend for drug possession, violence and a number of other offences. Of the 20 people nabbed by police the youngest was a thirteen year old who police said they arrested for consumption of a controlled drug. A man was also arrested for suspicion of indecent assault as well as four people for suspicion of assault and threatening violence including a 16 year old. Police also stated that a 15-year-old was arrested for suspicion of driving without a licence, without insurance and taking without owner’s consent.

The list of offenders included a 21-year-old man, a 24-year-old man, an 18-year-old man, a 57-year-old man and a 42-year-old woman as well as the 13 year old juvenile for drug related offences. A 47-year-old man was arrested for suspicion of indecent assault and a 41-year-old man for suspicion of theft.

Police also arrested two woman aged 34 and 36 for suspicion of perverting the course of justice & interfering with a witness and a third woman for interfering with a witness.

 A 42-year-old man, a 16-year-old juvenile for suspicion of assault ABH were arrested along with a 50-year-old man for suspicion of assault ABH and threatening violence and a 54-year-old woman for suspicion of threatening violence.

Two man were arrested for disorderly conduct another for resisting arrest & failing to provide name and address on one 37-year-old man for suspicion of driving under the influence of alcohol.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Police investigate attempted restaurant robbery

| 13/10/2009 | 0 Comments

(CNS): Police have said that officers are now investigating a report of an attempted robbery that took place on Friday night, 9 October, at approximately 11:15pm at Chester’s restaurant. It was reported that two men carrying machetes had attempted to rob the restaurant on Bodden Road, Bodden Town. The perpetrators entered the restaurant with machetes and demanded money from an employee, police have said . The two men were then said to have made a quick escape without any cash and it is believed they left in a vehicle. 

These men are described as wearing dark blue long sleeved shirts, black jeans and black gloves and white sneakers. They had their faces covered with a white cloth. One is said to about 6 feet in height and the other 5’ 7’’.

Earlier this year robbers made off with cash after using machetes to threaten the victims in the apartments adjacent apartments on the premises by the restuarant and were pursued by a local man who gave chase when he witnessed them escaping as he ate in Chester’s restaurant.

Anyone with information about crime taking place in the Cayman Islands should contact their local police station or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS). All persons calling Crime Stoppers remain anonymous, and are eligible for a reward of up to $1000, should their information lead to an arrest or recovery of property/drugs.

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Jack rejects responsibility

| 13/10/2009 | 41 Comments

(CNS): In the wake of the auditor general’s special report on Operation Tempura that revealed, among other things, that the SIO was paid more than three times his police salary when he became a direct employee of the governor, the UK’s representative has said that he had urged those who were responsible to be as careful as possible with the costs of the investigation but rejected his own culpability. In a short statement following Dan Duguay’s shocking report, Stuart Jack also said that while things could have been handled differently civil servants supporting Operations Tempura and Cealt acted in good faith.

Although his office had ultimate responsibility for the discredited investigation following the suspension of then-police commissioner, Stuart Kernohan, in a short statement from his office the governor said he was not responsible for police-related budgets, but he had urged, at various points, those who were responsible to be as careful as possible to keep down the costs of the investigations.”

The governor however does have ultimate responsibility for the official arm of government, which includes the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs. Moreover, throughout the early stages of the overt operation Jack appeared alongside SIO Martin Bridger when making public comment about the progress of the investigation on numerous occassions.

The governor made no comment about the estimated cost of Operation Tempura and latterly Cealt, which has cost more than $6.8 million from the Cayman purse but has proved nothing other than the fact that Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis was not the police source of Desmond Seales (the publisher of Cayman Net News) .

Nor does Jack comment on Duguay’s findings that there was a fundamental lack of oversight of the financial management, leaving the SIO and the special police investigation team (SPIT) to essentially write their own checks. Duguay points out that there was no attempt to pursue the normal channels regarding government contracts and there was scant regard to value for money.

The governor said he believed the auditor general had a right to look into any areas of public expenditure, including Operations Tempura and Cealt, but that these were not routine project or purchase of services by government, and that to understand what transpired, he said, he encouraged people to read the management response at the end of the report, as well as the AG’s findings.

In his report Duguay noted how the SIO had begun working in Cayman as a member of the UK’s Metropolitan Police Service and therefore Cayman was reimbursing Scotland Yard for Bridger’s salary, at just over $8,000 per month plus paying him expenses.

Once he retired from the famous Scotland Yard and was asked to remain at the helm of Operation Tempura as a consultant, his salary was then increased to a whopping $27,400 per month.

CNS has sent questions to both the chief secretary and the governor’s offices asking who had negotiated the new rate with Bridger and how such an incredible increase was justified given that he had continued in the same post. The Governor’s Office has not yet responded. However, thechief secretary told CNS he would be happy to address questions about the auditor general’s report following the Public Account Committee’s consideration of the report. Donovan Ebanks explained that his primary responsibility is to be available to the PAC and assist by answering any questions that were likely to be in public.

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Mac changes legal aid policy

| 13/10/2009 | 57 Comments

(CNS): As Finance Committee proceedings drew to a close on Monday evening the government made an unexpected move to completely alter the way legal aid will be funded in the future and slashed this year’s allocation by $1m. In the absence of the attorney general, government pushed through a Finance Committee motion to create a legal aid office, taking the appropriation for legal aid from the judicial administration and placing it under the leader of government business, who said the new office would be a non-governmental organisation to which his ministry will give a grant of $500,000 in this financial year.

McKeeva Bush also moved a motion to amend several allocations and appropriations to absorb the $1 million he cut from legal aid into other ministries, including $400,000 to add to his own special fund which he had described last week as a “nation building programme”.

The Legal Aid Office motion was tabled by UDP backbencher Dwayne Seymour, who gave little detail of how the office, which will be created by local attorneys Steve McField and Theresa Pitcairn, will function, where other funding, if any, will come from and where the handful of criminal defence attorneys currently doing legal aid will fit into the picture. The motion stated that the creation of such an office would reduce the burden on government while ensuring legal aid was distributed fairly.

Following an adjournment of the committee to prepare the motion, when the members returned the LoGB took over the debate, making it clear that while it may have come from the backbench it was being fully supported by government front benches, which intended to press the amendment to the budget appropriations through, effectively changing legal aid policy without the need to change the law. “The member put forward a finance committee motion to set up a legal aid office to change the way it is done,” Bush said. “We have considered it and feel it appropriate to do what the member asks.”

He then went on to say that it was anticipated that the office would provide funding to a broader cross section of people, as well as train young Caymanian lawyers in the legal aid clinic. Bush said the office would be independent and run to a high standard of equality and transparency. Bush then moved the motion to reduce the Legal Aid Services appropriations to the chief justice (which had been voted and passed on Friday when the AG Samuel Bulgin had attended Finance Committee) from $185m to $300,000, which was left, he said, to cover outstanding payments.

During his appearance before the committee on Friday, Bulgin had answered a number of questions regarding legal aid and its future plans but had not mentioned the establishment of a legal aid or public defender’s office. Bulgin had said that, following the recommendations by the law reform commission, the department was looking at ways that local law firms could be asked to contribute hours pro bono, either with the provision of barristers or financial contributions, which would be agreed at the time of the granting of their legal practitioner’s license. There was no indication at all that the official arm of government would be relinquishing the management of this funding.

In his absence on Monday evening however, the allocation was cut and a new appropriation inserted into the Ministry of Finance as a Legal Aid Office with a grant of $500,000, Bush said, “to reflect the new policy.”

Alden McLaughlin, the opposition PPM member, noted the irregularity of what government was doing, raising concerns about how such an important matter was being dealt with. He said the opposition had been given no time to consider it, that they were not privy to the representations made by the two attorney’s involved,  that there was no comment from the AG, the chief justice or other defence lawyers and the House was  being presented with a fait accompli.

“In almost nine years in the LA I have never seen anything quite like this,” said McLaughlin with regard to how such a major policy change was being pushed through at such a late hour in Finance Committee. He said not only was this matter about a considerable sum of money but, more importantly, about the system of justice and fairness. He said it was apparent that the posing of the motion and the pretence at debate in Finance Committee was merely a formality as government had clearly made up its mind.

“This should be moved on the floor of the House,” McLaughlin said, lamenting the absence of the AG and the views of the CJ. “Then we have the staggering proposition that the allocation of legal aid is being given to the premier’s office.” The opposition member suggested that for the highest elected official to have the last word on who was allocated legal aid looked pretty bad. He asked what other lawyers had been consulted or been offered the opportunity for what was essentially a government contract of half a million dollars.

“To say this is irregular is an understatement,” McLaughlin said. He added, however, that he was not pouring cold water on the idea of a legal aid office or the two attorneys involved, who were both respected and competent lawyers, but he said such an important issue could not be handled in such a cavalier manner and that the Law Reform Commission’s report was just being dismissed.

Bush chastised McLaughlin for trying to suggest there was something untoward about the action. “He is scaring this up to be something terrible,” Bush said, adding it was a good plan and it would save government money. He said that the AG was off island but he’d spoken with the solicitor general, Cheryl Richards. He said the idea that hewould be dispensing the legal aid was rubbish but that his ministry would be giving a grant to an NGO who would dispense the money. Bush rejected the accusation that he was dismissing the work of the Law Reform Commission as he said they may have recommended something similar.

He said at the moment people were getting legal aid for every conceivable thing and the money needed to be more evenly distributed. Bush added that if it didn’t work out than they could always change the policy. The motion was passed by 9 to 2, supported by government members and Ezzard Miller, the independent MLA for North Side, but was opposed by the two opposition members still in the chamber.

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Captain Underpants stays as OT minister

| 13/10/2009 | 14 Comments

(CNS): According to the Governor’s Office, Chris Bryant remains UK minister with responsibility for Overseas Territories following a Cabinet reshuffle in which he and Baroness Glenys Kinnock essentially switched jobs. Bryant has now been given the more prestigeous post of minister for Europe while Kinnock takes on Africa. CNS reported this morning that the Kinnock had now also replaced Bryant as OT Minister but this appears not to be the case. Bryant, a former vicar who is notorious for posing on a gay website in only his Y-fronts, has attracted more derision by scooping Downing Street and the Foreign Office in announcing the mini Cabinet reshuffle by posting it on  Twitter.

Shadow Europe Minister Mark Francois is quoted in the Daily Mail as saying, “Gordon Brown’s government is again stumbling into farce. Glenys Kinnock was appointed in chaos, now she has the embarrassment of being the first minister ever whose reshuffle has been announced on Twitter by her successor.”

The move into a less prestigious ministerial position is largely seen as acknowledgment by Prime Minister Gordon Brown that he made a mistake by appointing Lady Kinnock, the wife of former Labour Party leader Neil Kinnock, into the high profile European post. However, she retains her minister of state salary of £106,136, while Bryant keeps his parliamentary under-secretary of state salary of £96,167.

CaribWorldNews reports that yesterday (12 October), in a written ministerial statement to the House of Commons, Bryant said elections for a new government in the Turks & Caicos Islands, where Britain has imposed direct rule, should be held by July 2011, if not sooner. He also insisted that the 14 August suspension of ministerial government and the House of Assembly for a period of up to two years in TCI was “taken to restore the principles of good governance and sound financial management in the Turks and Caicos Islands.”

He also revealed that a full review of the TCI government`s finances has been undertaken and measures put in place to limit public expenditure, increase revenue and bring the Islands` debt under control.

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Lottery not the answer

| 13/10/2009 | 33 Comments

At a time where there is a global recession and leaders worldwide are puzzled by how to get their countries through these tough times, Cayman is now playing with the idea of possibly legalizing gambling in the form of a National Lottery.

The argument that is put forward as to why the Cayman Islands should legalize gambling is the profitability of the current gambling industry, called “numbers”, that is already in operations within our islands. This industry is said to possibly generate funds of hundreds of thousands of dollars, if not millions of dollars, on a monthly basis. And it is because of the earnings that some people are suggesting that government should capitalize on the income from a National Lottery.

However, the social implications of legalizing gambling will far outweigh any revenue that government can possibly receive. In fact, if we were to go this route, there would be a rise in government’s cost of welfare because of the greater number of people who would be in need of government’s assistance. We could possibly see an increase in bank foreclosures as well, because of people’s “new found love” (gambling) and the neglect of their financial responsibilities.

As a young Caymanian I say no to the proposal for a national lottery. I have seen this industry destroy families and put financial setbacks on countless persons. If we were to legalize gambling we would be legalizing someone’s addiction. This would mean that there would be no fear in the hearts of those who buy “numbers” because of the absence of any legal punishment.

An addiction is an addiction, no matter what the addict is addicted to, whether it is drugs or gambling. An addict will go to whatever extent to get the product that they are addicted to. People are so addicted to “numbers” in the Cayman Islands that they have created a new form of greeting which is “what number play today” when they are greeting their fellow “number” buyer. If we legalize gambling people will be spending more of their hard-earned money on the “chance”. Because of this new found freedom they will ignore their debts and other payments of other life necessities so much that it will negatively affect their lifestyle even more.

There have been families that have fallen apart because of gambling. I am aware of one situation of a spouse depleting the family’s savings because they were using the funds to feed their gambling addictions. I am pretty sure that in our country there are many more horror stories and many lives affected by a person’s own lust for gambling, or a family member’s lust for it. The result of introducing a National Lottery may be that more children’s school fees will go unpaid, college funds will be depleted, houses foreclosed, cars repossessed, and lives destroyed.

I am sure that not everyone in the Cayman Islands who gambles is addicted as there are definitely some who merely flirt with gambling. But that too is dangerous. If you are one of those, please do your own analysis. Think of all the money you have spent on gambling over the years and now think of what you have to show for it. Your expenditure is more than the income you received from this hobby of gambling.

Right now we are only discussing a National Lottery, but how soon will it be that we will be pushing for casinos and the approval of cruise ship passengers to gamble within our waters, all in the name of tourism.
How can someone truly say that they are for the Caymanian people when they want to legalize something that further enslaves them?

Cayman, I strongly encourage us to make our living the way God said we should. That is by the sweat of our brow, which is by hard work and determination in our respective fields. We must not allow greed to consume us. For we know the love of money is the root to all kinds of evil. We must practice contentment and good stewardship with our country’s resources and our own as well. Cayman, there is no right way to do the wrong thing.

My prayer is that our eyes will be open and that God’s perfect will be done.


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