RCIPS refuses to pay Tempura witness’s costs

| 13/11/2009

(CNS): Although the Operation Tempura investigation team ran up a bill of literally millions and millions of dollars, one of the prosecution’s main witnesses in the case against Lyndon Martin is struggling to get a few thousand dollars back after he was left out of pocket as a result of the investigation. John Evans’ expenses claim for $4,898 was incurred, he says, because he stayed in the Cayman Islands at the request of the special police investigation team for court appearances relating to the trial. According to recent correspondence, however, the commissioner of police has refused to pay Evans as he says that SPIT have denied making any such request of him.

Evans says that he believes the refusal to make the payment is because of the outcome of the trial, in which Lyndon Martin was found not guilty of the charges against him which related to the Netnewsgate investigation and allegations that Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis was in a corrupt relationship with beleaguered newspaper proprietor Desmond Seales.

Once he quit his job with Cayman Net News where he was a reporter, Evans says that the special police investigation team had asked him to remain in Cayman because they needed him to testify at a court hearing relating to Martin. Evans says, although he had planned to leave, he remained on the island between May and July 2008 purely at their request, and he says they agreed to cover his rent for that period. The claim also includes the cost of one round trip to the UK and one single ticket when he eventually left the island. Evans also says he has a further outstanding claim for some of his travel expense incurred when he returned to Cayman in September for Martin’s trial.

For the last 18 months Evans has been trying to claim the sum from the Metropolitan Police in London, which was supposed to have been in overall charge of the investigation. However, he was referred to the RCIPS, which has now denied his claim. Baines told Evans he had requested details from SPIT regarding who had made the commitment to pay expenses and when such arrangements were made, but he said they were denied. “The SIO and Tempura team have replied that no such commitment or undertaking was entered into and consequently I am unable to agree to your request for payment of expenses,” Baines told Evans in recent email correspondence.

Given the outcome of the Martin trial, Evans says he believes that he is being denied his claim because SPIT did not get what it believed was the right result. Evans says that he had repeatedly been told that his expenses would be dealt with in due course and believes that SPIT used the claim as ‘carrot and stick’ to get him back to Cayman Islands for the trial. “The decision not to pay at this late stage merely confirmsthat there is linkage between the non-payment and the outcome of Lyndon Martin’s trial – if Lyndon had been found guilty I would have had the cheque by now,” Evans said.

According to an FOI request made by CNS, Lyndon Martin’s legal bill for the trial charged at legal aid rates was a total of $136,733.40. The court also incurred a bill of $725 for the video conferencing services for overseas witnesses. Although CNS has also requested the legal bill incurred by the prosecution, the legal department has said it is unable to supply the information at this time. The prosecution did engage the services of Andrew Radcliffe QC, a white collar crime and fraud specialist barrister from London whose hourly rate is understood to be considerably more than the $135 paid to Martin’s two lawyers under legal aid.

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Comments (15)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    AND JUST WHEN I THOUGHT THE POLICE WERE TRYING TO GET THINGS IN ORDER….

    We find that this new Commissioner is as political as the last one.  Geesh…when will it stop. 

    PAY THE MAN…

    Trust me, I will never assist the Police knowing that they are backstabbing as this.

  2. Animosity says:

    The people of this Island need to show the RCIPS how much of our respect they deserve.
     

    Lets start a citizen fund to help Mr. Evans and disregard the RCIPS for what it is. Mr. Evans testimony helped an innocent Caymanian escape Prison for a crime he did not commit. The Governor and his cohorts would have liked to see it go the other way.

    I had very little respect for the RCIPS before. Now I have none.

  3. Anonymous says:

    I believe every word that John Evans is saying in regards to SPIT promising him that they would pay for all his expenses and get him a civilian job in the RCIPS as an assistant press officer.

    Had he lied under oath and a conviction was secured against Martin, Stuart Jack would probably have stepped him and even elevated him to be Director/Head of GIS (Government Information Services) without a doubt.

    Unfortunately for John Evans, his honesty and integrity got him nothing in the end.

    But remember this John, "what goes around comes around and time is longer than rope" for them b****rds. 

     

  4. Anonymous says:

    This type of behaviour and crookedness by the police and the government will certainly not be an encouragement to people to assist in any investigation. I for one am gladthat it has been publicised because now I know not to assist and certainly not if I dont have something in writing to prove they must pay me – You live and you learn

    • Anonymous says:

      Next time, John, get it in writing.  Never commit until you get something in writing.  When they felt they needed you was the time to put the screws in.

      Still, after paying $27,000 per month to our good Mr. Bridger, it seems like peanuts to recompense Mr. Evans — if only as a mark of goodwill — even if no one will acknowledge that they had requestedit. 

      He did return to Cayman to testify, didn’t he?  At the procecution’s request, was it not?

      Come on, guys, do better.  Pay them man his expenses.  Seems the least you can do.

       

  5. Joe Average says:

    Doesn’t sound like you were treated fairly Mr. Evans, but there’s another old saying:

    Time wounds all heels. 

    Take heart in that.

  6. Anonymous says:

    John Evans you need to send your disbursements bill to Jack "the quack"  – remember he soon leave so you better hurry!! He controlled all the other money so I am sure he can get your disbursements otherwise – he can pay it out of his own pocket.

     

  7. Mike Hennessy says:

    Boy, that’s going to encourage folks to co-operate with police investigations.  Look, I don’t know the truth of the matter, but I don’t see what John would have to gain by making up such a story.  Perhaps you could use some sort of convoluted logic to concoct a scenario where he was hoping to get the police to cover his expenses, however it would be a twisty road indeed to get from here to there.  If we agree with Occam that the simplest solution to any problem is usually the correct one, we would probably agree that the simplest (and most likely correct) scenario is that someone involved with SPIT promised to make everything right in some sort of vague, verbal terms and then welched when the entire option turned out to be something out of the Keystone Cops.  Funny how no one involved with this fiasco seems fazed by the idea of spending millions of dollars for  an "investigation" that looks for all the world like a long, decadent vacation, but the line gets drawn at paying off a few thousand dollars worth of living expenses for someone who appears to have been trying to do the right thing.

    John, I commend to you the cynical old saying that no good deed ever goes unpunished.

     

     

  8. John Evans says:

    And there’s more……….

    One of the incentives for me to remain on Cayman after I left Net News was the promise of recruitment as a civilian employee of the RCIPS.

    Recruitment for the post of Assistant Press Officer had been authorised in 2007 with the post being incorporated in the 2008/9 budget but the dates for the actual appointment kept shifting. Despite this the two main players in Operation Tempura, after allegedly consulting with the then ACP – David George – kept assuring me that I was still a valid candidate for the job and my interest had been passed on to the appropriate people.

    In the end the post was filled after I had left Cayman and, despite all the reassurances, I was not considered as a candidate.

    I think the ride back to Owen Roberts airport after my testimony in Lyndon’s trial pretty much sums up the whole thing – despite the whole trial have gone comprehensively ‘pear shaped’ for the prosecution the two officers in the car were still discussing how long Lyndon would be going to prison for. The whole Met police gang was living in Laa Laa land, all that was missing was Tinky Winky, Dipsy and Po – although judging by the Daily Mail stories they may well have joined in some of the festivities!

    • Anonymous says:

       Hey bobo.  I guess this means no more long convos on the waterfront aided by Red Stripe and the lovely lasses behind the bar.  All the best.  Keep jabbing, maybe something will come from it!

      • John Evans says:

        Hey man, I think my big mistake was to try and claim for realistic things.

        If I had hit them with a pile of bar tabs and resturant bills they would probably have paid up without a moment’s hesitation.

        Anyway the whole lot will go to court in the UK come New Year if it isn’t settled soon – great thing about civil actions here is they are open to the media, there are no sub judice issues like you have with criminal hearings and very few restrictions on what is, or is not, admissable and publishable.

        Amongst the ammunition in my locker are the Cresswell report, Dan Duguay’s audit, the Daily Mail stories plus the revelations that the RCIPS (who quite honestly were innocent bystanders in most of this) were falsely accused of being involved in drug dealing and murder by the SIO. Those latter complaints came, directly and indirectly, from a source who I can identify and I am on record as having warned the SIO that they were completely unreliable.

        And don’t write me off from the pleasures of waterfront drinking in Cayman just yet – there’s unfinished business over there and as the man said, "I’ll be back!"

    • Criminal past says:

      To be fair to the police officers in question Martin did have a prior history of convictions for dishonesty offences.

      • Anonymous says:

        IF YOU HAVE GLASS WINDOWS YOU SHOULD NOT THROW STONES.

        Lyndons life is a open book. He does not have skeletons hiding in a closet. Dispite the fact that he had those charges against him, he almost won the Election. The next time without a doubt he will. You see he is a natural Community worker, caring for his people whether it is Election, Hurricane , or whatever. To top it off he is the best Public speaker sibce Capt Keith Tibbetts time, and that is because they are very knowledgeable men. We Bracers are very proud of Lyndon and patiently awaiting the next Election when  we will once again elect him.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Don’t know where to send the bill?

    Take it to the house on the beach next to the Westin!!!! That’s where it should go.

  10. True says:

    Says volumes about the consequences of cooporating with the police..

    Crime never pays nor do the police