Archive for November 28th, 2009

Gunshots were aimed at cops

Gunshots were aimed at cops

| 28/11/2009 | 105 Comments

(CNS): Update Saturday 11:30am — Gunshots fired at a police Chevrolet Lumina early this morning injured a special constable but may have been aimed at the inspector who normally drives the car, according to unofficial sources, who said the vehicle was part of a police convoy on "Hot Spot" patrol. Police say that at approximately 3:15 this morning (Saturday 28 November) a number of police vehicles were travelling in a convoy along Shedden Road, in the direction of central George Town. As the vehicles reached the junction of Dr Roy’s Drive a number of what is believed to be gunshots were heard and the rear windscreen of a police vehicle was smashed.

Sources told CNS that the shot penetrated the vehicle but the bullet luckily only grazed the officer in his back, leaving a burn mark only, and he was released from the George Town hospital after treatment.

A huge area of George Town has been cordoned off by police, from Elizabethan Square to Funky Tangs on Sheddon road, plus a number of side roads. The area, which appears to have an epicentre around Dr Roy’s drive, is being patrolled by armed officers. CNS will update as soon as more details are known.

Police are appealing to any witnesses who may have been in the area around this time and are urging them to call the Criminal Investigations Department at 9494222 or Crime Stoppers on 800-8477 (TIPS).

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Judge stops report release

Judge stops report release

| 28/11/2009 | 7 Comments

(CNS): Following a judicial review heard behind closed doors on Friday, the tribunal’s report concerning suspended Grand Court judge, Justice Priya Levers, will remain under wraps until the Privy Council says otherwise. CNS understands that the governor has given an undertaking to the court not to release the report by Andrew Leggatt, the chair of the tribunal of enquiry into allegations of misbehaviour on the part of Levers, before the question is considered by the Privy Council in London. Justice Angus Foster reportedly ruled that publication should be determined by a judicial committee of the Privy Council and not the governor.

The application for a judicial review, which took place in Justice Foster’s chambers, was made by Levers’ legal team following a move by the governor to release the report after an FOI request was made by a local journalist. Levers sought to stay the release of the report on the grounds that the governor had said it would not be published until after her case was heard at the Privy Council and that for him to do so was unfair.

In legal documents filed in the Grand Court earlier this month Levers’ attorneys, Stuarts Walker Hersant, argued that, not only would the release of the report before the case is concluded be against natural justice, the governor had stated publicly in a press release and in the media that he would not publish the contents until after the case went to London.

However, the governor appeared to have changed his mind and made a decision to release the report on 2 November, which is when Levers’ legal team moved to stop the application. Following his receipt of Leggatt’s report in August, Jack had clearly stated that because “the case is ongoing and will be referred to the Privy Council the governor is not at liberty to release the report.”

The governor. who had his last day in office today (Friday 27 November), will leave the island next Wednesday, and if he still wants to release the report he will now need to seek approval directly from the Privy Council, a move which could see the already significant coststo the Cayman purse climb further.

Sources close to the case suggest that making an application to the judicial committee of the Privy Council to have it released before the substantive hearing could add as much as $700,000 to the bill, which is already expected to exceed $1.5 million. The governor has reportedly hired legal firm Clifford Chance to represent the CIG at the main hearing, but the Cayman government will also have to pay the Privy Council’s legal fees as well as those of Justice Levers.

A source close to the case told CNS that it was difficult to understand why the governor would pursue the goal of releasing the report before the Privy Council hearing as it was exempt under FOI because if formed part of ongoing judicial proceedings. “Since this comes within the exceptions as set out in the Freedom of information Law, one wonders why the governor has chosen to do this literally days before he leaves the island.”

The governor has agreed throughout these proceedings that the Cayman government will not only pay the costs of pursuing the case against Levers but will also foot the bill for Levers’ legal team as well, so if he seeks to gain leave to publish from the judicial committee the money will have to be found for Jack’s or the new governor’s legal advisers as well as those of Justice Levers.

According to the appropriation in the 2009/10 budget, $800,000 has been set aside for legal proceedings related to the whole case. However, CNS understands most of that has been used to pay the bills from the previous tribunal proceedings and funds do not appear to have been allocated to cover any of the forthcoming Privy Council fees, which are expected to be incurred in this financial year.

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