Bridger’s complaints rejected

| 21/01/2011

(CNS): Complaints made to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) by Martin Bridger, the former lead investigator of Operation Tempura, the undercover police investigation into the RCIPS that took place in the Cayman Islands between 2007 and 2009, have been dismissed by the governor. Although still considering some of the complaints, Duncan Taylor, who took up the post of governor after the investigation was discredited, said the allegations Bridger had made about Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, Justice Henderson and Justice Cresswell were “without justification” and that he had every confidence in the local judiciary.

The complaints were made in the first instance to the FCO last summer by the legal advisor to Tempura and the special police investigation team, former attorney Martin Polaine. The complaints were referred to him for consideration, Taylor said on Friday afternoon. He explained that Bridger later asked to be considered a joint complainant, and when Polaine withdrew his complaint, Bridger took full ownership.

“I was not the governor during the period of Operation Tempura and did not have first-hand knowledge of events which had transpired during those years. Due to the factual and legal complexity of the complaint and the large amount of documents which had to be considered, in late August 2010 I instructed independent Queen’s Counsel from London to advise me on how to proceed,” the governor said.

“I have now received detailed legal advice in respect of the complaint. I am still considering some aspects of that advice but I have reached a conclusion in regard to the complaint as it touches on the judiciary. I have dismissed all the complaints made against the judiciary, namely those complaints made against the Chief Justice, Mr Justice Henderson and Mr Justice Cresswell.”

Taylor said the complaints were similar to those revealed in an article in the Financial Times 13 January.

“I consider that any allegations raised against the judiciary of the Cayman Islands in that article inferring that they had conspired to frustrate or interfere with Operation Tempura are unfounded and without justification,” Taylor stated, adding that he would make a further statement once he had considered all aspects of the complaint.

“I would like to take this opportunity to make clear that I have every confidence in the judiciary of the Cayman Islands.”

Bridger now appears to be working with the company owned by Polaine, who was removed from the legal profession by the UK Bar Council last year as a result of his work with Operation Tempura. The former head of the investigation has suggested that Tempura was not stopped because it was discredited, despite the unlawful arrest of justice Henderson, but because he was prevented from further investigations in Cayman

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  1. Anonymous says:

    All this in no way diminishes that corker of a photo – you know, the one with him inside of a truck’s inner tube running on the beach. It’s a classic ’80s "loadsamoney" shot. Seriously, where can I buy an enlarged, framed edition?

  2. pete mitchell says:

    Being lost in all this Bridger bashing is the fact that there had to be SOME source to the whole fiasco, and maybe it was those individuals that derailed the investigation. An opportunity lost? Absolutely XXXX

    • Anonymous says:

      Sadly, if you knew anything about the Met you would know that is not the case.

      Their track record for pursuing investigations for personal or political reasons is a disgrace.

      Check out –

    • Anonymous says:

      As I recall “the source to the whole fiasco” was the allegation from Mr. Martin of a corrupt relationship between Mr. Seales and Deputy Commissioner Ennis. Mr. Bridger quickly concluded that was no such corrupt relationship, placed his implicit trust in Mr. Seales and apparently felt obliged to otherwise justify his stay. The investigation would not have fallen into disrepute had Mr. Bridger not been overzealous.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Interesting that there’s been absolutely no response to this news from either Bridger or Polaine.


  4. Pi Bull says:

    Mr. Bridger, thank you for all you hard work.  It was clear that many stood in the way of your attempts to root out corruption.  It was a great lost chance to improve this territory.

  5. Anonymous says:

    The only thing this reminds me of is Stuart Jack announcing the ‘all clear’ after a hurricane a few years ago. That’s what we have a weather service for.

    It is the judicial service commission I would have liked to hear from on this. They have some real good people on there like Sir David Simmons and Justice Zacca and them. Hearing from them that everything was okay would have met something but with all due respect to the Governor, I don’t expect him to be any expert in how the judiciary should operate in this country. I just hope that the the British didn’t give us that commission and only expect it to recommed which magistrate and which lawyer the government should hire.

    Britain was ultimately responsible for this whole thing through that same office of the Governor and they don’t want to start any fault finding now because they were at the most fault. But that don’t mean that there might not have been others too. That is why it is so important that the people hear from the judicial commission – please!!!

    • Anonymous says:

      Well said, Anon 11:01. Things are not as rosy with our Judiciary as the Governor’s vote of confidence in them would suggest (how about the whole Levers fiasco for a start?) and your comment about the need for something from the judicial and legal services commission is well made.

  6. Michel Lemay says:

    Thank you Mr. Governor for putting closure to this embarassing chapter to say the least for the Cayman islands. Just to see that Mr. Bridger is now working for Mr. Polaine speaks for itself’ Not only did Mr. Bridger saw an opportunity of personnal monetary gain a;ong with his team at our expenses but was also deternined to tarnish anyone and our Cayman Islands. It is indeed sad that he and his team cannot be made acountable for not only the salaries and expenses they incurred but also the cost of the trials. He should be made to at least make a public apology to all the persons whose lifes he disturbed if not cause great damage to their reputations. I too would like to see Mr. Bridger and Mr. Polaine made Personna non Grata in the Cayman Islands as they seem to still be in denial . Should they ever come back here, at least give them a taste of their medicine and lock them up at Central Police Station in Georgetown for an undisclosed amount of time so tjey can be sued or deported. Any future lawsuits should be directed at those 2 unworthy individuals wherever they are.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Bridger is trying to create a “bunch of sour grapes” to deflect the real issue.

    He needs to acknowlegde that he simply messed up, cost us an arm and a leg, move on and forget the Cayman Islands.

    • Anonymous says:

      And a decree should also be made making him Polaine and his cohorts PERSONA NON-GRATA for the CAYMAN ISLANDS.
      Perhaps then he would get the message!

      • Spartacus says:

        Sorry, but did we temporarily travel back in time to Rome?  Decrees, cohorts, persona non grata . . .

        • Anonymous says:

          No, but the legal provision still obtains for us to give him such a commendation!

    • Anonymous says:

      Like that hard working Auditor General Mr. Dan Douguay, Mr. Bridger’s work was not appreciated by the Caymanian people.

      It is sad how Caymanians reject those who mean us well for those who do the Cayman Islands harm.

      How blind are many of my fellow Caymanians.

      Mr Bridger and Mr. Douguay I hope that there is a jurisdiction somewhere that apprecaiates honest hard working civil servants like yourselves.

      Best wishes to both of you, the Cayman Islands do not deserve honest hard working civil servants, the are satisfied with trickster politicians and civil servants…they will pay the price in the future.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Thank you Governor Taylor, I always suspected that you are a fair man. Now please make recommendations that the money which was spent by the Cayman Islands Government be paid back by the man and whom ever sent him.
    your servant
    Caymanian Concerned

    • Soon come says:

      Yeah i bet you $10 million that wont happen! nice try though,especially since the fco principals who started this don’t exist remember.

  9. Anonymous says:

    When can we REALLY put this behind us and move on? Enough money and time has been wasted on this non-investigation!

  10. Anonymous says:

    Go smoke that in your pipe Mr. Bridger and drink some mojito’s with it as well !!

    At least our new governor Mr. Duncan Taylor dosen’t seem to be like Stuart Jack our former governor, better known as “Jack the Cayman Ripper”

  11. Annonymous says:

    Why and how would the FCO show any benefit in justifying a negative decision relating to the judiciary in the Cayman Islands? If a decision was found against the judiciary of the Cayman Islands, it would be disgraceful to the entire Commonwealth.

    The Governor was not here during Tempura as stated in paragraph 3 of this article. So why would any decision made by Mr. Taylor be conclusive?

    Where is the integrity in this investigation of Operation Tempura?

    • Anonymous says:

      Can’t you just accept that this decision was made because Bridger and Polaine’s complaints were compete BS?