Archive for January 18th, 2013

Misick links his and Mac’s arrest as UK conspiracy

Misick links his and Mac’s arrest as UK conspiracy

| 18/01/2013 | 75 Comments

0_0.jpg(CNS): In another message from his maximum security jail cell in Brazil to the people of the Turks and Caicos Islands, the former premier of TCI has linked his own situation to that of the Cayman Islands’ former premier McKeeva Bush. Michael Misick claimed his unlawful detention in Rio and the arrest of Bush in December were both illustrative of the UK’s determination to control its territories. He said the British were using allegations of corruption as a way of getting rid of leaders who strive for independence or who want to govern autonomously. Misick suggested that Britain would not let go of its remaining colonies without a fight but the former TCI premier said he was not afraid and would rather spend 100 years in jail than compromise his principles.

Misick said it was no coincidence that Bush had been arrested and he had been detained in Brazil, as he believes the UK plans to deal this way with all territory leaders that press for independence or more autonomy

In a hand written, open letter on plain paper sent, it appears, firstly to the TCI Post, dated 14 January, Misick takes aim at the UK and the principle of dependency. “I detest colonization in all its forms,” the former premier wrote from his cell, where he is awaiting an extradition order. Misick is wanted for questioning in TCI in connection with a corruption investigation.

Misick has not been accused of any specific crimes and has not yet been charged in the probe, which has extended to several politicians and business people in the eastern Caribbean territory. However, an international warrant was issued for Misick’s arrest after he disappeared from TCI once the investigation into widespread corruption on the island began. It was executed by the Brazilian authorities in December after his claim for asylumthere was denied. Misick insists that his predicament has nothing to do with a genuine investigation into corruption but is all about political persecution.

In this latest correspondence, Misick promised to dedicate the rest of his life to seeking independence for his country as he called on the people to begin demanding a referendum on the issue.

See full letter below.

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Mac, Roly & Al to face-off at CBO conference

Mac, Roly & Al to face-off at CBO conference

| 18/01/2013 | 0 Comments

(CNS Business): Sparks should be flying at the Ritz Carlton-Cayman next week when former premier McKeeva Bush, Deputy Premier Rolston Anglin and Opposition Leader Alden McLaughlin go head-to-head at the Cayman Business Outlook (CBO) conference. As promised by organisers, the conference has attracted three of the key local political leaders to take part in a panel discussion to round off the day’s events. The question and answer panel discussion will be moderated by Ben Meade, the news director of Cayman 27, and the CBO is inviting the public to submit questions, which will be reviewed and compiled to be used on the day. Read more and comment on CNS Business

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AG says human rights was key legal issue for 2012

AG says human rights was key legal issue for 2012

| 18/01/2013 | 3 Comments

(CNS): The significance of the implementation of the Bill of Rights in the country’s constitution was described by the attorney general (AG) as “one of the most significant events of last year” from a legal standpoint, when he moved the motion for the opening of the Court Wednesday. As the man charged with defending any action under the bill on behalf of government, the AG, Sam Bulgin, said it was incumbent on the legal profession to help those with claims access the courts to have such “alleged transgressions adjudicated”, as he predicted challenges ahead for the profession and government. But it was the issue of press freedom that the AG focused on rather than the workload increases his office could see as a result of the enforcement of the Bill of Rights.

He did state, however, that the judiciary had already taken steps to put in place the framework to facilitate the filing of claims and he said his chambers had conducted extensive training in preparation. The AG also said that departments such as the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (RCIPS) and Immigration have undertaken general as well as targeted training.

“For the first time in the legal history of these Islands, claimants are now entitled to file a claim in these courts where they are alleging that there is a breach of his or her human rights, and the courts are now empowered to adjudicate on such claims and to grant direct relief where a claim is made out,” he said. “This is not an insignificant development in our legal history. It will not be too long before the benefit of such a facility will start to manifest itself.”

Despite the wide implications for government, and in particular the potential for justice to be delayed as a result of problems on the government side, the attorney general decided to focus on the local media.

Court space problems and on-going issues with the prosecutor’s office, including allegations from defence attorneys of mounting disclosure problems, communication issues, poorly worded indictments and charges, all of which are leading to significant delays in the course of justice, confounded by the problems finding legal aid attorneys to represent some of the defendants accused of serious crimes, means the first human rights challenges are very likely to come from those incarcerated while awaiting trial.

Nevertheless, in his court opening presentation Bulgin offered his observations on freedom of expression, including the freedom to hold, receive and impart, as contemplated by section 11 of the Bill of the Rights, and the need for a press association.

“Unlike a lot of countries in the world, Cayman can boast about the fact that we have a free press,” he said, as he offered his support for that. However, he added that, as the Bill of Rights further underpins the freedom of the press, there was going to be additional challenges “for our friends in the media,” and pointed to the Leveson report and the recommendations in the UK.

The Leveson Inquiry was commissioned in the fallout of the News International phone hacking scandal, in which the phones of celebrities and even victims of horrendous crimes were hacked into by the tabloid news organisation. Although nothing of that kind has ever come close to happening in Cayman's local media, Bulgin encouraged the press to consider a formal association underpinned by a comprehensive written code of conduct, which included a self-regulating framework and a complaints procedure. He said this would offer three benefits.

“One is that whenever they seek to speak out on challenges or issues facing them they do so from a position of strength, not as individual entities, but as a body, a press association,” the country’s leading attorney stated. “Secondly, and of equal significance, is that it is not always the case that every time that someone is alleging that they have been unfairly treated by the press, that they wish to resort to taking legal action. Neither does the press relish the situation where it must always have to go to court to demonstrate that they acted fairly and within the boundaries of acceptable journalism.

“Accordingly, a properly drafted and promulgated code of conduct setting out the guidelines, which inform how the press carries out its affairs, including a well-developed grievance procedure for those crying foul, would go a long way to preventing aggrieved persons from having to resort to the court and all the expenses for both sides associated with such a claim,” Bulgin added.

The AG suggested that there should be some medium, short of court proceedings, to have complaints addressed or adjudicated upon. He also spoke about some members of the media being confused about the sub judice laws, which limit free speech and comment on cases progressing through the courts.

Historically, Cayman’s local press has found it difficult to create an association as attempts have been thwarted by the more powerful and entrenched media houses, unwillingness to work with certain people.

Discussions are ongoing, however, and CNS reporters have also taken steps to join the National Union of Journalists in the UK in an effort to seek some protection from the mounting covert as well as overt efforts to undermine the local press, despite its tame position compared to other jurisdictions.

“While everyone in the press welcomes the idea of a set of standards for members to agree to work by, the goal of the authorities in Cayman to have some form of association for the media is more often than not motivated by a desire to have a body to bash,” said Wendy Ledger on behalf of CNS. “The public has seen time and time again how some politicians and others in authority deal with the media, despite the fact that, by comparison to the UK, the US and other democracies, the local media is very reserved."

“However, the continued efforts to undermine what we do is a very real problem and we feel that the local press needs some form of protection from the authorities and certainly not the other way around,” she added.

Ledger pointed out that when it comes to complaints, most media houses deal directly and competently with those they receive and when issues cannot be amicably resolved, which is extremely rare, the public is well aware that people can and do take legal action. It is important that any threats to the press are carried out under the public gaze, which is what happens when law suits are filed, she said.

“Media houses or reporters who persistently get things wrong are soon punished, in any event, as every day the press is exposed to public opinion. If the media gets it wrong, its readership falls, and with it its revenue. When it comes to CNS, our 65,000 readers are more than capable of keeping us in line,” Ledger added.

The media took its fair share of battering from the former premier during his time at the helm of government and his attacks have been particularly public and overt.

However, Ledger said that there had been more covert efforts from others in authority that are actually more concerning. Efforts to make reporting on certain key public events such as the Legislative Assembly more difficult, battles with freedom of information requests, poor and untimely responses from government departments, as well as a failure to answer media enquiries at all, combine to make the work of the local press, which has very limited resources in most cases, very difficult, she noted.

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Cayman celebrates its culinary credentials

Cayman celebrates its culinary credentials

| 18/01/2013 | 17 Comments

ripert_cayman-e1265000865237 (212x300)_0.jpg(CNS): Fast becoming one of the best culinary destinations in the region, Cayman is all about food this weekend with the start of the Department of Tourism’s annual food event, Cayman Cookout. International chef Eric Ripert will be hosting a packed weekend celebrating the best food, wine and beauty of Cayman with an impressive line-up of world famous chefs, wine experts and spirits blenders. With tastings, demonstrations, tours and dinners celebrating the barefoot elegance that only the Cayman Islands can deliver with its beach dining, the Cookout has become a top attraction for foodies. The event kicks off in earnest this evening at Royal Palms with the barefoot beach BBQ.

For much more on the events associated with the food festival visit the DoT website

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Full speeches from court opening now available

Full speeches from court opening now available

| 18/01/2013 | 3 Comments

(CNS): With the controversy of the legal practitioners bill, the issues regarding overcrowded courts as well as the need to settle the legal aid question, the Grand Court opening fed the debate on a number of important issues of public interest this year.  From the Chief Justice’s annual report to the state of the important law reports, all of the addresses and presentations delivered on Wednesday morning are now in the public domain. CNS has collated all of the documents and posted them below for readers to download.

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Resurgence of cholera in Cuba causes concern

Resurgence of cholera in Cuba causes concern

| 18/01/2013 | 2 Comments

cholera-cuba_2452895b.jpg(CNS): Public health officials are issuing warnings in Cayman regarding a resurgence of cholera on the neighbouring island of Cuba. Although the Public Health Department said that it is waiting for confirmation of the situation from the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) reports suggested that there have been at least 51 new cases since the renewed outbreak began on 6 January. So far there have been no deaths as a result of the latest outbreak and there are no travel restrictions in place but Cayman's Public Health Director, Dr Kiran Kumar, said anyone who must go to Cuba needs to take vital precautions.

“At this time, there are no travel restrictions. If you have to go, take vital precautions, such as: ensuring hygienic food preparation, boiling or purifying all water, and washing hands often with soap and clean water. Travellers should also carry an ample supply of oral rehydration salts,” he said.  “Cholera is not present in the Cayman Islands and the chances of importation of cholera are limited. Even if it occurs, our excellent sanitation and safe water will prevent its spread. In addition, we have adequate facilities and drugs to manage any case should importation occur.”

Cholera is an acute intestinal infection caused by ingesting contaminated food or water with cholera bacterium. It can take anywhere from five hours to five days for symptoms to appear after infection, although symptoms usually occur within 24-48 hours. Cholera infection is often mild or without symptoms, but can sometimes be severe.

Travellers to Cuba are advised to contact their doctor immediately should they develop watery diarrhoea and vomiting within five days of leaving. It is also important to state their travel history to their doctor. This advisory is also applicable to travellers to Haiti and the Dominican Republic – the two other countries in the region affected by cholera.

Tips for Prevention

Travellers to Cuba or any endemic countries can greatly reduce the risk of contracting the disease by following these practices:

Drink only bottled, boiled or chemically-treated water and/or bottled or canned beverages;
Ensure that seals are unbroken when using bottled drinks;
Disinfect your own water – boil for one minute or filter the water and add two drops of household bleach or half an iodine tablet per litre of water;
Use bottled, boiled or chemically-treated water to wash dishes and brush teeth;
Use ice in your drink only if you know it was made from boiled or treated water;
Wash your hands often with soap and clean water;
Clean your hands before you eat or prepare foods, and after using the bathroom;
Eat foods that have been thoroughly cooked and are still hot, or fruit that you have peeled yourself;
Cook all vegetables. Do not eat salads or other raw vegetables;
Do not buy food or beverages from street vendors.

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Caymancontestant lines up for model TV show

Caymancontestant lines up for model TV show

| 18/01/2013 | 15 Comments

Capture_18.JPG(CNS): The Caribbean's own version of CBS's internationally renowned show "Next Top Model" will be hitting the region’s television sets next month and local contestant Treveen Stewart from George Town (left) is listed among the starting line-up of 23 women. The contestants will vie for a spot on the weekly show, which works on the basis of a judging panel elimination until the last girl standing is crowned the "Caribbean's Next Top Model". The show will be hosted by Miss Universe 1998, Wendy Fitzwilliam, who will be one of the judges, along with photographer Pedro Virgil and runway coach Richard Young.  The show, which was filmed in Trinidad & Tobago, will run for 11 episodes on One Caribbean Television and CaribVision.

Treveen will be competing against girls from Antigua & Barbuda, Barbados, The Bahamas, Curacao, the Dominican Republic, Guadeloupe, Jamaica, and Trinidad & Tobago.

For more details or

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‘5’ aim to repair UK damage

‘5’ aim to repair UK damage

| 18/01/2013 | 140 Comments

Whitehall_CNT_5apr11_pa_b (253x300).jpg(CNS): Rebuilding the relationship between the Cayman Islands and the UK is at the heart of the mission of a government delegation headed for London this weekend. Rolston Anglin, the deputy premier, said that while there was other important business to attend to in the UK during the short trip, repairing the rift between Her Majesty's Government and the Cayman Islands Government (CIG) was “crucial”. He said that the delegation would be dealing with budget issues and looking at the situation in the London office, but primarily the trip would enable the premier to meet the overseas minister, Mark Simmonds, for the first time face to face, offering an opportunity to mend bridges.

Speaking at a press briefing on Thursday morning hosted by himself and Mark Scotland, Anglin said he was aware of public concerns over what are perceived as government jaunts but this was not the kind of meeting that could be “done over the phone”, as may have been suggested, because this needed to be face to face.

Although Anglin said he could not confirm the full delegation, CNS understands that eight people will leave for the UK on Saturday, including Anglin, Governor  Duncan Taylor, Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly, Attorney General Sam Bulgin, Financial Secretary Kenneth Jefferson and Rhonda Webster , the premier’s PA, as well as her executive aide, Paul Leonce, and Richard Parchment, who is now senior political analyst to Rolston Anglin.

The eight man delegation will be having various meetings, according to Anglin, but he said it was crucially important to rebuild the relationship with the UK's Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) as the minority government navigates the next five months, ahead of the general election in May

His cabinet colleague, Mark Scotland, said that it wasn’t just about repairing the damage done to the relationship over the last few years for the current cabinet but to improve the situation for the next government.

Anglin said that he could not apologise for anything that may have happened in the past and there was "no sense crying over spilt milk”. He insisted that the CIG was not going to London “cap in hand” but theteam was “going to have a professional dialogue" on the budget and other key issues, and the government would make a full report next week on those talks when it comes back.

He pointed out that the nature of the relationship with some overseas territories led to friction, and while Cayman and the UK would not always agree, he said it was government’s job to protect the interests of the Caymanian people as far as the relationship was concerned.

“We need to recognize that we are a territory and there is a price to pay for that constitutional relationship," Anglin stated, adding that when matters of conflict arise the CIG had to push the agenda.

Nevertheless, Anglin acknowledged that the relationship over the last few years had gone way beyond the normal course of expected disagreement over policy. It was no secret that the former premier, McKeeva Bush, and the governor had a very strained relationship.

“We would be kidding ourselves if we thought they did not," he said, and indicated that, as a result, the aim was to repair the damage done. But, he said, CIG would promote the people’s best interests with every fibre of their being.

Anglin also spoke about the need to foster and strengthen relationships with othergroups in the UK with ties and interests in Cayman.

The deputy premier said the trip would also include some analysis of the situation at the London Office. The contract CIG has with the Tory peer, Lord Blencathra, the director of the office, had been renewed in November, and while there were no plans to terminate the contract, how CIG continues to utilise his services was important.

“When we have a representative in any country, we have to be strategic about what we are looking to get out of it, and in London it is important for us to have access to the right people but we must get value for money,” he said.

Lord Blencathra was contracted by the former premier in November 2011 in a controversial move, as it was the first time a foreign national has headed up the UK office in London.

However, Bush insisted at the time that Cayman needed representation in London to fight its corner regarding the threats to the financial services sector and to fight its corner in the deteriorating relationship with the UK. The sitting conservative peer was contracted at the princely sum of CI$19,500 per month to raise awareness about Cayman in Whitehall’s corridors of power as well as in London’s Square mile and the European arena.

Details of the London trip are expected to be reported at next Thursday’s Cabinet press briefing, as well as the results of the trip by Cline Glidden and Dwayne Seymour to see the Florida-Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) regarding the situation with cruise tourism in Cayman.

O’Connor Connolly was absent from the briefing as she is understood to be suffering from the flu.

The briefing will be repeated frequently on CIGTV20 government’s own television channel during the course of the week.

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Jam’s contractor general continues corruption fight

Jam’s contractor general continues corruption fight

| 18/01/2013 | 1 Comment

(CNS): A special report concerning the Office of the Contractor General’s (OCG) fight with government corruption in Jamaica has been published on the office’s website. Calling on the media and the public to read the report about government’s failure to reveal critical information to his office, he describes the situation as a matter of national importance. The government watchdog said this issue had potential “dire consequence, especially as it regards the principles of good governance, transparency and accountability.” The OCG has expressed grave concerns with the failure of the country’s Cabinet over the last seven months, to comply with several requests for information relating to four major public projects.

The OCG has also referred the Jamaican Cabinet to the Director of Public Prosecution for breaches of Section 29 of the Contractor General Act

See the report on the website

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