Retired cop adds to evidence against ex-governor

| 25/04/2013

P5210150.JPG(CNS): Former RCIPS chief superintendent John Jones, who retired from the local police service last year, has added his voice to the growing evidence against the previous Cayman Islands governor, Stuart Jack (left). Jones has suggested that Jack deliberately concealed his part in an internal cop probe that led to Jones' suspension from office in 2008 and a costly discredited UK police probe into alledged corruption within the RCIPS. In the latest instalment in the ongoing Operation Tempura saga, Jones has given a statement to Scotland Yard about the former governor, who is being accused of criminality by the lead investigator of the bungled probe, Martin Bridger.

In a statement in which Jones recounts the early events that led to the Operation Temupra investigation, he corroborates evidence given by the former RCIPS commissioner, Stuart Kernohan, that Jack knew all about efforts to try and locate evidence of a corrupt relationship between Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis and newspaper boss, the late Desmond Seales.

He states that Jack was fully briefed about the covert but supervised entry of Net News staff into the newspaper offices to look for the sensitive police information that it was believed at the time had been leaked to Seales, in preparation for obtaining a warrant.

Jones' statement was given to the British police in connection with allegations now made by Martin Bridger that Jack had denied any knowledge of the Net News entry and, as a result, caused the $10 million probe.

Although Jones was eventually reinstated and given an apology, he states that it has still had a long term impact on him and has detrimentally affected his employment opportunities since he retired from what had been a long and distinguished career in the police, both here and in the UK.

In the statement Jones reveals that he and Kernohan had met with Stuart Jack, who was the governor at the time, and discussed the plans to try and recover the alleged incrementing documents in the Net News offices that would or would not prove a high security leak in the RCIPS.

“We specifically discussed the option of an entry into the CNN office. The Governor was made very clear about what was planned to take place with the entry into CNN office and was definitely fully aware of all the circumstances. He did not raise any objections, concerns or opposition to the planned entry,” Jones writes in the statement, adding that he had always had doubts about the veracity of the claims that were being made.

“Following the arrival of Mr Bridger and his team in the Cayman Islands I assisted them in various ways, including providing him with a tape-recorded comprehensive verbal briefing concerning the covert entry into the CNN office,” he recalls in the statement, but it became evident that Bridger viewed the entry into CNN as a crime.

“I met to discuss Operation Tempura with the COP on several occasions. Neither of us could understand the reason for the Governor not coming forward to advise the investigation of his approval and knowledge of the entry into CNN, which was being described by the investigation team as a burglary. It appeared that the Governor, for whatever reason, was content to deliberately conceal his involvement in the process to the absolute detriment of the COP and I,” Jones tells the Metropolitan Police.

“Following my suspension from the RCIPS, I found it inconceivable that such action was warranted as in my view I had carried out a legal and legitimate policing operation surrounding the entry into the CNN office. Furthermore, such entry had been authorised directly and with the full knowledge of the Governor.”

The entire investigation, which lasted for some two years, cost the local tax payer at least ten million dollars. It saw a high court judge unlawfully arrested and then compensated, two criminal trials that led nowhere, and Stuart Kernohan lost his job and his reputation.  It caused untold damage to the morale in the RCIPS and led to speculation and distrust in the local community about the real reasons for the probe. 

Despite the current situation and the mounting evidence that the entire fiasco was the result of the former governor keeping quiet about his knowledge of the Net News entry, the governor’s office here in Cayman and the FCO in London are still trying to keep other related documents under wraps.

A report on a complaint made by Bridger about the investigation, which was dismissed by the current governor, Duncan Taylor, is now the subject of a judicial review in the local court system. The document in question was ordered to be released by the information commissioner following an appeal by an applicant, who made a request under the Freedom of information law for thereport. The governor is fighting to keep the report secret as it is understood it could prove embarrassing for both UK and local authorities.

Meanwhile, Bridger is also fighting to use and expose other documents he has relating to the probe in his own defence following a legal action filed by Kernohan against him and the local authorities after he was sacked during the Temupra fiasco.

All of legal action in the fallout from the bungled probe continues to be paid for by the local tax payers, who remain as much in the dark about the investigation some six years after it started than they did on the day then governor announced the suspension of most of the then RCIPS management and introduced Bridger and his team to Cayman.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Do we have a segment of the society that are above the law?

  2. Anonymous says:

    This is the same Governor that refused to investigate McKeeva but rather called a Commission of Inquiry into Minister Charles Clifford exposing corruption in government. The Met Police ought to include that in their investigation too. Why did Stuart Jack act that way ? We the people of Cayman want to know !

  3. noname says:

    There is no way that the Metropolitan Police can be allowed to investigate this matter. They will do all they can to protect their own men: Bridger and his team, Martin Polaine, John Yates and Sir Ian Blair.  How are they going to investigate one of their own former Commissioners? Any investigation by the Met would be totally corrupt. So what would happen if the Met came over with a new team? More clowns "hard at work in the Caymans" being paid exorbitant sums for not asking the right questions. Then producing a report that could have been written in London since we all know that the Met will ignore the evidence and exonerate Bridger. The Met must not be allowed to investigate this. It has to be someone truly independent. If the Met DOES  take these complaints on board,  you will know immediately how corrupt the investigation will be, because all these complaints to the Met are OUT OF TIME. Complaints have to be submitted within 12 months.

    • Anonymous says:

      Nonsense 11.17…and who would you have investigate…the wonderfully incorruptible RCIPS and their highly efficient methods??

      • Rorschach says:

        How about the RCMP?  They are English speaking, share the same system of government and same type of policing model…

        • Anonymous says:

          How many former Canadian police officers who joined RCIPS have ended up in Northward? I can think of one and isn't there another one on the way there?

          • Rorschach says:

            Whilst I aquiesce to your points..neither of those officers came from the RCMP..try again..

    • Anonymous says:

      Under Section 30 of the Police Act 1996 the Met are going to be struggling to prove they even have jurisdiction over any of this. Even Stuart Jack now lives in Kent, which is covered by another police force. It's one thing to go screaming to your old mates in London, quite another to expect them to break the law to bail you out of trouble.  

  4. Anonymous says:

    And now, after making some serious blunders, the hunters have become the hunted and the haunted. They want to now claim they are victims. Forgive me for my incompetence they cry! And now that we have damaged our own reputation, could we be considered as victims and granted some sort of financial reward? Afterall, we did create an interesting story that was a good sell. We know that Cayman’s government has a pretty good track record of throwing good money away on major cockups, so please consider us in our major cockup.

  5. St Peter says:

    This investigation has a longer shelf life than salted-cod-fish.

    Smells a bit like it too…

  6. Anonymous says:

    Not all of the legal costs have come out the Cayman Islands budget. Bridger has had a substantial payout from the Met that is apparently currently the subject of a number of complaints in the UK. 

  7. Anonymous says:

    This seems very biased reporting.  We are beginning to see the very great benefits of the Tempura investigations.

  8. Anonymous says:

    CNS, you might find it interesting to check out the transcript of Mr Jones' testimony at Lyndon Martin's 2009 trial and compare it with the contents of this statement. Someone's changing their tune here.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Really, there's only one question outstanding – why did it take these three experienced police officers so long to start making these complaints? Stuart Jack was removed from Mr Kernohan's civil claim by Sir Alan Moses nearly two years ago in May 2011 and no one complained about anything then. This all looks like a rather crude attempt to kickstart civil litigation that had ground to a shuddering halt by making rather dubious criminal allegations.

  10. 0007 says:

    If you can find his 1983 calculator watch, all will be revealed.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I notice that the unlawful arrest of former Inspector Burmon Scott isn't mentioned by John Jones.  They are all hoping to for some recompense, but they were all involved in some way with that enquiry, weren't they? 

    The long and short of it was that they came in here on the premise that everyone was corrupt and they were the almighty God and rather than follow basic investigative principles of talking to witnesses and recording statements from them, evaluating those statements to determine truth from lies, they jumped in and arrested everyone. 

    • Anonymous says:

      It would be a good thing if we still had Burmon Scott in the Police force. In fact I have a good idea with all the crime that is going on in Cayman Brac it would be a good thing to rehire Burmon for a few years to help clean up before the crime gets out of hand. After all Burmon was one of our good local Cops, brilliant, honest, and hard working.