CNS stands by ‘honorary degree’ article

| 21/05/2013

herbert_thompson.jpg(CNS): While The Jamaica Gleaner has claimed that CNS has been threatened with a law suit over a recent article, neither this media house nor CNS journalist Wendy Ledger have received any such threat. Following the publication of an article which revealed that the RCIPS and the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Committee were investigating a money transfer made to the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) of US$1 million in relation to the honorary doctorate that the former Cayman Islands premier was scheduled to receive, the UCC chancellor, Dr Herbert Thompson (left), demanded that CNS publish the full correspondence between him and Ledger, but we have received no request to remove the article or any specific complaints of factual error.

Dr Thompson, in an email sent four days after the article appeared on the CNS website, claimed that Ledger had put her “own political spin to it” and said, “I have consulted with our UCC lawyers and before we proceed to take the appropriate action, we demand that you publish in full your letter to me and my response to your letter.

“Please ensure that this is done with immediate effect or we will go to all media houses in Cayman and expose the facts re your seeming political preferences based on the twists which you have put on my letter to you.”

“Since CNS has always maintained a policy of publishing source material so that its readers can make up their own minds, we were more than happy to publish the email exchange," Ledger said. "In any case, Thompson’s original response to inquiries about any monetary gift in exchange for the former premier’s honorary doctorate appeared to endorse the article rather than prove any political spin. Far from refuting that such a gift existed, Dr Thompson clearly states that ‘the gift was returned’. However, the question of where the gift came from was not answered and we would still be grateful if he would answer that.”

The only threat that Dr Thompson has so far made, other than “appropriate action”, is that he will “go to all the media houses in Cayman”.

“How the Gleaner translated that into a threatened law suit is most peculiar,” said CNS General Manager Nicky Watson. "We have not so far received any correspondence from the UCC lawyers or any demands that we remove all or part of the article, and while he clearly does not like it, Dr Thompson has yet to explain what is factually wrong with Wendy’s article. And we are quite sure that any media house that is interested in this story will contact UCC, rather than the other way round, and would hope that Dr Thompson would answer their questions more fully than he answered ours.”

Related articles:

‘Gift’ for Mac’s PhD probed (CNS 16 May 2013)

Bush denies buying $1M PhD (CNS 17 May 2013)

UCC's Thompson Threatens To Sue Cayman Newspaper (Jamaica Gleaner 21 May 2013)

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  1. WHAT !!!!!!! says:

    PHD is not a very high degree infact it is the lowest as it stands for 

    Post Hold Digger that you must start at the bottom for sure.

    • Hancock says:

      I think PHD means Past His Dayjob

      • Anonymous says:

        Whatever Phd does for the man, his benefactor can now be fully investigated without fear of interference from low places.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Third world politics at it's best! Get the UK in before it is too late.

  3. Anonymous says:

    How exactly can you get a PhD from an institution that doesn't have PhD programs? 

  4. Anonymous says:

    Don't allow yourselves to be bulllied.


    • Chris Johnson says:

      We have heard from the recipient, the misguided Dr. Thompson. Now we need to hear from the donor. The silence is deafening.

      • Anonymous says:

        We also need to know from Dr. Thompson …did anyone even ask where the money came from,and why…?

      • Anonymous says:

        Well apparently Chewbacca lives on Endor  . . . 

  5. Anonymous says:

    What is done in the dark shall always come to light!!!!  Dying to know who was so generous to donate such a large sum of money . Thank you CNS for keeping us informed.

    • Anonymous says:

      Please explain why this "gift" is an issue. I would think that this would be a private matter between the institution and the donor and the fact that the recipient of the drgree was not aware of it  then there should be no need to be discussing it.

      On the other hand if this "gift" was not made from the purse of the Cayman Islands we should not be discussing it either. Your thoughts please

      • Anonymous says:

        If the "gift" came from a corporation that wanted to keep the former Premier on the hook, then it is immoral  — you know, graft?    If it came from the former Premier's pocket, it is an attempt to buy an honorary degree.    If it came from the CIG finances, it is patently illegal.    None of those options are very wholesome, however completely compatible with Mr. Bush's style, or lack of it.  

      • Anonymous says:

        A politician claims not to have enough money for legal counsel; his Party Secretary appeals to the public for assistance; then suddenly we hear that he might have donated $1M to an institution for an honorary degree, and you think we should NOT be discussing it?

  6. Anonymous says:

    Dr. Thompson and UCC will regret the day they ever got mixed up with this.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Why hasnt  Dr. Thompson made a statement as Yet???? XXXX

  8. JJTA says:

    Each and every lawyer who has even an iota of integrity and/or common sense should be rallying right now around CNS and offering to help them to beat back the beast of corruption and destruction of a country and her people which we are now witnessing before our collective eyes. Make no mistake on this Cayman Islands and the practitionors of law therein, you will most probably not even have a place to practice law for very long ifthis anarchy and destructive malfeasance is allowed to continue unabated and not held fully to account. XXXX All along the watchtower, the eyes are upon you.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Having read the e-mail correspondence I don't see that any "political spin" was put on it by CNS at all. Perhaps Dr. Thompson was slow to realise the implications of his revelation. 

    • Anonymous says:

      as they say in Jamaica, the higher you climb, the more your backside gets exposed. Dr. Thompson, have some dignity man!

    • Anonymous says:

      Nice to hear the truth sometimes even when it's by accident.