No decisions re Tempura

| 18/06/2013

_DEW9187_2.jpg(CNS): Despite the Scotland Yard recommendation that the bungled investigation into alleged RCIPS corruption should itself be investigated, along with the role of very senior local officials, Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor has still not made a decision about how to deal with the on-going fall out of Operation Tempura. As numerous legal battles relating to the discredited enquiry continue in the courts, Taylor said he is still waiting on advice regarding the potential probe into the probe. It is not clear who has the legal authority to trigger a new enquiry, which the UK cops have recommended be undertaken by a neutral service unconnected with the original operation.

From the governor’s battle with the information commissioner to keep the investigation into a complaint about the enquiry under wraps, to the attorney general’s fight to keep the former lead investigating officer of Tempura, Martin Bridger, from using documents in another courtroom battle against him by former police commissioner Stuart Kernohan, the controversial enquiry continues to cost the Cayman taxpayer significant sums.

The latest twist, however, has become increasingly serious as the Metropolitan Police announced recently that they believed an enquiry into the events that triggered the probe was warranted. This was based on evidence given by Bridger, Kernohan and the former RCIPS chief superintendent John Jones. The ex-cops all say that former governor Stuart Jack, the current overseas territories security advisor, Larry Covington, and Cayman’s  sitting attorney general, Samuel Bulgin, were all aware of Kernohan’s decision to allow staff at Cayman Net News to make a late night entry into their place of work hunting for evidence.

The decision, according to Kernohan and Jones, to look for evidence that they believed may have pointed to a corrupt relationship between the late owner of the paper, Desmond Seales, and Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis, based on allegations by two reporters at the paper, was made in the full knowledge of Jack, Covington and Bulgin.

Bridger claims that he was never told the crucial and fundamental fact that these three senior officials all knew of Kernohan’s decision and had given their tacit blessing. As a result, he now believes that the almost two year long and costly discredited Operation Tempura, which he triggered, along with the subsequent catalogue of issues would never have happened had he been aware of this.

Bridger recently filed a complaint with Scotland Yard, which had original oversight of the probe, with evidence suggesting he had been misled, which was backed up with statements from both Kernohan and Jones, who have pointed the finger at the three senior officials. Given the Met’s compromised position, however, the UK police force wrote to the current governor, Duncan Taylor, recommending that he begin an investigation using an external police service to find out if the evidence presented to them supports the allegations made by Bridger.

Answering enquiries from CNS last week, the governor’s office said no decision had yet been in this matter, despite the recommendations made by the Scotland Yard boss.

“The Governor is still awaiting receipt of the independent legal advice which he has commissioned in response to the letter from Commander Gibson of the Metropolitan Police,” officials said.

Sources in the UK state that the Metropolitan Police have real concerns as they believe that, if Bridger’s position is accurate, the London-based cops as well as Bridger were also misled. Deputy Commissioner Craig Mackey has backed the position of Commander Allan Gibson, with whom Bridger filed his complaint, that an enquiry is needed to establish how Operation Tempura began.

It is not normally the remit of a governor to instigate a criminal investigation. In theory it should be David Baines as the RCISP commissioner that triggers the enquiry, but because of his own conflict he would need to ask an outside force, such as another OT territory's police service, to investigate what happened.

Bridger recently revealed that had Jack, Covington and Bulgin all told him that they were informed about Kernohan’s decision, there would never have been an operation Tempura, Kernohan and Jones would never have been suspended, the associate burglary case of Lyndon Martin would never have happened and the Grand Court Judge Alex Henderson would never have received a $1.275million payout from the public purse as he would never have been arrested, unlawfully or otherwise.

The former senior investigator has always claimed that he acted on advice of Andre Mondesir, legal counsel at the time, who now works at CIMA. The advice, he has said, was based on the position that Kernohan and Jones had instigated the entry into the newspaper without any authority, which both men have categorically denied and recorded the meetings they had where the issue was discussed with the three senior officials.

The issue has now become increasingly complicated as the current efforts of Attorney General Bulgin to prevent Bridger using documents in the wrongful dismissal case brought by Kernohan would need to be used in any enquiry which now points the finger of suspicion at Stuart Jack, Larry Covington and Bulgin himself.

With the ironies and conflicts mounting in this case, if a criminal investigation is launched over allegations that the UK police, the Tempura team and legal counsel were all misled, it would be hard to see how Covington and Bulgin could then continue in their respective offices.

As the twists and turns of Tempura continue almost four years after the investigation was shut down, the bill for the entirely innocent Cayman taxpayer continues to grow and a catalogue of incompetence by just about every official involved in the investigation, from start to finish and now beyond, continues to be revealed.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    The Governor (and many others) speak the talk of "transparency, accountability – Good Gevernance" often….so here is another golden opportunity for an example of "walk the walk – not just talk the talk".

    What will it be? And how long will it take….while the Powers that Be use tax payers money to cover their a$$e$?

    Why are some of those Powers fighting so hard against being transparent in this instance? Incompetence? or worse? or all of the above? What's to hide?

  2. Michel says:

    I too am for the investigation to carry on but paid by the uk/ met.

  3. Anonymous says:

    His Excellency, Governor Taylor looks tired, weary and burdened in this photo. He must be looking foward to leaving here and going on to his next postin Mexico. Thank you sir for your work here in these Islands, even when you were attacked and insulted by the ignorant that a certain sector in our society voted for and subjected us all to. There are those of us who appreciate your work and we wish you well and pray God's blessings upon you and your family.

  4. Anonymous says:

    What I find MOST interesting is Bulgin's reaction! If he has nothing to hide then why did he react the way he did? I say, let the new investigation begin!

    • Anonymous says:

      I agree 100% Re: Bulgin's reaction…"he doth protest too much"!

      And in doing so adds to the question…why? Why so hell bent on NOT being transparent?

    • mcdoom says:

      follow the links and associates and it will go some way to unravelling this mess.

  5. Anonymous says:

    …And all of this "mess" was directed by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in the "best interests of the UK", to the detriment and cost of the Cayman Islands people. The Cayman Islands government at the conclusion of Tempura issues must demand that the UK  be made to pay the cost of cleaning up the "mess" they created.  The UK lost an opportunity to clean up corruption in the Cayman Islands because their administration is in itself corrupt.  We the innocent must not bear the cost. 

    • Anonymous says:

      06.52 early mornings don't agree with you! Everything depends on who you believe..trouble is, no one can believe anyone right now, hence the need for a non-interested party investigation as mentioned…no point in even trying to argue a point…no-one knows for sure..except those who were at the epicentre and they all covering their a$$es right now…

  6. Anonymous says:

    I find the following short paragraph of the above news story very interesting: "The issue has now become increasingly complicated as the current efforts of Attorney General Bulgin to prevent Bridger using documents in the wrongful dismissal case brought by Kernohan would need to be used in any enquiry which now points the finger of suspicion at Stuart Jack, Larry Covington and Bulgin himself." This speaks a million words!  I hope the Premier is taking a close look as he goes about setting up his government.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Bulgin should do these islands a favour and just step down.

  8. Anonymous says:

    Gov Taylor, please be transparent in this issue. You cannot be transparent when it suits you!!!!

  9. Anonymous says:

    What a web that can be weaved when certain persons try to conceal !!!! 

  10. Anonymous says:

    Mr. Ennis is one of the Deputy Commissioner of Police, an important public figure head in the Cayman Islands and this being done to him and then in this day and age, we still cannot know who or what was behind his 'planned demise'. What a shame!!! Governor Taylor, you are an intelligent man, therefore use your power and assist in the truth coming forth.

  11. Anonymous says:

    I think Mr. Ennis needs to know exactly what happened; with respect to who the snake or snakes were who tried to harm him by damaging his character based on false, trumped up allegations. He needs to know the truth and nothing but the truth and Governor Taylor, if you are in a capacity to assist; which I believe you are, then for Mr. Ennis' sake do so. By doing so, maybe there may be others who may be vindicated as well…who knows. In life, all one has is their character.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Now explain this to me, because I don't believe for one second that Bridger still wouldn't have done what he did if someone had told him the Governor knew what was going on, because one of the first things an investigator does is try to corroborate evidence of the allegations that have been made to him.  Investigations 101 says that you record statements from anyone you believe may have information about a crime and after analysis of that statement, you come to suspect that they have broken the law, or been party to the allegation you are investigating, then you may arrest them if it is an arrestable offence and caution and interview them in relation to it.  Bridger allegedly missed that step when he arrested, or caused to be arrested, Burmon Scott and he surely missed it with the Judge, as he was compensated over $1 million dollars. 

    Now to hear him cry foul and say he would not have even done the investigation if he had known certain things in the first place is a real joke, because his actions toward the Judge and Burmon Scott suggest otherwise.

    If you ask me, either the Met, or the UK, whoever sent that incompetent bunch of so called investigators here, should be called to pay for their incompetence from this point on and not the Cayman Islands Government.

    Bridger did his share of the damage and was paid handsomely too.  If he wants to complain, then he and the Met who sent him here in the first place can perhaps sponsor his so called request for an investigation, because afterall, the Met was kneck deep in it from the beginning too; they even bragged to having oversight of Bridger until it started going wrong didn't they?  Then they wanted to say he was an officer of the RCIP!

    • John Evans says:

      Good comment throughout.

      That final point is very telling.

      The Tempura/Cealt officers working on private contracts in 2008/9 were RCIPS when it suited the Met but when my compensation claim went to court over here three years ago they suddenly reverted to the line that these were actually UK officers on temporary duty abroad.

      That is currently the subject of two on-going investigations in the UK, one by an outside police force.

      Personally I think Bridger's complaint is malicious nonsense and a crude attempt to divert attention from far more serious issues relating to his conduct.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Who is stright? Who is bent?


    We will never know. Corruption at this level goes very high indeed.

  14. Anonymous says:

    If the UK want yet another investigation, may I suggest that THEY pay for it.

    x Brit.

  15. Anonymous says:

    I find it interesting that Bridger claims to have no knowledge of the authorisation for the searches but two senior (now retired) Met officers, John Yates and Sir Ian Blair, were in direct contact with Stuart Kernohan and Larry Covington prior to both searches. Neither of them has made any public comment on the matter.

    • Anonymous says:

      In this instance corruption runs high and I hope that the suggested investigation takes place and the culprits are exposed.