Taylor kicks Tempura to CoP

| 24/06/2013

_DEW9181.jpg(CNS): The Cayman Islands governor has confirmed that he does not have the power to order a criminal investigation into the allegations surrounding the controversial internal police probe, Operation Tempura, made by the former senior investigating officer on the case, Martin Bridger. In a letter to the Scotland Yard commander, Allan Gibson, Duncan Taylor said he was not in a position to call for an investigation into the investigation and Bridger must file his complaint with Commissioner of Police (CoP) David Baines, who will decide how to proceed. However, like the Metropolitan Police, the RCIPS is also conflicted  when it comes to the discredited but secret probe, which continues to cost the local taxpayer millions and millions of dollars.

“I have explained to Commander Gibson that my role, under the Cayman Islands Constitution Order 2009 and the Police Law (2010 Revision) does not extend to decisions concerning the initiation of criminal investigations,” Taylor said in a statement after sending his reply to Gibson on Monday.

“It is, accordingly, a matter for Mr Bridger to make such complaint as he wishes to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service and for the Commissioner to then consider any such complaintand respond appropriately,” he stated.

In his letter responding to Gibson, the governor writes of his concerns over the leak of Gibson’s original letter to his office, which has been the subject of extensive media reports. He said that Gibson was not necessarily in possession of all of the facts relating to the probe when he recommended that a criminal investigation be opened into the conduct of those involved in the original investigation.

Following the letter to Gibson on Monday, more than six weeks after the Scotland Yard cop wrote to Taylor, the governor’s office issued a formal statement in which the governor summarises his letter and explains why he has decided to reveal the content of the correspondence.

“I have written to Commander Gibson of the Metropolitan Police Service (“the MPS”) in reply to a letter written by him dated 9 May 2013 and the subject of substantial media coverage,” Taylor stated. “Unusually for private correspondence of this nature, I have decided to summarise the substance of my reply in order to provide appropriate balance to the media coverage of Commander Gibson’s letter.  I have done so because of the wider currency given to Commander Gibson’s correspondence, it having entered into the public domain.”

Gibson’s letter was based on the conclusions he had drawn relating to the evidence received by the Metropolitan Police from Bridger, which is also corroborated by statements from former police commissioner Stuart Kernohan and former chief superintendent John Jones. Bridger has complained that the investigation need never have happened had certain facts not been kept from him by the local authorities. As a result, Bridger believes that not only was he was misled but so was the Met, which was his employer at the time when he was dispatched to Cayman to begin an internal police enquiry.

In the latest installment regarding the fallout from Operation Tempura, which led to a costly two year internal probe and included an array of shocking events, not least the unlawful arrest of a high court judge, the governor has effectively passed the decision to Baines.

From bungled trials to major litigation and pay-outs, the entire Tempura probe continues to be a costly fiasco for the public purse and, with several legal cases still winding through the courts relating to it, the bill continues to grow. While there is little stomach locally for further investment, the continued secrecy surrounding the probe may outweigh those concerns as the demands from the community for the entire truth about the operation to be revealed persist.

Although the governor is not in a position to order an enquiry himself, the RCIPS is also conflicted in the case. If Baines, after seeing the evidence, believes that a criminal enquiry is warranted then he would be expected to engage an independent police force to investigate the allegations made by Bridger.

The crux of the complaint by the SIO of Operation Tempura, Bridger alleges that he was never told that the assumed unlawful entry into Cayman Net News to look for evidence of a corrupt relationship between the late proprietor Desmond Seales and Deputy CommissionerAnthony Ennis was approved by senior officials.

Bridger has always said that he quickly discovered that Ennis and Seales were innocent of the original allegations but he had turned his attention to what he believed was a burglary perpetrated by senior police officers in their quest for evidence. He claims he was never informed that the governor, the attorney general and the FCO’s overseas territories security advisor were all aware of the plan to try and find evidence of the alleged corruption between the police and the local paper before they called in an investigation team.

Bridger has recently stated that had he been aware that what turned out to be a bungled late night entry into the paper’s offices was given the nod by Kernohan’s superiors, he would have left three weeks after the probe started when he had assured himself that the allegations against Ennis and Bridger were false.

Gibson had indicated that he believed there was evidence of possible criminality but in his letter to the Scotland Yard senior cop Governor Taylor said Gibson had not received all of the “material of potential relevance in relation to the complaints” about the investigation.

“Against this background, Commander Gibson’s views as to the merits of the allegations must be treated as significantly qualified both by reference to the conflict he has identified and the limited material received by him, particularly given the gravity of the allegations,” the governor stated before making it clear that the question should be turned over to Baines to deal with.

See both Taylor’s statement and his letter to Gibson below.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    He can release a convicted murderer, but he can’t release a report?

    • Anonymous says:

      yep sometimes I wonder if he was any better then Jack..Thank God they are sending us a woman this time..let's see if gender makes a difference.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Look at the CCs at the end of the letter. I wonder why John Jones is listed c/o Martin Bridger's law firm and why did John Evans get a copy? Come on CNS please do a bit of digging because this isn't the whole story.

  3. Isaac says:

    Oh well….just kick the can down the road Gov. Taylor….how is that for transparency? Or that is only when it suits your agenda?

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    Really? Wasn't it the Governor (the previous one) who approved Operation Tempura inthe first place? Wasn't it the Governor who referred the complaint re McKeeva Bush and the rezoning of Stan Thomas land to the Police Commissioner for investigation? Suddenly the Governor is not able to refer matters to the police for investigation or approve external investigations? There should be a Commission of Inquiry into this and there should be no holds barred.     

    • Anonymous says:

      Considering how badly the examples yu sited worked out maybe its a good thing the Gov can no longer instigate investigations? 😉

    • Anonymous says:

      Guys stop brit bashing, dont you know somebody lost the ruby match over the weekend

  6. Anonymous says:

    The wolves deciding who is going to be head chicken.

  7. Anonymous says:


  8. cayman voice says:

    Take a read folks. Cayman included. It will shock you –


    • Anonymous says:

      09.01 and guess whose a$$ that big dog gonna bite! No such thing as anonymous posting it would seem!

    • Caymanian Voter says:

      I read this… Where does it highlight Cayman?

      And if so….MLAs we need that data protection ACT now!!! Perhaps our newarm of business will be email banking instead of dollars?

      • Anonymous says:

        Ummm…that Data Protection Law won't help you. They have a Data Protection Act in the UK already.

    • Anonymous says:

      Oh that nothing!  British Foriegn Secretary William Hague reassures the public, all politicians, including overseas territories that there is nothing to fear, we are just accessing all your email correspondences, facebooks messages, tweets, and telephone conversations both public and private. what harm can that bring –   http://rt.com/news/hague-prism-intelligence-sharing-437/


    • Not surprised says:

      LMAO >

      Laugh My Ass Off  :-))

      Whose the conspiracy theorists now??????

  9. Anonymous says:

    Just another day in wonderland. This entire thing is an expensive comedy of errors where no one will be held accountable and the Cayman Islands suffers.

    How can Governor Jack play such a crucial role in Tempura but Governor Taylor suddenly now can’t say or do the right thing about Tempura? Commissioner Baines, AG and the RCIP are conflicted from dealing with this matter so what now?

    • Anonymous says:

      Isn't that the point? The allegations state that possibly some people overstepped their authority and remits…maybe, just maybe, this governor is doing it the correct way? Everything else he has done has been that way, including the attempt through the courts (the proper way) to have the case details muzzled. Everything according to the law. The way it should be. If the laws stink, that is a matter for the MLA.

  10. Anonymous says:

    typical taylor……

  11. Anonymous says:

    Let Bridger complain and let Gibson fork out the money to pay an independent service to investigate it if they like, but Cayman has forked out enough because of their incompetence and misconceived perceptions already.  We have no more to waste.  End of story.  Nothing now will save their wounded pride anyway.

  12. Will Ya Listen! says:

    Cover Up.

    Can't trust the basta*rds – and we put kids in jail for smoking a joint.

  13. Anonymous says:

    His Excellecy the Governor Mr. Taylor does not have the power to order a criminal investigation according to him, but he has the power to call a "Commission of Enquiry", does he not ?? Not a whole lot of difference between the two. You investigate to ascertain the truth and wherever the truth and the evidence leads you, you take the appropriate action to achieve "Justice". 


    • Anonymous says:

      In the UK they tend to simply call this a Public Inquiry, which is what a number of people have been calling for over the past three years pr so. That would investigate not only the latest round of complaints but also all the ones already made against Bridger and his team.

    • Anonymous says:

      Actually a big difference. No one goes to jail based on the findings of a Commission of Inquiry.

  14. Anonymous says:

    So, the Metropolitan Police still don't know how the law works down here is the upshot. "Hey, you, go investigate this person." Last time they did that they arrested a judge. Wrongfully. Milk & Carrotts.


    There is a simple resolution to this. Since 2 of the three 'semi-accused' are in the UK and worked directly for the UK at the time in question, then the UK can investigate them on their dime from the UK. Just send a copper around to ask them a few questions. Problem solved.

  15. Whodatis says:

    Classic British know-how in all its glory.

    • Anonymous says:

      Whodatis, now please name me some recent Classic Cayman know how in all its glory…

      Doh!!! Stupid me..there has not been any for a very, very long time, apologies…dumb question..Unless you count Mackeeva that is? Is that Classic Cayman know how? 'Cos damn….

      • Whodatis says:

        Easy …

        Classic Cayman know-how can be clearly identified by the mere fact of our 50% expat population, buddy.

        Obviously we are doing something right … everyone wants to come – nobody wants to leave.


        • Anonymous says:

          Believe me whodatis, we ain't here because of you or your previous or current elected governments classic know how..so it must be the weather (Caymanians not responsible for that) beauty of the Island (Caymanians not responsible for that), Geographic location (Caymanians not responsible for that), the Caribbean sea (guess what, no Caymanian responsible for that either..)

  16. John Evans says:

    As one of the recipients of Governor Taylor's letter I have to observe that this is a welcome injection of sanity into what was becoming a complete farce.

    Martin Bridger knows the law and he understands due process yet he pursued this complaint through a UK police force that has no jurisdiction in the Cayman Islands. The complaint was even filed through a unit tasked solely with dealing with internal Met disciplinary issues and released to the media, in a move that he must have known would work against him, well before their investigation had commenced.

    What his motivation was for these actions is open to speculation. What is not open to speculation is the fact that it probably wasn’t a very smart move and he is now likely to face retaliatory litigation in the UK.

    My guess is he hoped for a rerun of the 2010 complaint filed by Martin Polaine that was handled in complete secrecy by Benjamin Aina and the FCO. If that had happened it would have effectively put a number of other matters (including the disappearance of the original Tempura investigation documents) on pretty much indefinite hold.

    But now we have John Kemp’s sudden revelation that, under Bridger’s leadership, he was involved in 'the retrieval and examination of records of thousands of emails, texts and phone calls and also the examination of numerous hard drives'. My understanding is that, under Cayman Islands law, some of these records can be accessed using the simple authority of an RCIPS officer of the rank of Inspector or higher and that’s where the problems start. All the Tempura/Cealt officers were Special Constables, with no legal access to even basic records in this area and some of the material Kemp details is only accessible with a court order. In an offshore jurisdiction that prides itself on confidentiality, this is a very disturbing admission.

    Would it be too much to hope that if this is going to become something like Tempura II (and I really hope for your sakes it doesn’t) they will try to find out who authorised what boils down to the illegal hacking of thousands of private communications?

  17. Anonymous says:

    I think this is a good example of why the Cayman Islands Police should not be in control of the UK. They can't investigate themselves???….the "transparency and accountability" in this case is just killing me!!!

    Okay here is a simpler solution, let's have our government bring in a special investigative team (say ex-CIA folks)– have them spend a few years here monkeying around the island and one or two break-ins into the governors and CoP's offices etc, have them going on boat rides to the Kai & beach and….. THEN BILL THE UK for it!!!! If they cant investigate themselves we sure can do it for them.

  18. Anonymous says:

    Apparently no one is repsonsible… but Caymanians have been left holding the bag for the expenses of this fiasco.

  19. Anonymous says:

    What a crock! Guv claims he isn't in a position to oversee Inspector Beans. Does he expect Beans to oversee himself? Just another example of "transparency and good governance" when it suits…

    What responsibility does the National Security Council have here? Can they order an independent investigation? Just get the RCMP here already and expose what the high and mighty are trying to hide.