CoP silent on Tempura ‘truth’

| 27/08/2014

(CNS): As the governor refuses to release documents relating to the ongoing fallout of Operation Tempura, the police boss, David Baines, has also refused to answer questions about his investigation into the conduct of Attorney General Sam Bulgin, former governor Stuart Jack and Larry Covington, the UK’s OT security advisor during the ill-fated probe. Although former police commissioner Stuart Kernohan and former chief superintendent John Jones both indicated under oath, when presented by the crown as witnesses of truth, that the three UK officials were aware of the covert entry into a local newspaper, the current police commissioner has decided they didn't know about the planned alleged break-in. But Baines has not explained his findings or indicated if the RCIPS will be pursuing Kernohan and Jones for perjury.

Baines’ decision to dismiss the report of possible misconduct by Jack, Covington and Bulgin seems at odds with the position the authorities had previously taken over the evidence given by Jones and Kernohan. Baines is also understood to have dismissed the allegations that the senior officials did not reveal what they knew about the plans to look for evidence of police corruption in the Cayman Net News offices without interviewing anyone involved.

The latest twist in the Tempura internal police investigation about who knew what and when regarding what the lead investigator of the ill-fated enquiry, Martin Bridger, claims he believed was a break-in at a local newspaper office has raised serious questions which have not been answered by the RCIPS.

Although Baines said that Jack, Covington and Bulgin were all exonerated, he has not explained why it is that neither Kernohan nor Jones have been pursued for perjury after they had both alleged that their bosses knew all about the plans to look for evidence in relation to allegations of RCIPS corruption in the office of the late Desmond Seales, owner of Net News.

The men revealed the chain of events under oath, as crown witnesses during the trial of Lyndon Martin who was charged with burglary in relation to the alleged break-in to the Net News offices and perverting the course of justice in 2009.

Both men are also understood to have documented evidence that the plan to use reporters from the paper to find possible evidence before the RCIPS took official action against an alleged security leak was discussed at the highest level on a number of occasions.

With Baines' categorical opinion, despite what appears to be a limited investigation, that there was no wrongdoing on the part of the then governor, the UK’s OT security advisor and the attorney general, there are a number of anomalies that the RCIPS boss is refusing to answer.

Martin Bridger is still seeking to demonstrate to the Cayman public that everything he did during his time heading up the probe was based on legal advice given by representatives of the AG’s chambers and the governor’s office and basedon what those men had told him, and has raised his own doubts about what they knew.

Bridger says he became aware only towards the end of his time in Cayman that both Kernohan and Jones could have evidence that supported their claims that Jack, Covington and Bulgin all knew how the RCIPS management intended to handle the corruption allegations in the first instance before a decision was made to call in Scotland Yard.

Bridger now claims that he had always assumed from the start of the Tempura investigation that Jones and Kernohan “were on a frolic of their own” but if, as they claim, they had told Jack or Covington or Bulgin or all three, he would have packed up and left Cayman two weeks after he arrived. This then raises the question of who really is to blame for a probe, which found nothing of substance but cost the tax payer millions of dollars.

As a result of his own mounting suspicions about who did or did not tell him the truth when he was heading up the enquiry, Bridger filed a complaint with his former bosses in the case, the Metropolitan police, as he said if Kernohan and Jones were telling the truth this meant the UK officials in Cayman had misled not just him but Scotland Yard as well.

As a result, the Met handed over the enquiry to Baines but he exonerated Jack, Covington and Bulgin, but sources say this was without interviewing Bridger, Jones or Kernohan. Baines blamed Bridger for not turning up to an interview with the evidence he claimed he had. However, given that Bridger is fighting the authorities here to use this evidence and other important evidence collected during Tempura in his own legal battles against Kernohan, he said he had concerns about the terms on which such meetings could take place.

As obvious conflicts over the management and direction of Tempura continue, the governor is also pressing ahead with her fight on behalf of the UK office in Cayman — another legal battle to make sure the lid stays firmly closed on the file holding other details about the bungled enquiry. But the latest twists continue to fuel public concerns that the authorities are conspiring to cover up incompetence, mismanagement or some other potentially embarrassing action relating to the issue, which has dragged on for seven years.

Although CNS has submitted a number of questions to the RCIPS about the parts played by the various characters in the enquiry prior to the arrival of Bridger and his Scotland Yard team, they have been ignored. The commissioner has failed to state how his internal probe has concluded that Jack, Covington and Bulgin knew nothing at all about the covert entry and how that sits with the evidence given by both Kernohan and Jones in court when they were presented as crown witnesses of truth.

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Possibly the reason RCIPS are not investigating this is because there's been no formal complaint made? I see plenty of mud slinging here but where is the evidence?

    If, as is being claimed, this goes back to Lyndon Martin's 2009 trial why has Mr Bridger take so long to come forward?

    Once again Tempua raises more questions than it answers. 

  2. Anonymous says:

    Bet your ass if no Englishmen were involved in this saga, all others would have been dragged over the coals and lost considerable weight; from lengthy prison sentences at H.M. Northward Hotel.     

  3. Anonymous says:

    England's finest! to hell with the caman islands

  4. Anonymous says:

    oooh, I do like a strong silent man in uniform!!

  5. Anonymous says:

    Cayman style water gate?

  6. Anonymous says:

    What else is new

  7. James Coe says:

    It needs to be pursued because numerous persons have been hurt by it and they deserve an apology which they probably will never get, BUT MOST OF ALL they deserve to know the TRUTH as to why they were targeted.



  8. Anonymous says:

    How can Jones and Kernohan be charged with perjury in the Cayman Islands when their 'witness' statements were made to the Metropolitan Police in London and were (if you check your own stories on this) not made under oath? 

    CNS Note: Kernohan and Jones made the statements during the trial of Lyndon Martin

    • Anonymous says:

      Yes and remember Kernohan, Jones and Lyndon were the  messengers who got arrested as soon as Bridger stepped off the plane.

      What does that tell you? Bridger was also set up by the UK,  to do a 180 deg. turn and switch to what they wanted to be investigated.

      None of these guys are guilty. They were all set up by FCO, that is why the documents cant be released…..Cayman.

      In any civilized jurisdiction the Commissioner of police and the Judge can deputize or recruit  a citizen to carry out covert operations. Poor Lyndon got shafted by his own peers. 

    • Anonymous says:

      CNS, this isn't about Lyndon Martin's trial. Its about the cobbled together complaint Mr Bridger submitted to the Met last year and the statements Jones and Kernohan made shortly afrerwards. Bridger wasn't even on island for Lyndon's trial six years ago.  

  9. Anonymous says:

    No, this thing has to be concluded!

    From the Governor downwards, things are being hidden, they all made extremely bad judgment,  I believe they had good advice not to go ahead and because it wasnt what they wanted to hear they carried on anyway. 

    Such people should be held accountable, and frankly, when the truth is known the FCO should acknowledge that they bear a large part of the responsibility, and should bear the cost.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Just air the dirty laundry and be done with it.  The more "secrets", the more intrigue, the longer this stupidity will persist.Open the files and let whoever is interested, know whatever they are interested in. This attempt at hiding facts is more embarrassing for folks involved than just setting the record straight and letting everyone go on with their lives.

  11. Mr Richards says:

    You people just leave it alone.  Foget about this Tempura business and try make Cayman a safer, better place to live. I want my grand kids to have a better life.  Sitting around watching soap operas and following Tempura gossip is a waste of time. There are more pressing stuff to do folks. Come on wake up Cayman. 

  12. Cayman Lawyer says:

    Why the badgering here-  re CoP and the Governor's Office.  We have bigger problems to deal with.  Please for God's sake stop pursing this. We need to fix our economy, legalize gambling/ create more revenue, employ more out of work Caymanians, come together to fight crime, clean up Cayman and make the island beautiful again. So much to do and yet people are so caught up with this Tempura thing. 

    • Anonymous says:

      Its ok we are quite capable of multitasking so we can handle all of the issues you mentioned but we want answers on Tempura NOW !!!

    • Anonymous says:

      If you are really a "Cayman Lawyer"?…that is NOT encouraging at all!

      Just how do you think we are to "come together to fight crime" if the Police and other highest level PUBLIC Officers are embroiled in situations such as Tempura?

      It is high time we stop sweeping dirt under the mat….while expecting somehow the house to be clean. Something stinks with this entire fiasco known as Tempura! And

      This requires a fully independent enquiry!

    • expat attorney says:

      It's about Good Governance and the countless millions spent on the biggest cover up in Cayman's history that's why we bang on about Tempura. If there is nothing to hide and the FOI Commissioner has ordered the documents released why all the attempts to block transparency and prevent the people to know who is responsible for this expensive mess? 

    • Anonymous says:

      So you want to wait until they come for you.