Update: Officers’ arrest, release

Suspended Deputy Police Commissioner Rudolph Dixon was released from jail Thursday night following a court order presented to the duty inspector at George Town Police Station.

A government press release issued overnight stated: ‘The order was pursuant to an ex-parti Habeas Corpus application before the Lord Chief Justice (Mr. Anthony Smellie). The order directed the release from detention of Mr. Dixon and a full hearing of the Habeas Corpus application for (Friday) at 9am.’

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Chief Investigating Officer Martin Bridger, left, talks with Governor Jack after briefing LA members. Photo: Brent Fuller

Mr. Dixon is one of two men arrested Thursday in connection with an on-going investigation into alleged criminal activity. The other man who was arrested is former Royal Cayman Islands Police officer and long-time local musician Burmon Scott.

Neither Mr. Scott nor Mr. Dixon has been charged with any crime. It was unclear Thursday as to whether Mr. Scott had been released from jail.

Officers from the UK Metropolitan Police force, who’ve been in Cayman since September looking into allegations of misconduct in the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service, said accusations which led to the arrest of Mr. Scott and Mr. Dixon involved an entirely separate matter from the probe which led to the removal of three top RCIPS police commanders in March.

Those three RCIPS commanders, including Commissioner Stuart Kernohan and Mr. Dixon, have been placed on notice that they are now under investigation for alleged misconduct in a public office.

The misconduct allegation against Mr. Kernohan, Mr. Dixon and Chief Superintendent John Jones relates to their role in the events that culminated in an unauthorised entry at the office of Cayman Net News publisher Desmond Seales on 3 September, 2007.

None of the three men have been charged with any crimes.

Former Net News employee Lyndon Martin was charged in April in connection with a burglary which police said occurred last year at Mr. Seales’ office. However, the Caymanian Compass has learned another former Net News employee was allegedly involved in the 3 September entry at Mr. Seales’ office. That individual has not been arrested and has not been charged with a crime.

Separate Investigation

Chief Superintendent Martin Bridger of the UK Metropolitan police declined to discuss the nature of the activities that led to the arrest of Mr. Dixon and Mr. Scott.

‘We have now reached the stage where…we have reasonable grounds to suspect Mr. Dixon of being involved in other criminality,’ Mr. Bridger said. ‘When you start investigations of this kind, inevitably other matters are exposed.’

Mr. Bridger said a number of people had come forward and spoken with his team about alleged breaches of integrity within the RCIPS. He said these people had an ‘expectation and confidence’ that their matters would be dealt with.

He said the UK team had been investigating criminal allegations regarding Mr. Dixon and Mr. Scott for some time. However, he said the matter relating to misconduct in a public office was at a less advanced stage and did not yet warrant the arrest of Mr. Kernohan or Mr. Jones.

Mr. Kernohan left the island more than two weeks ago and has not returned. Governor Stuart Jack said Thursday that he had approved that leave for ‘compassionate’ reasons so Mr. Kernohan could attend to family matters.

‘I have no reason to believe he will not come back,’ Governor Jack said.

Mr. Bridger also revealed that it was Mr. Kernohan who first requested the independent investigators from the UK to come to Cayman to look into allegations of ‘a corrupt relationship’ between Deputy Police Commissioner Anthony Ennis and Mr. Seales.

Those allegations turned out to be false, and both men have since been cleared of any alleged wrong-doing. Mr. Martin was charged last month for making false statements to police in relation to the activities of Mr. Ennis and Mr. Seales.

Mr. Ennis was on personal leave for more than a month earlier this year, but has recently returned to the RCIPS in his deputy commissioner’s role. There were rumours this week that he had resigned, but Governor Jack denied those and the Compass has learned that Mr. Ennis was at work on Thursday.