Update: Dixon bailed out

Suspended Deputy Police Commissioner Rudolph Dixon has been released on bail following his re-arrest on Friday.

Mr. Dixon had been placed back in lock up after his appearance at the court house Friday morning for a closed-door hearing concerning an application for a writ of Habeas Corpus filed on his behalf by his attorneys.

After that hearing, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie quashed his earlier order which allowed Mr. Dixon to be released on Thursday.

‘The original order was based on incomplete information,’ said UK Metropolitan Police Chief Inspector Martin Bridger. ‘The Chief Justice, having heard from the Crown on these matters this morning quashed the order.’

Mr. Bridger said late Friday that authorities had agreed to release Mr. Dixon on strict bail conditions.

The details of Mr. Dixon’s release and the reasons for his initial arrest on Thursday morning were not given to the press by either Solicitor General Cheryll Richards, Mr. Dixon’s attorneys, or Mr. Bridger.

Mr. Dixon left the courthouse a short while after Friday morning’s hearing. He said ‘good morning’ to the press, and then walked off to his vehicle. His re-arrest occurred later in the day.

He was released again later Friday evening.

Governor Stuart Jack’s office declined to comment on the matter when contacted by the Caymanian Compass.

The meeting in the Chief Justice’s chambers Friday was a continuation of the application asking him to issue the writ of Habeas Corpus. If the Chief Justice had issued the writ, the hearing of arguments for and against the detention of Mr. Dixon would have been held in open court.

Mr. Dixon is one of two men arrested Thursday in connection with an ongoing 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 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 investigation involving 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.

Chief Superintendent 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 wrongdoing. 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.