At the Cabinet press briefing on Friday, Minister Alden McLaughlin questioned whether the actions of Governor Stuart Jack and the Metropolitan Police were proportionate to whatever it is they think occurred here with the police and the judiciary.
Mr. McLaughlin says nothing he has heard or seen so far indicates their actions are proportionate.
Although there is plenty we – including the elected government – do not know about this situation, the suspensions of Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan and Chief Superintendent John Jones and the arrest of Grand Court Justice Alexander Henderson all seem to stem from a pair of entries into the office of Cayman Net News publisher Desmond Seales.
While we in no way condone employees searching employers’ offices, the question becomes: Why do we need Scotland Yard to investigate matters that are not only less important than many other crimes here, but are matters that we’d hope the Royal Cayman Islands Police officers could capably investigate themselves.
Even if we could accept the need for Metropolitan Police officers to come here and investigate the original allegations that Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis and Mr. Seales were involved in a corrupt relationship that could put the lives of other RCIPS officers in danger, Senior Met Investigation Officer Martin Bridger went to great pains to say the charges were unfounded. Former Net News employee Lyndon Martin was arrested and charged for making false statements in that case and now awaits trial.
But the Met said that while it was investigating the original matters, it found other important matters that warranted investigation. So far, those matters seem to revolve around Deputy Police Commissioner Rudy Dixon allegedly ordering the release of two gambling suspects in the Brac in 2003, the release of a DUI suspect in 2004 and the possible involvement of Mr. Kernohan, Mr. Jones and Mr. Henderson in an unauthorised entry to Mr. Seales office.
The question becomes, do we really need to spend millions of dollars on a squad of Met officers to investigate such crimes?
In the meantime, the international image of the Cayman Islands is being dragged through the mud as senior members of the police and judiciary are suspended and arrested, some without charges.
Mr. McLaughlin admitted last week he has heard the conspiracy theories that suggest all of this is part of a UK ploy to push some unknown agenda in the current constitution talks or to damage the country’s financial industry, which is a direct competitor of London. Judge Henderson says he doesn’t believe in conspiracy theories, and instead puts what has happened down to incompetence.
Perhaps it’s neither of those things and the Met still has important evidence to reveal in all of this. But if this turns out to be just an investigation into DUI arrests and possible illegal break-ins of offices, the UK’s Foreign and Commonwealth Office needs to hear our displeasure loud and clear.