Publisher denies police source

Seales calls former employees liars

Cayman Net News owner, publisher and editor-in-chief Desmond Seales gave evidence on Wednesday afternoon in the trial of Lyndon Martin, whom he called a ‘second liar’ after calling another Crown witness, John Evans, a liar.

The Crown’s case, as opened by Andrew Radcliffe QC, is that Martin falsely accused Deputy Commissioner of Police Anthony Ennis of being in a corrupt relationship with Mr. Seales and providing him with sensitive police material. That material was supposedly kept by Mr. Seales in what has been referred to as a red binder or red box file.

Questioned by Mr. Radcliffe, Mr. Seales said he never kept a red box file in his office. Asked if Anthony Ennis was his informant providing sensitive material, he replied, ‘Absolutely not’. Asked if Mr. Ennis ever provided sensitive documents or e-mails, he repeated, ‘Absolutely not’.

Asked if he ever said that Mr. Ennis was a source of information, he replied, ‘Not to anyone.’

Asked if he knew Mr. Ennis, Mr. Seales said he met him the first time in 1994 at church and had spoken to him fewer than 10 times over 13 years.

Cross-examined by Trevor Burke QC, who is defending Lyndon Martin, the publisher explained how he dealt with confidential information. When Mr. Burke started to ask a question about former Net News reporter John Evans, Mr. Seales told him, ‘You have to start all over again when you mention John Evans, who is a liar.’

Mr. Evans gave evidence before Mr. Seales did. He admitted going into Mr. Seales’ office after hours to look for the red box file. He said he searched all the drawers and book cases. He did not find anything and it was not possible he could have missed anything.

Mr. Evans explained that he did not have a key to the main office, but he was using they key Lyndon Martin had supplied.

He said he made his entry on the night of 3 September 2007. This was after Martin had made an entry into the office but recovered nothing. The two men discussed the matter and decided another effort should be made.

It was urgent, he said, because Martin had told him that the hard drive had been changed in Mr. Seales’ computer and there was risk of things being removed.

Before the office search, Mr. Evans told the court, he was investigating stories about the purchase of a police helicopter. He said he was under pressure to produce certain stories based on rumours that police were using Cayman Islands Helicopters for surveillance, that then-Commissioner of Police Stuart Kernohan was using police time to build his own hours flying the helicopter.

Mr. Evans said no specific details were ever supplied to him, but on two occasions Mr. Seales had identified the source as Mr. Ennis. He said he told Mr Seales that, based on his investigations, Mr. Ennis was an unreliable source. He said Mr. Seales wanted him to put in the allegations without verifying them.

He said he wrote a story about the helicopter and when it was published there was a line included that he had not written: ‘Mr Kernohan, who is known to be a helicopter pilot, may be the man at the controls of the new RCIPS plane.’

Mr. Evans said he was furious because it wasn’t true and somebody had altered his story without telling him. He called Police Public Relations Officer Deborah Denis and asked her to apologise to Mr. Kernohan and make it clear he had not written that sentence.

It was after this he told Ms Denis that Mr. Ennis was the source.