Prosecution and Defence Counsel in Martin’s trial agreed on two things, but not much else: Deputy Commissioner of Police Anthony Ennis was not in a corrupt relationship with Cayman Net News publisher Desmond Seales; and Mr. Ennis did not leak sensitive police information to Mr. Seales.
Martin is charged with doing a series of acts, which had the tendency to pervert the course of public justice by falsely alleging that Mr. Ennis had ‘wilfully misconducted himself in a public office’ by supplying Mr. Seales with confidential and/or sensitive police material. An alternative charge is falsely accusing Mr. Ennis of a crime, namely misconduct in public office.
After the Crown closed its case on Tuesday and the Defence called no evidence, counsel for both sides addressed the jury on Wednesday morning. Justice Roy Anderson gave jurors instruction about the law Thursday.
Martin began working at Net News in March 2007. He put his allegations in two letters written to the Governor but handed to then-Commissioner Stuart Kernohan in August 2007 after conversations with Mr. Kernohan, Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon, and Chief Superintendent John Jones.
Andrew Radcliffe QC said the only issue was whether the Prosecution had proved, so jurors were sure, that when Lyndon Martin made the allegations against Mr. Ennis, he did not genuinely believe them to be true.
Mr. Radcliffe pointed to parts of the interviews with Martin after Operation Tempura special constables arrested him in March 2008. They asked him about his statement that information was emanating from Mr. Ennis.
Martin replied, ‘In my own mind I didn’t know conclusively it was from Ennis.’
A lot of issues had been raised during the trial, Mr. Radcliffe agreed, but the charges against Martin had not been brought on behalf of Desmond Seales or Cayman Net News. They were not brought by Operation Tempura. The charges were brought by the Crown through the Attorney-General’s office, independent of anyone’s interests or claims.
‘This is an extraordinary case in many ways. The fallout for these Islands has been enormous,’ Mr. Radcliffe told jurors.
Mr. Kernohan was sacked, Mr. Ennis was under suspicion before he was cleared, Mr. Dixon awaits trial on separate matters; Mr. Jones was on required leave for 17 months and a Grand court judge was arrested before being speedily cleared.
All of this followed one way or another from the events of August 2007, which culminated with the entry into Net News by Martin’s co-worker John Evans on the night of 3 September, 2007.
Mr. Radcliffe said almost all of the crown witnesses were angry, but he suggested their anger was directed at the wrong target because the common thread running through all the events was Lyndon Martin.
He said Mr. Ennis was deeply hurt and angry at Mr. Kernohan. But it wasn’t Kernohan who falsely accused Ennis, it was Lyndon Martin.
Desmond Seales was furious with John Evans for entering his office. But who asked Evans to do it? Lyndon Martin.
Evans was looking for a red box file supposedly containing copies of e-mails from Ennis to Seales. Who was the only person who said he saw a red box file? Lyndon Martin. Mr. Radcliffe said it was for the jury to say whether any red box file ever existed.
Stuart Kernohan lost his job and blamed Operation Tempura and Martin Bridger in particular. But what brought operation Tempura to Cayman? It was the allegation that Mr. Ennis was providing secret sensitive information. Who was making the allegations? Lyndon Martin.
Who else might be angry? Mr. Radcliffe asked. The people of these Islands were deeply upset at what had happened. They were upset about the cost of Tempura and the cost to Cayman’s prestige.
‘Desmond Seales at centre’
Trevor Burke QC told the jury that Lyndon Martin did his public duty and what he thought was right when he said to police, ‘I firmly believe this man is your source. Investigate it, please.’
Net News reporter John Evans had already told Mr. Kernohan that Mr. Ennis was Desmond Seales’ source with the police service. Lyndon Martin corroborated John Evans. ‘The tragedy is that Rudolph Dixon and Stuart Kernohan wanted it to be true,’ Mr. Burke said.
But Desmond Seales was the common denominator, Mr. Burke said. ‘It is your assessment of Desmond Seales that unlocks the case for you because he is at the centre of it.’
He said Desmond Seales was the source of all the scurrilous gossip, causing chaos, stirring up trouble, seeking to control the very destiny of these Islands. ‘Desmond Seales is a very powerful and he knows it. People tiptoe around him,’ Mr. Burke said.
Juries had to assess his character and truthfulness. John Evans had said in court that Mr. Seales told him Anthony Ennis was his source. Mr. Evans had been called by the Crown as a witness of truth.
Equally, the Crown called Mr. Seales as a witness of truth and he called John Evans a liar. ‘It is very rare for the Crown to call witnesses so in conflict on a central issue,’ the attorney commented.
One of the men was lying and the Crown had burdened the jury with a decision prosecutors should have made as to which was the honest witness.
Mr. Seales performance in court had been arrogant, Mr. Burke continued. He had denied knowing about a personal matter concerning Mr. Dixon, but the jury had heard that he told reporter Suzanne Livingston to write a story about it.
The fact that Mr. Seales had stuck his tongue out at Mr. Burke showed his contempt and indifference to the court. ‘He has no principles and fewer scruples. He will lie at the drop of a hat and drop the hat himself.’
Lyndon Martin was not getting any reward for talking with police. He had no malicious motive and he was grateful to Mr. Seales for giving him a job when he needed one.
But Lyndon Martin recognised that if there was a leak to a newspaper on sensitive police issues that was clearly wrong and a the potential for abuse was obvious, particularly when a recipient like Desmond Seales was widely believed to have contacts with the criminal element.
Mr. Seales wanted Martin to form that opinion – that he had access to the highest and lowest on this Island. It suited his purpose to have people believe that Mr. Ennis was his source.