Premier: Officers not from Tempura

Premier McKeeva Bush said last week
that two officers recently hired to the Royal Cayman Islands Police
Anti-Corruption Unit were not involved in the ill-fated Operation Tempura
investigation.

Richard Oliver and Dennis
Walkington, who officially joined the RCIPS ranks on 12 April, previously
worked for the BGP consulting firm out of the United Kingdom.

“These officers are not from
Tempura,” Mr. Bush told a press conference Thursday. “They had nothing to do
with Tempura.”

Operation Tempura was a two-year
long investigation into alleged corruption and misconduct within the RCIPS. It
led to two criminal trials last year. Both trials ended in the acquittal of
defendants Rudi Dixon and Lyndon Martin.

Mr. Bush’s statement is partially
correct, according to previous information provided by police.  

The BGP consulting team was
initially brought into the investigation in mid-2008 to help UK Metropolitan
Police officers sort through dozens of interviews given by Cayman
Islands residents who alleged misconduct and corruption against
local police.

Those interviews eventually led to
a spin-off probe that was dubbed Operation Cealt.

Operation Cealt was kept separate
from Operation Tempura. Tempura basically dealt with two issues: claims that a
top Cayman Islands police official had
improperly exchanged information with a newspaper publisher, and allegations of
a “break-in” at that publisher’s office in September 2007.

The claims against the top police official
were later shown to be false. No one was ever charged in the alleged “break
in”.

Messrs. Oliver and Walkington did
not participate in subsequent investigations that led to the arrests of Mr.
Dixon, Mr. Martin, former Police Inspector Burmon Scott and Grand Court Judge
Alexander Henderson. Justice Henderson was later determined to have been wrongfully
arrested.

According to Police Commissioner
David Baines, the BGP consultants did stay on the Islands
following the departure of all officers who were investigating matters related
to Operation Tempura and Operation Cealt.

At that point, Mr. Baines said,
there were a few matters related to Operation Tempura that remained
outstanding.

Mr. Baines told the Caymanian Compass in November that the
two consultants were still assisting in matters related to disciplinary
hearings for Mr. Dixon – one of the RCIPS officers removed as part of the
Tempura investigation.  

The men were also helping with disclosure requirements in
two lawsuits brought against the police service over Operation Tempura by
former Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan and Mr. Scott.

Those consultants Mr. Baines spoke about in November – Mr.
Oliver and Mr. Walkington –are the same men who have now joined the police
service’s anti-corruption unit.

“The commissioner of the police is
the person in charge of this, him and the governor and deputy governor,” Mr.
Bush said Thursday. “We have no say in the matter of who they hire as police
officers.”

Police officials released the following statement about the new hires earlier
this month: “The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has recently undertaken
an overseas recruitment campaign to secure the services of specialist officers
for specific departments within the force. 

“A number of people from Canada,
Jamaica, Barbados and the UK were interviewed and some have
been offered contracts

“Some of the officers appointed have previously worked with
the RCIPS in specialist roles.”

The department declined to comment further on the matter.

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1 COMMENT

  1. As a Caymanian I feel that the Premier should step in and make sure that Caymanians like Mr. Dixon and others ot found not guilty should be given back their jobs, and compensated for their psychological and financial pain and sufferig.
    all the people from the UK are laughing all the way to the bank, what about our own Caymanian Cops Mr. Premier are you not their representative too!
    Our Caymanians keep getting the short end of the stick while others profit. Its time to put an end to this and Mr. Premier you should be the first to cut this ribbon!

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