Baines denies killing complaint

 

Cayman Islands Police Commissioner David Baines has “categorically refuted” allegations that he “killed off” a complaint related to the infamous Operation Tempura corruption investigation filed by a former Crown witness in 2009.  

Former prosecution witness John Evans, who accused two senior officers in the Operation Tempura probe of essentially failing to do their jobs, was notified in February that the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service had closed his complaint due to the fact that the two senior officers were no longer members of the RCIPS and “have long since left the jurisdiction”.  

In correspondence with UK MP Elizabeth Truss’ office obtained by the Caymanian Compass, Governor Duncan Taylor’s office maintains that the RCIPS decision in the matter was the correct one. The governor did apologise on behalf of the police service for not explaining the 17-month delay in handling the complaint Mr. Evans made to the police Professional Standards Unit.  

“The effect of [the complaint closure]…is that the former RCIPS special constables are no longer amenable to the processes of the RCIPS for the purpose of a disciplinary complaint,” the letter from the governor’s office read.  

Governor Taylor’s office said Mr. Evans had “implied” in correspondence with MP Truss’ office that his 2009 complaint against the Operation Tempura officers had been “killed off” by Mr. Baines.  

“Mr. Baines…categorically refutes the allegations that he ‘killed off’ Mr. Evans’ complaint,” the governor’s letter states. The governor’s correspondence also indicated that Mr. Baines had not been a prior associate of Operation Tempura’s former Senior Investigating Officer Martin Bridger or it’s one-time legal adviser Martin Polaine.  

“That suggestion, [Mr. Baines] said, is a malicious, unfounded and untrue accusation,” Governor Taylor’s office indicated.  

Operation Tempura was a two-year probe of alleged misconduct within the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service that ended up spreading into the local judiciary. No criminal convictions resulted from two trials – one of a former Legislative Assembly member and another that involved a still-suspended deputy police commissioner. In addition, decisions by investigators that led to the wrongful arrest of a sitting Cayman Islands Grand Court judge ended up costing the country $1.275 million in a lawsuit settlement.  

Mr. Evans complaint, however, dealt with issues of criminality he said Operation Tempura commanders were blatantly ignoring.  

“[Chief Investigating Officer] Martin Bridger and [Inspector] Richard Coy…received details of alleged criminal activities but, because of personal involvement with the subject of those allegations…failed to either investigate the allegations or pass them on to another officer,” the 2009 complaint filed by Mr. Evans read. 

The subject of Mr. Evans’ claims, newspaper publisher Desmond Seales, died last July. The Compass has never reported the specific nature of Mr. Evans’ allegations for legal reasons.  

Correspondence sent to Mr. Evans from RCIPS Chief Inspector Harlan Powery in February indicated that the police professional standards unit had ended the complaint without taking any action.  

“The…unit has closed the investigation into your complaint; due to the fact the individuals you complained of are no longer members of the RCIPS,” wrote Mr. Powery. “In addition, both Mr. Coy and Mr. Bridger have long since departed our jurisdiction.”  

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5 COMMENTS

  1. My complaints against Martin Bridger and Richard Coy, in their capacity as RCIPS Special Constables, go beyond simple disciplinary issues and cross over into areas where both could be deemed to have committed misconduct in public office. They turned a blind eye to numerous actions clearly intended to interfere with the conduct of Lyndon Martin’s trial and refused to investigate threats made against me while I was a Crown witness.

    Earlier, Sir Peter Cresswell’s report on the Alex Henderson arrest, published while Bridger and Coy were still on Grand Cayman, referred to, the gravest abuse of process, and other acts, which potentially fall under the category of criminal conduct.

    In December 2009 the RCIPS actually admitted that the actions of the officers involved in the arrest were, entirely unwarranted and unlawful, but the Acting Commissioner at the time did nothing about this blatant abuse of the law.

    That the RCIPS and the Governor should, despite the Cresswell report, my complaint and the numerous other concerns aired in the media, refuse to conduct any kind of investigation, criminal or internal, into the conduct of Operation Tempura and make lame excuses for not doing so suggests a cover up.

    Commissioner Baines, if people interpret this as signs of a corrupt relationship between those involved (and I can assure you they do) then it hardly helps the cause of law enforcement in the Cayman Islands.

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  2. John

    There’s been a massive cover-up all right, and the presiding UK Court of Appeals judge is already repeatedly asking the questions that this entire cover-up has hinged on all along.

    This judge will blow this entire conspiracy open, once and for all and then…

    Watch the fur fly.

    Get this to the courts of the UK is what I want, where the UK judges can independently sort out who’s done what and order the required remedies.

    I truly can’t wait…

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  3. Mr. Evans should have received a letter from the Commissioner of police Mr. Baines or the Governor.
    Instead they passed the buck onto a Caymanian RCIP Chief Inspector Mr. Powery. He’s as a Caymanian and a perfect candidate that can get the blame, and have to answer hard questions, and they can indeed attack him at some point in the future?

    What do you make of this;

    The comissioner of police dodges the responsibility of answering Mr. John Evans letter himself as the honcho of the RCIP.

    The case has been closed just because two Englishmen decided to go home instead of hanging around here for a hearing involving the biggest Police probe in the history of the Cayman Islands?

    While our own Cayman Islands police are arrested, jobless, and never even charged for anything, while their Jobs are still in limbo and uncertainty.With no compensation paid to them for defamation of their character.

    While an English judge is compensated in 1.2million dollars for damages to his British character!
    while all men are created equal in Gods sight but mankind is so ill advised, crooked and confused they have not the ability to deal fairly with all whom they come in contact with.

    While English police have been allowed to go on with their lives.

    Is this what they call British Colonial insurrections stirred up in the territories as a prelude to direct rule and taking away our economic status in the global market.

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  4. Dubai, I’m not sure about the rest but I suspect there is a lot of truth in what you say about passing the buck or putting distance between the Commissioner and the complaint.

    My concerns were originally put on record with David George (who had served with Bridger in the Met) in August 2008 but we agreed to hold the matter until after Lyndon Martin’s trial. At the time it was indicated that a full investigation would be conducted.

    After the trial ended I contacted Commissioner Baines who referred the matter to the then head of the PSU, Chief Inspector Martin Bodden Jr. On 14 October 2009 the formal complaint was filed with CI Bodden and copied to the Commissioner. In early 2010 CI Bodden was transferred out of George Town and CI Powery took the matter over. The rest we know.

    You can see there’s an element of ‘plausible deniability’ creeping in here but what I do not understand is why, with complaints still outstanding, Martin Bridger was allowed to set foot on Grand Cayman and no attempt was made by the RCIPS to even interview him. This treatment is in sharp contrast to the way Lyndon Martin, Burmon Scott and Rudi Dixon were all treated by Operation Tempura – in every case on the basis of allegations far less serious than those I made against Bridger and Coy.

    It does look like one rule for ex-pats and another for Caymanians.

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  5. For all parties who are using the phrase killing off in regard to a complaint, particularly one which involves Police officers: don’t you think it is:
    -highly emotive
    -inaccurate
    -in very poor taste
    -inapposite.
    If you do not, then I urge you to consult your dictionaries, mothers and anyone who has actually been invoved in/affected by a killing.

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