Editorial for 19 July, 2011: Yates leaves disastrous wake

 As the News of the World phone hacking scandal continues to spread, at least one of its latest culprits is a known entity in the Cayman Islands.

 John Yates, assistant commissioner of the UK Metropolitan Police and one-time overseer of Cayman’s own Operation Tempura, resigned his position yesterday.

 Not only did he do a hack job of initially investigating phone hacking charges made against News of the World in 2009, he actually hired a former deputy editor from that tabloid newspaper to be a public relations consultant with the Met force. The former PR man was arrested last week.

 Apparently Mr. Yates – who ‘checked’ the credentials of the former deputy editor before hiring him on at the Met – was a personal friend of the new hire.

 It appears Mr. Yates has a problem with investigative work.

 He proved that to the Cayman Islands when he was here several times during 2008 to maintain an oversight of Operation Tempura – a police investigation that was looking into whether three former top Royal Cayman Islands

 Police Service officials had committed misconduct in a public office. Two years and a least $10 million later no RCIPS officers were ever convicted of any crimes in connection with the Tempura probe. We figure Mr. Yates and other Met officers involved in the investigation got a very nice paid-for Caribbean vacation on the Cayman Islands while our reputation and that of our police and at least one member of the judiciary were being sullied.

 Mr. Yates admitted before UK Parliament’s Home Affairs Committee last week that his decision in 2009 not to reopen an investigation into the phone hacking allegations against News of the World was based on a minimum amount of research into the situation.

 Hmmm. That sounds suspiciously familiar. But doing minimum amount of research for Operation Tempura got him a free Caribbean vacation. Minimum research into News of the World helped him land his friend in a cushy Met office job.

 We bid Mr. Yates farewell, and not fondly. We only wish all of this had occurred before the wheels of the Operation Tempura investigation were set into motion.


  1. The time has come for a proper judicial or public enquiry, funded by the FCO, into Tempura/Cealt and the failure by anyone to follow up the criticism of the operations made by Justice Cresswell and Dan Duguay. In particular the complaint made jointly by Martin Bridger and Martin Polaine, which libels several members of the judiciary and names several leading politicians, needs to be made public. I don’t think anyone can move on from this until the whole matter is made public, while the secrecy persists so do the doubts and rumours.

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