Jones: Ex-Gov ‘deliberately concealed’ his part in Tempura

Another witness statement given to UK Met

The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service’s former top operations man has made some surprisingly blunt allegations against former Governor Stuart Jack in connection with the ill-fated Operation Tempura corruption investigation.  

In a statement sent to the UK Metropolitan Police force on 10 April, former RCIPS Chief Superintendent John Jones noted he was speaking as a witness to the events surrounding the Tempura investigation, that ended in Mr. Jones and two other senior RCIPS officers being suspended from the service and investigated by UK police officers. 

Mr. Jones eventually got his job back and was exonerated from all allegations connected to a 3 September, 2007, covert entry into the offices of Cayman Net News Publisher the late Desmond Seales. His contract with the RCIPS was not renewed in May 2012.  

Former RCIPS Commissioner Stuart Kernohan was suspended and eventually fired by ex-Governor Jack. Former Deputy Police Commissioner Rudolph Dixon retired after spending three years on required leave and eventually receiving a settlement in a lawsuit he filed against the Cayman Islands government.  

“Neither [Mr. Jones nor Mr. Kernohan] could understand the reason for the governor not coming forward to advise the investigation of his approval and knowledge of the entry into [Cayman Net News], which was being described by the investigation team as a burglary,” Mr. Jones wrote in his statement.  

“It appeared that the governor, for whatever reason, was content to deliberately conceal his involvement in the process to the absolute detriment of [Mr. Kernohan] and I.”  

The Caymanian Compass has sent requests for comment on Mr. Jones’ statement to the RCIPS and the Cayman Islands governor’s office. Both declined to comment. Mr. Jones claims, as Mr. Kernohan has done in his earlier statement to the UK Met Police, that ex-Governor Jack was fully briefed on the proposed entry into the offices of Cayman Net News. In fact, Mr. Jones states in his six-page submission to the UK Met that the governor agreed to the covert search tactics – using two Net News employees – despite Mr. Jones’ stated concerns about the reliability of one of those witnesses.  

Mr. Jones statement continues: “I met with the governor and Mr. Simon Tonge, the governor’s assistant, in the governor’s office at about 10.30am [on 3 September, 2007, – the same day the newspaper office entry occurred]. The governor was briefed as to the ongoing investigation and we specifically discussed the option of an entry into the [Cayman Net News] office. The governor was made very clear about what was planned to take place with the entry into the office and was definitely fully aware of all the circumstances.  

“He did not raise any objections, concerns or opposition to the planned entry. I also explained to him that I retained doubts about the reliability of [former Net News employee Lyndon] Martin.”  

 

RIPA 

The entry into the Cayman Net News offices on 3 September, 2007, was planned because of allegations made by Mr. Martin and supported by another Cayman Net News employee John Evans.  

According to Mr. Jones, Mr. Martin had approached Deputy Commissioner Dixon in August regarding allegations that another RCIPS deputy commissioner, Anthony Ennis, had given confidential police information to Mr. Seales, the publisher of the newspaper. In addition, Mr. Kernohan had received similar allegations from then-political Opposition Leader McKeeva Bush in a meeting at the Ritz-Carlton, Grand Cayman.  

Mr. Jones, a 30-year veteran UK police officer, said he had “extensive experience” in the terms and use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act [2000], which governs covert police operations in the UK.  

Cayman has no similar legislation. However, Mr. Jones said policing operations “tend to operate within the structure and spirit of UK legislation”.  

“If a similar operation was conducted in the UK, the same process would have been followed, albeit in a more formalised structure,” Mr. Jones said.  

Neither Mr. Kernohan nor Mr. Jones, nor indeed Mr. Evans or Mr. Martin, were charged with anything related to the 3 September, 2007, entry at the Net News offices, although Mr. Martin was later charged in other unrelated crimes during course of the Operation Tempura investigation. He was acquitted following trial.  

Mr. Jones said what occurred in Cayman between 2008 and 2009, while he was suspended from the police force, had “far-reaching affects” on him and his family.  

“It is my opinion that the investigation of [Mr. Kernohan] and myself was ill-considered, disproportionate and ill-managed, considering the facts that were known at the time,” Mr. Jones said. “Governor Stuart Jack appears to have deliberately concealed his part in the legal police operation, which started this whole affair.”  

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12 COMMENTS

  1. Fair comments Mr Jones but why bring them up now? Why did you do nothing while you were in the RCIPS? Why did your testimony at Lyndon Martin’s trial in September 2009 not raise any concerns?

    And at the same time why was nothing done about other matters arising from Tempura, particularly the FOI releases showing that Dan Duguay’s 2009 attempt to audit the operation had been compromised by deliberately misleading information?

    I’m not saying that any of this is untrue but I just do not think that either the people of the Cayman Islands or the Met in London are getting the whole story here.

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  2. Mr. Jones, a 30-year veteran UK police officer, said he had extensive experience in the terms and use of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000, which governs covert police operations in the UK.

    If a similar operation was conducted in the UK, the same process would have been followed, albeit in a more formalised structure, Mr. Jones said.

    These are chosen quotes from Mr. Jones’s statements.

    In addressing the facts surrounding these statements, it needs to be stated, first of all, that I’ve been involved in human rights legislation campaigning through letters in the press for years before any of this took place…and all that has taken place only drove home the reasons as to why this legislation was so crucial to have implemented in the Cayman Islands.

    In addressing my chosen quotes from Mr. Jones, he, Mr. Kernohan, Mr. Jack and whoever else was involved in this decision to use RIPA legislation (which is a UK terrorism-fighting law)in Cayman to justify this ‘covert’ entry into CNN’s offices would NEVER have met the human rights legislation requirements in the UK, based on the unconfirmed accusations of an employee of CNN who had obvious and well-known political connections to one of his employer’s most high-profile critics who’s name has also been mentioned in Caycompass’s news article.

    In the UK, any accusations from such an employee would have to have been investigated first to make sure of their veracity to ensure that any covert operation approved warranted such drastic action, which in effect, suspends the human rights of the particular party being investigated, in the name of national security.

    A more ‘formalised’ structure means full minutes of any meetings, and compilation of all evidence that warranted a covert search being available to a judge if and when called for…whether before…or after such an operation had taken place; the accountability of those making such a decision and carrying out such an operation being held accountable in a court of law, in the final analysis.

    In effect, the authorities in Cayman (the collective group) who planned and authorised this so-called ‘covert’ operation could plan this operation without due consideration because the Human Rights Bill had not yet been implemented in Cayman’s Constitution fully as yet.

    Mr. Jones is very much understating the process that would have been followed in the UK, where the Prime Minister and Cabinet would have had to have been briefed and approve such a police action…

    And had it been against a major news publication in the UK, the power of response and use of human rights legislation on its own behalf would have made such an operation impossible to conduct on the flimsy evidence of a disgruntled employee, if not one who had been ‘planted’ in the newspaper for just such a purpose.

    It has always puzzled me as to why Mr. Seales RIP, did not do more to challenge this operation under his human rights protection, if indeed he had any such protection in the Cayman Islands; there was a ‘grey area’ at that time (2007)as to the full human rights protection for Cayman Islands status holders who were not full British citizens WITH passports which the passing of the Human Rights Bill has cleared up.

    There is no doubt that as this situation unfolds, the full facts will emerge, as they are already doing.

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  3. @ Uncle Dave:

    Couldn’t agree with you more. Why now after so many years of silence when your own character and reputation was being tarnished and questioned. I believe there is more that he is not telling because I would never leave my character to be questioned for some many years. Common Sense come on..we Caymanians aint foolish Mr. Jones and for the others who are now ‘speaking’ out after so many years after.

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  4. Alright now we are getting half way there. This report states that the entry into Cayman Net News office on Sept. 3rd 2007 was planned because of allegations made by Mr Martin, and supported by another, Cayman Net News employee John Evans.
    I am carefully following you: BUT PLEASE TELL ME AND THE CAYMAN ISLANDS WHERE DID THE SEED COME FROM? Am I to believe that a RAT BAT flew over head and drop this seed (information) on the steps of Martin Bridger and John Evans? NOT BELIEVING THAT. So come better with the story. AND another seed being planted. that Mr Ennis had giving information to Diamond Seales. LET US HERE WHAT WAS THE REASON FOR THAT AND WHAT KIND OF SEED WAS IT. This story is getting stinker and stinker by the minute.
    Furthermore why should I doubt that there has been a HUGE cover up in the whole process. Why should I NOT believe that every name that was called had something to do with what took place and knew fully well what was going down. Why should I NOT believe there was corruption from the top to the bottom in this case. Tell me why should I NOT believe that the same thing happened a few months ago. This case need to opened and all of them summoned to testify. Every last one Stuart Jack and his band of soldiers, Caymanians too along with the Brits and all the cronies. There is doubt in people’s mind and it will not go away. Corruption, corruption, corruption.

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  5. Whilst Mr Jones was a serving Police Officer he is simply not permitted to raise these issues publically. He may well, we don’t know, have raised them elsewhere within the service but he couldn’t just write to the Compass.

    The matter of Lyndon Martin’s trial for allegedly making a false statement did not revolve around the matters Mr Jones raises here and, therefore, he would not have been called as a witness at that trial to dicuss the entering of the office.

    He is now able to put his side of the story and he has chosen to do this by supplying information to the Met Police and not by courting publicity in the press which, I believe, is to his credit.

    As for his reputation and character being tarnished, he was suspended while the investigation looked at his involvement and, as would be expected of anyone being investigated, he kept his own counsel and cooperated fully with that investigation. The investigation concluded he had no case to answer and he was duly returned to work where he served the Cayman Islands until the end of his contract.

    Yes, there are deliberately misleading matters being aired in the media but no one can claim that anything Mr Jones has done is not honourable, ethical and in line with all the established procedures.

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  6. Hunter

    You’re not far off from the truth in your views, knowing Cayman as well as you do.

    To sum this all up, when the fox (an independent investigatory body) is in the chicken coop ( this gaggle of fowls (fouls) who cooked up this entire scheme together…

    Will be cackling their heads off…and looking for an escape route from the fox.

    Well, listen to ALL the cackling going on now by ALL parties involved except Stuart Jack…

    And there you have your confirmation of your views of the truth.

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  7. I don’t know where Hunter gets off blaming the Brits, as all of the seeds that he is asking about were planted by our own Caymanians. A search of the Compass archives from Lyndon Martin’s trial clearly shows that.

    Mr. Kernohan said Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon came to him in August 2007 and told him Martin had made that serious allegation. He said Martin was willing to provide a statement but not willing to give evidence in court. He wished to remain anonymous.

    Around that same time, Mr. Kernohan related, he received a phone call from then Leader of the Oppositon McKeeva Bush about a leak within the police service. They met in a public area of the RitzCarlton and Mr. Bush referred to the baldheaded one. Mr. Kernohan asked if he meant Mr. Ennis and Mr. Bush said yes, but added that his information was thirdhand.

    Now that Hunter knows where the seeds came from, all he has to do is follow the trail back to the farmers.

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  8. Completely Baffled,

    If this is true,can someone tell us, the public where did Lyndon get this rubbish, trumped up piece of information from. Somebody knowns who the ‘snake or snakes in the grass’ is/are and they are not fessing up for whatever reason. I GUESS NOW THERE WILL BE COMPLETE SILENCE NOW AS TO WHO THE REAL SNAKE IS.

    God was on Mr. Ennis’ side, that is why he was vindicated. BoBo continue to keep ya head up.

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  9. Completely Baffled, no you are not correct about me blaming the Brits. But they had their fair share of rounding up the cattle. To be truthful about what I think. I think that some malicious Caymanian political coyote began planting this seed in the desert, and of course the Brits were so eager to jump on this dry ground they just began watering, and then the seeds began to sprout up all over the desert. Now some dirty Cayman coyote is hiding behind a rock trembling that he was the one howling in the desert. Blaming the Brits, you got it wrong. They need to stop getting mixed up in Cayman politics and pay attention to what is happening in the UK. We have been managing good before they began pushing buttons. We also know what you guys are capable of doing. But not saying that you were the ones who started this. I believe that it began right there in that RCIP. but the coyote will not come forward.

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  10. Well. at least this breathless incomprehensible rebarbitation of self-interested rubbish keeps our attention away from the things that really matter in Cayman – like good government, corruption among politicians, control of public spending and so on. To say nothing of keeping lawyers busy and over-paid. A plague on all your houses.

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  11. At Hunter:

    I agree with you in that it was started by one of our very own sad to say. There is a saying that says that your own will try or will sink you. There are some human beings who would absolutely do anything to tarnish soneone’s reputation by setting them up, as Joey would say these are ‘unatural men’.I say it in the plural sense meaning men and women alike; in that they are so power hungry for a position that they will do harm to someone just to get it by trumping up false allegations.

    But we all have to remember that evil will follow evil doers in that whatsoever you sow you will also reap. It may not be today or tomorrow but what goes around comes around.

    So whomever the SNAKE OR SNAKES in the grass is/are Karma will get you sooner than later and when it happens it will hit you like a ton of bricks…that is how it always happen; and you’re left dumbfounded and surprised. When this happens all you have to do is remember what you did.

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