Governor sends Tempura back to RCIPS

It will be up to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service – the agency first targeted in the Operation Tempura corruption probe – to decide whether a recent criminal complaint made over the conduct of that investigation will be looked into by law enforcement.  

The UK Metropolitan Police Service has reviewed accusations made by former Cayman Islands corruption investigator Martin Bridger after he lodged a formal complaint with Scotland Yard earlier this year. Investigators there said they believed the criminal allegations against three individuals – former Cayman Islands Governor Stuart Jack, current Attorney General Sam Bulgin and UK Foreign and Commonwealth Florida-based adviser Larry Covington – should be looked into further.  

Mr. Bridger has alleged that “very senior Crown servants” lied to him during the course of that nearly two-year long corruption probe, thereby drawing out what otherwise would have been a quick case. All three men mentioned in the above paragraph have denied any wrongdoing. 

UK Metropolitan Police Commander Allan Gibson said last month that while there is enough information to pursue an investigation into Mr. Bridger’s claims, the UK Metropolitan Police Service would find itself “conflicted” in conducting such an investigation.  

“In essence, the offences being alleged are against Stuart Jack; [Samuel Bulgin] and Larry Covington and amount to misconduct in public office, attempting to pervert the [course] of justice and possibly wasting police time,” read the letter to Governor Taylor from Mr. Gibson, sent on 9 May. “It is my view that the allegations are serious and contain sufficient detail to warrant a criminal investigation.  

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“However, given that the 
allegations have been made by the very same officer who was sent by the [Met Police Service] to the Cayman Islands to carry out a scoping exercise … it is the [Met Police Service’s] view that we are conflicted.”  

According to a reply letter sent by Governor Taylor Monday to Mr. Gibson: “It seems to me that the appropriate course open to Mr. Bridger is for him to make such formal complaint as he wishes to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. It will then be for the RCIPS to consider its own position in the light of the material presented both as to whether it considers that it may take a formal decision on the question of an investigation or, if the RCIPS is itself similarly conflicted…how the complaint can be properly addressed. 

“It would be open to the [RCIPS] Commissioner [David Baines] to enlist police officers from outside the Cayman Islands upon such contractual terms as to him may appear necessary…”  

Such a move would put responsibility for any further criminal investigation into Operation Tempura squarely under the control of the agency that had its three top commanders placed on required leave during that probe. None of those commanders, former Commissioner Stuart Kernohan, Deputy Commissioner Rudi Dixon or Chief Superintendent John Jones still work for the local police service.  

Commissioner Baines arrived in Cayman in mid-2009 while Operation Tempura and its off-shoot investigation, Operation Cealt, were still ongoing. A number of cases handled by Mr. Baines’s Anti-Corruption Unit involved matters uncovered during the course of Operation Cealt.  

Governor Taylor said he would be informed of any decisions made regarding Mr. Bridger’s criminal complaint but that, in this scenario “the decision would be that of the commissioner”.  

Mr. Taylor also called it “disappointing and regrettable” that Mr. Gibson’s letter of 9 May found its way into the public domain. 

“It is unsatisfactory and unfortunate for investigations or potential investigations to be the subject of running commentaries in the media,” Mr. Taylor wrote.  

The governor said he had essentially deferred to Commissioner Baines on the matter because his responsibility for policing in the Cayman Islands “do not provide the governor with a decision making role in relation to the initiation of individual criminal investigations”.  


Mr. Baines


Mr. Taylor
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  1. I do hope David Baines do not enlist officers to investigate who are part of a secret society, because Ops !! another cover up will take place.
    According to the met police there is evidence of mis-conduct in office, so why the foot dragging Mr. Commissioner Cayman will be watching this one very closely. It is sad to say but Cayman like anywhere else in the world is under the microscope. There is too much corruption introduced just for the sake of power and money. For those of you who have not watched the TV series (24hrs by narrated by Jack Bauer: Please do so, and it will scare the hell out of you about the truth of what is really taking place in our world today.

  2. This is an interesting turn of events. The investigated will need to hire outside investigators to investigate the investigators of the investigated. Meanwhile our schools remain unfinished as this musical chairs routine spins of money. I hope this ends up on the desk of Judge Henderson; Oh no! another conflict of interest..

    John F. Levy

  3. The sad saga of Operation Tempura rolls on.

    Reading between the lines of Duncan Taylor’s letter (which was copied to me) I would say that Martin Bridger compromised his own complaint by going public before it had even been properly investigated by the Met. As a former senior police officer he should have known better.

    In 2010 Mr Bridger took on another complaint against, amongst others, members of the Cayman Islands judiciary. In stark contrast to what is going on here that document has, although he has been given the opportunity to do so on many occasions, never been made public. I wonder why that is?

    In 2011 the Grand Court examined Stuart Jack’s role in Tempura and ruled him out as a target for any of the still on-going litigation. Mr Bridger, whose legal costs were at that time apparently being paid by the Metropolitan Police, and his lawyers had the opportunity to raise all these allegations back then. I why they chose not to?

    I just hope if this investigation goes ahead it is not restricted to the Bridger, Kernohan and Jones complaints against Jack, Bulgin and Covington because I think that would be a complete waste of time and money.

    Before Martin Bridger kicked this all off there were already well-documented complaints on file about the conduct of his Tempura team, including the Cresswell report into the unlawful arrest of Justice Henderson and my 2010 misconduct report to RCIPS. There are also the still unresolved issues surrounding the missing Tempura records and the latest twist in this is John Kemp’s revelation that Tempura/Cealt had, to use his own words, engaged in – the retrieval and examination of records of thousands of emails, texts and phone calls and also the examination of numerous hard drives – although under what legal authority this exercise was conducted is unclear.

    Add to that the numerous documents now in the public domain showing that the 2009 audit into Tempura/Cealt, which is still unfinished, was compromised by what I will politely describe for legal reasons as ‘incomplete’ information and you have scope for a much wider investigation.

    There is a lot of ‘pot calling the kettle black’ in all this. What I think we need is not another flawed police investigation but a full public inquiry, funded this time by the FCO who are the ones under fire now, along the lines of the Levers Tribunal. Let us now stop the secrecy and the selective releases of information and put the whole thing on strictly formal basis that is the only way you are going to put a stop to this farce.

  4. Hunter, dear chum:
    Could you try to clear your mind before you start to type? This would make it a little easier to understand what you are trying to tell us. I for one would really like to know. TV shows, by the way, are generally for entertainment and to sell advertising, rather than to present sensible analysis and advance truth and reality.