We concur. In fact, we are convinced that nothing short of a full-scale inquiry, conducted in public by objective impartial jurists (meaning not directed by the United Kingdom or the Cayman Islands) will suffice.
Those heading up such an inquiry must have full subpoena power to call witnesses and compel testimony with criminal sanctions of perjury at the ready.
For context, the publisher of the Compass was an editor at The Washington Post during the famous Watergate scandal which led to the resignation of the president of the United States, Richard M. Nixon. Similar to Tempura, the Watergate saga began with a break-in – specifically to the headquarters of the Democratic National Committee.
(For clarity, Tempura began with an entry into the Cayman Net News offices of publisher Desmond Seales but, unlike Watergate, the Net News entry was never found to be a “burglary” or in any way illegal.)
At the close of the Watergate investigations and prosecutions, 69 government officials had been charged with crimes. Forty-eight were found guilty, and many went to prison, including U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell.
Since the break-in at the Watergate complex in 1972, the publisher had not personally encountered a scandal and its subsequent cover-up of the magnitude of Tempura.
Largely, but not entirely, Tempura has been a U.K.-orchestrated affair, carried out by U.K. operatives with oversight and sanction provided by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.
There is one indisputable fact: Former Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan was a victim of a government-sponsored campaign. Successive governors and successive police commissioners knew it (and privately admitted it) yet stood by as the power – and the purse – of the state were brought to bear to destroy his life.
A public inquiry – sunshine being the best disinfectant – should look into at least the following:
On April 4, 2008, Chief Justice Anthony Smellie issued a 51-page ruling that concluded, “There is no reasonable basis for concluding on careful application of the law, that the Com. Pol [Kernohan] or Chief Supt. Jones committed any criminal offense.” That ruling should have ended the persecution of Kernohan, Jones and, in effect, Operation Tempura. But it did not. Why not?
The inquiry should also look into the activities of the Special Investigation Advisory Group, headed up by Deputy Chief Secretary and Chief Officer for the Portfolio of Internal and External Affairs Donovan Ebanks and other local representatives.
Most importantly, the inquiry must reveal what actually took place during – and after – the multi-year, multimillion-dollar Tempura investigations. Clearly the probe went far beyond its original stated intent of examining corruption (none was ever found) in the ranks of the RCIPS. What were these investigators investigating?
In addition to calling for a public inquiry, the Compass will make this standing offer: We will provide full pages in our newspaper to all key players in Tempura who wish to inform the public of their role in the investigation. We will publish their remarks without editing at no cost.