Former Cayman Islands corruption investigator Martin Bridger confirmed this week that he has never been interviewed in connection with a criminal probe that is apparently going forward against him.
It was revealed in February that Mr. Bridger, the former head of the ill-fated Operation Tempura police corruption probe, was under a criminal investigation related to an allegation of crime he made to the RCIPS last year. Mr. Bridger was present in the Cayman Islands Grand Court to hear the allegations against him at that time.
In August 2014, RCIPS Commissioner David Baines alluded to the possibility that Mr. Bridger, Tempura’s former commanding officer, could be in trouble over statements he made regarding the Tempura case, particularly criminal allegations Mr. Bridger made against the territory’s former governor and current attorney general.
“Whilst the criminal allegations made by Mr. Bridger failed, were unsupported and unproved after analysis of all of the available evidence, it is correct to say that his account and publishing of data within the media led to counter allegations of criminal conduct being made in relation to his conduct,” the August police statement, attributed to Mr. Baines, said. “Those allegations remain under investigation and are subject to continued inquiry.”
While some efforts were made to speak with Mr. Bridger in the U.K. regarding his initial allegation of crime, the two parties in the case have apparently been unable to arrange a meeting some eight months later.
“I have been provided by [Royal Cayman Islands Police Service] Commissioner [David] Baines with a broad overview of the allegations that have been made against me, albeit no clarity has been provided as to who has made the allegations,” Mr. Bridger said. “In one of the press releases Commissioner Baines made about this issue, he stated I failed to appear at an arranged interview [which] was misleading. I had arranged to see the Deputy Commissioner [Stephen Brougham] in the U.K. to be interviewed.
“On advice, I subsequently informed the commissioner on two occasions I would not be attending. These communications were written some days before the proposed interview.
“On my recent [February] visit to the Cayman Islands, I fully anticipated that I would be seen and interviewed. I was not approached by anyone from RCIPS.”
The accusations made by Mr. Bridger that were found to be unwarranted following a review by local police, essentially claimed former Cayman Islands Governor Stuart Jack and Attorney General Samuel Bulgin had misrepresented their levels of involvement in the Tempura probe. Mr. Bridger attempted to take his allegations to the U.K. Metropolitan Police Service, but was declined due to what Met police said was a conflict of interests.
Mr. Bridger’s allegations were supported by Cayman’s former Police Commissioner Stuart Kernohan and former RCIPS Chief Superintendent John Jones, who he had initially investigated as part of Operation Tempura.
The specific allegations against Mr. Bridger were set out in a court affidavit filed by former Cayman Islands Crown counsel Doug Schofield on Dec. 19, 2014.
The affidavit states: “[Commissioner] Baines has authorized me to advise the court that Bridger is currently being investigated for the following offences (1) misconduct in a public office, contrary to common law, (2) providing false information to a public officer … (3) willfully misleading a police officer … (4) making a false report to a police officer … “I personally assisted the commissioner of police in the preparation of a file for preliminary review by Director of Public Prosecutions Cheryll Richards and I was present at the DPP’s office on Nov. 28, 2014 when the commissioner delivered that file directly into her hands.”
Mr. Bridger has said there would come a time when he expected to be interviewed by the police in relation to the matter. However, he said he was uncertain of his ability to defend himself, given that certain material records from the Tempura case had now been taken away from him as a result of court action in Cayman and the U.K. pursued by Mr. Bulgin’s office.
“If ever there came a time where I was formally interviewed in relation to the criminal investigation, then I would have to request access to the documents that the attorney general has fought so hard to have returned,” Mr. Bridger said. “I would also want to make reference [to] many of the issues covered in the  report authored by Duncan Taylor, written in response to my complaint, a matter that is still under the scrutiny of the courts.
“I remain in possession of the documents released by [Mr.] Kernohan as part of his disclosure requirements in relation to the action that he has recently withdrawn against me. I … would seek permission from the authors of those particular documents to also enable me to use them in my defense of the criminal allegations made against me, or in any other future proceedings.
“Without access to and use of the documents referred to … I would not be able to fully defend myself.”