Ex-Kirk Market GM charged in theft case

The former general manager of Kirk Market on Eastern Avenue has been charged in connection with what police allege was an attempt to obtain property by deception from his employer.

The criminal charge against Craig Gaskill was filed on Feb. 5, two days after Gaskill sought permission to leave the islands by filing a writ of habeas corpus following his November arrest.

Habeas corpus refers to a legal mechanism by which detainees, typically those in prison, seek release from what they believe to be their unlawful detention.

Attorneys for Gaskill filed the writ on Feb. 3, alleging that the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service improperly required him to surrender his passport after he was arrested on Nov. 26. The writ was withdrawn two days later when Gaskill was charged with obtaining property by deception, police said.

Gaskill alleged in the writ that it was not until his wife and two children left the islands in early December that police required him to surrender his U.S. passport, considering him a flight risk at that point.

The bail conditions were “unreasonable and disproportionate” to the offense being investigated against Gaskill by the RCIPS, the writ alleges.

“A reasonable time has elapsed for the full investigation of the allegation against [Gaskill] who is still not charged with any offense [which was the case when the writ was filed on Feb. 3],” the court records state. “Accordingly, his continued arrest on police bail is unlawful and he is entitled to be released.”

An RCIPS spokesperson said Gaskill was not being detained in custody and had been released on police bail. One condition of bail was that his ability to travel out of the country was suspended while the investigation was ongoing. The RCIPS declined to discuss specifics of Gaskill’s alleged offense.

It will be up to the Cayman Islands court, where Gaskill is due to appear Tuesday, whether his passport will continue to be withheld by authorities, police said.

In the writ, Gaskill’s attorneys argue that his family had no choice but to leave the islands because they are non-Caymanian and not entitled to stay. It is stated that his family could not be financially maintained without him working.

When Gaskill informed police on Dec. 9 that he intended to visit his family in the United States, the writ states, police initially sought to require an additional surety. The decision to require his passport be surrendered was not made until the next day, Dec. 10, the writ alleges.