A formal complaint concerning allegations made against Cayman Islands Governor Anwar Choudhury has been submitted to the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Cayman Compass has learned via multiple government sources.
Mr. Choudhury, 59, was “temporarily withdrawn” from his appointment this week by the foreign office, pending what is expected to be a four to six week investigation of multiple allegations made against him. Officials did not state whether the complaints against Mr. Choudhury were made in Cayman or elsewhere, but it is understood that staff within the Governor’s Office here had complained of the governor’s behavior in office.
In Cayman, governors are officially appointed by Her Majesty, the Queen of England, but in practice they report to the foreign office.
The Cayman Compass has made a number of attempts to reach the governor since news of his temporary withdrawal was announced early Wednesday, but the newspaper has so far received no response.
The formal complaint has not been made public nor been acknowledged by U.K. officials in Cayman, who did not release a statement about the governor’s temporary withdrawal until the news was made public by Premier Alden McLaughlin on Wednesday morning.
The Governor’s Office did not respond to Compass questions about whether or when a formal complaint had been filed with the foreign office.
“It would be inappropriate for us to comment on an ongoing investigation,” Matthew Forbes, head of the governor’s office, indicated in an email.
Mr. Forbes also declined to respond to questions regarding the nature of the complaints or whether Governor Choudhury was still receiving a salary – which is paid by the Cayman Islands government – during the period of his temporary withdrawal.
The governor’s family, including his wife and three children, was still in Cayman on Wednesday when his temporarily withdrawal was announced. Mr. Choudhury was already in the U.K. when the announcement was made, having traveled there earlier this week. A number of Cayman Islands representatives, including Premier McLaughlin, were also in the U.K. for meetings of the Joint Ministerial Council.
Premier McLaughlin said Thursday that he had no further comment about the matter and did not wish to add to the rumors circulating in the wake of Mr. Choudhury’s temporary withdrawal.
Mr. McLaughlin said his first knowledge that anything was amiss came Tuesday evening in the U.K., when he was advised by British Overseas Territories Minister Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon about the governor’s situation.
“While this development was unforeseen and is most unfortunate, I am confident that it will not affect the continued good governance of the Cayman Islands,” the premier said in his statement released early Wednesday.