Wednesday, Aug. 22, marked 10 weeks since the announcement of the sudden, temporary removal of Governor Anwar Choudhury from his post without further explanation from U.K. officials.
On Thursday, Head of the Governor’s Office Matthew Forbes said he had “nothing further” to add at this stage regarding the fate of Cayman’s absent governor.
The most recent commentary by anyone on the subject came from the U.K.’s Lord Tariq Ahmad of Wimbledon who wrote in response to Cayman Opposition Leader Ezzard Miller on Aug. 2.
“It is important that the investigation process is able to proceed in a manner that is fair and protects the privacy of all involved,” Lord Ahmad, the minister for the British Overseas Territories, wrote. “It is therefore inappropriate for me to comment on the specific nature of the investigation until it has concluded.
“I do hope that the investigation process can be concluded as swiftly as possible for the benefit of all concerned.”
Governor Choudhury, 59, was “temporarily withdrawn” from office on or about June 12 by the U.K. Foreign and Commonwealth Office amid unspecified allegations. It was later revealed that complaints had been made against the governor by staff members, but U.K. officials have repeatedly declined to discuss those matters.
An open records request filed with the U.K. government on the matter was denied.
A six-week deadline set at the beginning of the investigation against Mr. Choudhury was passed on July 25 with no action being taken. Officials acknowledged the delay was partly due to the death of Mr. Choudhury’s mother in July.
The two-month mark was passed on Aug. 8.
Since Mr. Choudhury’s removal, Deputy Governor Franz Manderson has stepped in as acting governor. Mr. Manderson also responded on Aug. 2 to separate correspondence from Mr. Miller on the subject.
“It is important that the investigation is allowed to conclude in a manner that preserves and respects the rights of all involved,” Mr. Manderson wrote.
In his July 27 memo to Mr. Manderson, Mr. Miller noted that an attempt by the acting governor and Mr. Forbes to quell community concerns via a “letter to the editor” to local media outlets sent on July 26 had done the opposite.
“If indeed the ‘Head of the Governor’s Office’ is also the chief complainer, the signing of the [July 26] letter would amount to a one-upmanship over [Mr. Choudhury] that would all but concede that the complainer was justified,” Mr. Miller wrote. “This would fly in the face of your letter’s assertion that the foreign and commonwealth office was committed to an ‘investigation … that is fair to all.’”