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Update on Police Investigation

HE the Governor Mr Stuart Jack

Statement by HE the Governor Mr Stuart Jack, CVO

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

As you are aware, the Cayman Islands have been undergoing an unprecedented investigation involving some members of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. It saddens me to add that this investigation has now led to the arrest today of Justice Alexander Henderson.

I wish to assure you first of all that this matter has nothing to do with any judgments delivered by Justice Henderson in court. As this follows short on the heels of the action against Justice Priya Levers, I want to assure the community that the courts will continue to function. These actions will not impede court operations and the community will continue to have access to justice. I have talked this morning with Chief Justice Anthony Smellie, QC, and he will take the necessary steps to ensure continuity of the courts.

No country wants to endure such events, however, as I have said repeatedly the investigation must be allowed to proceed unhindered and this latest action is again a demonstration that the investigation is entirely independent of both the Government and my office. It will continue unimpeded to its full conclusion.

I am regularly briefed by Mr Bridger as matters develop, and I have confidence in his team.

While I am committed to keeping the community informed as this process moves forward, we are dealing with many difficult, multi-faceted issues. As such there are times when some information simply cannot be shared without prejudging certain outcomes or jeopardizing aspects of the investigation.

This is a difficult time for everyone - particularly those under investigation. Government continues to support the investigating team so they can move forward.

That said, it is important to know that investigations of this nature inevitably take time and money. I do believe it is of national importance to pursue this specific investigation to its full conclusion, and I again ask for your support. I know there is speculation about the cost of this investigation; however, the price of doing nothing is far greater in regards to the long term credibility and reputation of the Cayman Islands as a safe and economically viable jurisdiction.

Also, in fairness to the community and everyone involved, it is necessary to legitimately prove or disprove any allegations against anyone involved before putting the issue to rest. I ask again that people refrain from prejudging the outcome of the investigation.

Ensuring good governance is a collective responsibility and requires clear and sustained leadership. It is only by working together that we will achieve the positive change this country deserves.

Statement by Senior Investigating Officer Martin Bridger

Wednesday, 24 September 2008

First, let me say that I am grateful for the continued support from HE the Governor, the Cayman Islands Government and the wider community.

As you have just heard from HE the Governor, Justice Alexander Henderson was arrested this morning in connection with the independent police investigation.

I do not underestimate the impact of this action on the individual concerned, and the local and international communities. I assure you that in respect of Justice Henderson, I only took the action today after careful consideration of the evidence available at this time and the benefit of independent legal advice.

I want to make it clear that this is part of the original investigation which commenced with the allegations made against Deputy Commissioner Anthony Ennis and Cayman Net News Editor-in Chief Desmond Seales.

I have said previously I will go wherever the information or evidence takes me. I want you to be clear that this is a continuation of the original investigation.

In this regard, I take this opportunity to update you on other aspects of this investigation: We continue our investigation into the involvement of Commissioner Stuart Kernohan and Chief Superintendent John Jones in the events. I am getting closer to the point at which I will be able to interview them. These officers were put under formal investigation in May 2008.

Also, there is a preliminary hearing today for Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon, and as such that case is moving forward. In respect of Lyndon Martin, he is now awaiting trial in the Grand Court.

I acknowledge that these are difficult times and the latest development will generate much public debate. That said, I ask the community and the media in particular not to prejudge the guilt or innocence of any individual involved in this investigation.

I further appreciate that this update will in many ways leave you with more questions than answers, but as these are an ongoing investigations, I cannot share any further details with you at this time.

I am aware that there is increasing desire from the community to bring these matters to conclusion. I understand that, but at the same time I want people to know that with investigations of this nature there are many strands and processes that one has to go through.

As I have said on many occasions before, it is about the search for the truth. And I conclude by stating again: My team is committed and will meticulously follow the facts - and only the facts.

For further information contact: Cornelia Oliver