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OTs Minister Comments on Motion to Sue

Statement by the Minister for the Overseas Territories

Cayman Islands: Operation Tempura - Motion against the Governor and the UK Government

The Minister for the Overseas Territories, Chris Bryant, today made the following statement in response to the motion tabled in the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly on 22 October calling for the Cayman Islands Government to consider taking legal action against the United Kingdom Government and suggesting that the Governor may have misused or abused his power while in public office (misfeasance).

"I have seen and noted that the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly has rejected a motion asking their government to consider taking legal action to recover costs associated with Operations Tempura and Cealt from the UK Government and suggesting that the Governor may have misused or abused his power while in office.

I firmly believe that this is the right outcome for all concerned. It is in no-one's interests to pursue such a case.

I absolutely reject any suggestion that the Governor has acted in any way other than in the best interests of the government and people of the Cayman Islands. I am satisfied that he has at all times acted in accordance with the Constitution. In order to address the allegations of corruption, it was right to undertake these investigations and it is important that they are seen through to a conclusion. I also reject the suggestion that the UK Government should meet the costs of these investigations, which are entirely a matter for the Cayman Islands Government."

Notes

  • Operations Tempura and Cealt were police investigations into allegations of corruption within the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. The total cost so far has been approximately 6 million.

  • The costs have been entirely borne by the Cayman Islands Government and were the subject of a report by the Cayman Islands Auditor-General. He criticised the budget management and accountability of the investigations.

  • Cayman Islands Member of the Legislative Assembly (LA), Ezzard Miller, tabled a motion in the LA on 22 October calling on the government to consider suing the UK Government for the costs and to find the Governor guilty of "misfeasance".

  • Misfeasance in public office is a cause of action in the civil courts of England and Wales. It is an action against the holder of a public office, alleging in essence that the office-holder has misused or abused his power.