July 12, 2020

Former RCIPS chief joins Bridger, Kernohan and Evans in providing Tempura statements

0
0



Pin It

1392683Statement of John Jones

1. I have provided this statement in relation to the allegations of misconduct by the ex-Governor of the Cayman Islands, Stuart Jack, members of the Foreign and Commonwealth   Office and government officials of the Cayman Islands, which have been made to the Metropolitan Police Service.  I am informed the Metropolitan Police Services are considering investigating the allegations that the aforementioned misled the police investigation known as Operation Tempura under the command of Martin Bridger from about August 2007 onwards (“Operation Tempura”). This statement is provided as a witness to my knowledge surrounding Operation Tempura. There are currently no legal proceedings afoot which were instigated by me in respect of Operation Tempura.

2. I also consider myself to be a victim of Operation Tempura having been suspended as a Chief Superintendent in the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service (“RCIPS”) and subsequently reinstated. I am now retired from the RCIPS.

Employment prior to my position with the RCIPS

3. Before taking up the position with the RCIPS I completed 31years police service with the West Midlands Police Force in the United Kingdom. My former position was as a Detective Chief Superintendent, Head of Crime Support Department where I had responsibility for all serious and specialist crime investigations including covert intrusive investigations. My experience spanned investigations relating to terrorism, murder, drug trafficking, economic crime, computer crime and armed criminality. More specifically, I was trained and had acted on numerous occasions as andauthorising officer’ under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 regarding covert police operations involving covert human intelligence sources (CHIS) and surveillance.

Employment with the RCIPS

4. I was employed by the RCIPS as a Chief Superintendent between 5th May 2006 and 4th May 2012.

Events

S. I have tried to set out the relevant events between 1S'” August 2007 and 27′” March 2008 below. Wednesday 1S'” August 2007

6. The Commissioner of Police, (“Stuart Kernahan”) contacted me by telephone and informed me that Mr McKeeva Bush then Leader of the Opposition wished to meet with him to discuss a certain matter of importance.  Subsequently, I was informed that this related to information received by Mr Bush suggesting confidential information was being leaked to the Cayman News Service (“CNN”) by a senior police officer. The COP further advised me that he would be meeting

Mr Bush at the Ritz Hotel at 6.30pm that evening.

7. Due to the fact that it had been officially announced two weeks prior that the RCIPS was conducting a preliminary investigation into the funding of the Turtle Farm/Botswains Beach Project, the COP had called me as a precaution to avoid any suggestion of impropriety as Mr Bush had been involved in the project and there was a great deal of public and media speculation following the release of a critical report by the Auditor-General.

8.  The COP called me later that evening to inform me that his meeting had concluded and he needed to discuss the information obtained with me the following day.

Thursday 16th  August 2007

9.  At the meeting with the COP in his office he informed me that he had received two allegations suggesting that over a period of time Deputy Commissioner Ennis (“DCoP Ennis”) had systematically released confidential information to the owner of CNN, Mr Desmond Seales. Apparently the purpose was to discredit both the COP and Deputy Commissioner Rudolph Dixon (“DCoP Dixon”). The COP advised me that DCoP Dixon had also relayed this information to him on his return from a course in the United Kingdom. I did not have any suspicions or evidence to support the allegations, but was aware of animosity between the two Deputy Commissioners.

10. The COP and I also discussed possible investigative options at the meeting, but I left the meeting with the understanding that further advice was to be obtained and the option of securing corroborating evidence would be explored. The COP advised me that I might be required to conduct preliminary investigative activity at some stage.

Latter part of the week commencing 20th August 2007

11. I met with the COP at his office. Detective Superintendent Michael Needham was also present when the COP advised us that legal advice from the Attorney General was imminent. As there was a suggestion that criminal offences may have been committed we should make preparations for the possible execution of search warrants to recover evidence from the CNN office and the home of DCoP Ennis. We were also advised that it was intended to call in an outside police agency to conduct the investigation.

Wednesday 29th August 2007

12. In my office, the COP informed me that he had completed a series of meetings with the Governor and others over the previous few days. The meetings included discussions regarding the retrieval of evidence as previously discussed with Mr Lyndon Martin (then a journalist at CNN and a former MLA).

The CNN office to recover the evidence as authorised by the Governor, Mr Stuart Jack. The COP also advised me that he had been stood down by the Governor for the decision making process in this enquiry and I was to assume responsibility for conducting initial investigations that were needed to recover or preserve evidence before the team of independent investigators arrived. I was instructed to report directly to the Governor on all matters relating to this enquiry.

13.  I will add that I had extensive experience gained in the UK as an authorising officer in terms of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 with regard to covert police operations. Even though there were no such parallel statutory powers in the Cayman Islands regulating such operations, policing operations in the Cayman Islands tend to operate within the structure and spirit of UK Legislation. As such, I operated within a similar format where the spirit and confines of the UK legislation would be followed for the purpose of any entry to recover evidence. If a similar operation were conducted in the UK the same process would have been followed albeit in a more formalised structure.

14. I was shown three typed statements by the COP, two signed by Mr Martin and one by Mr John Evans both of whom were employed as journalists by CNN. DCOP Ennis had been implicated in the statements as it was alleged that he had been providing sensitive information to Desmond Seales. 1 was also shown a written legal advice from the Attorney General. On a query by the COP as to whether I had sufficient reasonable belief to justify an application for a search warrant 1 responded that as the statements were not on the requite RCIPS forms and lacked the necessary detail I was unable to take a view.

15. It is important to note that Mr Martin had alleged in his statement that DCoP Ennis had leaked details of police operations prior to the operations being conducted, but no evidence was given to corroborate this fact.

16. Later in that day I met with   the Governor who instructed   me to take over operational responsibilities for this investigation from the COP. Even though I agreed, I was reticent to proceed, as I was aware that an independent team of officers from the UK was to take charge of the investigation in due course. The Governor also enquired as to my opinion on the merits of the allegations.

Thursday 30th August 2007

17. I met with Mr Martin at about 6.15am on 30′” August 2007. For about one hour, we sat in the rear of the COP’s vehicle while he drove around the George Town area where Mr Martin repeated his allegations and stated that he had come forward as he was a personal friend of DCoP Dixon and also disagreed with the morality of Mr Seales and DCoP Ennis’ conduct.

From RCIPS Gold Command Minutes:

Concerns that Hen Justice Sanderson had left guns lying around his apartment.

Inspector (sic) Seales had responded to a domestic incident in Bodden Town involving members of his own family.

The COP planned to meet the Auditor General concerning the Turtle Farm audit report. The COP had given instructions that an investigation into a local politician, Dr Frank McField should be expedited.

DCoP Ennis had provided information about police operations prior to them taking place. DCoP frequently sent scanned copies of Gold Command Minutes which contained hand­ written annotations highlighting items for journalistic exploitation.

19. Mr Martin stated that Mr Seales kept a box file on his desk which contained hard copies of information provided by DCoP Ennis. I asked if Mr Martin could gain access to copy some of the documents and he responded positively with the suggestion that he could do this when Mr Seales was in Cayman Brae on Friday 31st August 2007.

20. Mr Martin agreed to meet me later in the afternoon at a hotel with a view to me obtaining a more comprehensive statement from him. Prior to the meeting, I drafted a partial witness statement which incorporated elements of Mr Martin’s earlier statement and our conversation in the car. Mr Martin failed to arrive at the appointment and the statement remains unsigned.

Monday 3rd  September 2011

21. Early in the day I enquired of the COP as to whether Mr Martin had provided him with copies of any documents. The COP advised that no further contact had been made with Mr Martin. I was subsequently informed that Mr Martin had been unable to secure copies of the documents contained in the box file but his colleague, Mr John Evans who had tendered his resignation was willing to go back to the CNN office out of hours to make copies he. The COP asked me to make a telephone call to Mr Evans after 6.00pm that evening.

22. I called the Governor’s office during that morning and updated him to the effect that Mr Martin had failed to keep his appointment with me to make a statement and that he had not produced any copies of the documentation kept in Mr Seales’ box file. As such, I had concerns about his reliability.

23. I met with the Governor and Mr Simon Tonge, the Governor’s assistant in the Governor’s office at about 10.30am. The Governor was briefed as to the ongoing investigation and we specifically discussed the option of an entry into the CNN office. The Governor was made very clear about what was planned to take place with the entry into CNN office and was definitely fully aware of all the circumstances. He did not raise any objections, concerns or opposition to the planned entry. I also explained to him that I retained doubts about the reliability of Mr Martin.

24. On calling Mr Evans he informed me that he was willing to enter the CNN office and that he had full access to the office. He also confirmed that he still had two weeks to work in respect of his notice period. It was Mr Evans’ preference to meet with me as soon as he left the premises. He was briefed on the type of material of interest and agreed to await a further call. We agreed that any documents found were to be photographed by him using his own camera and that the original documents were not to be removed.

25. At about 8.50pm I received a call from Mr Evans stating that he had aborted the entry as the burglar alarm had been activated.  At about 10.00pm I received another call from Mr Evans who reported a successful entry, but he had been unable to locate the box file in question.

Tuesday 4th September 2007

26. Thereafter the COP and I discussed matters and it was arranged for me to see Mr Martin that evening. It was agreed that DCoP Dixon would be present. The meeting took place at 8:00pm in the COP’s car outside George Town. Mr  Martin  confirmed  that  he had been unable to  obtain documents the previous Friday as Mr Seales had not travelled to Cayman Brae as planned. He also confirmed that he had seen the box file in the office the previous day on Mr Seales desk.

Thursday 6th September 2007

27. I was in contact with the Governor and briefed him on developments regarding the outcome of the CNN office search. I retained doubts about Mr Martin’s reliability.

Operation Tempura

28. Following the arrival of Mr Bridger and his team in the Cayman Islands I assisted them in various ways, including providing him a tape-recorded comprehensive verbal briefing concerning the covert entry into the CNN office. At a later stage, I provided Mr Bridger with a written witness statement setting out the initial actions and information stemming from Mr Martin’s complaint including entry into the CNN office. On being requested to provide a statement to Mr Bridger it was evident to me that Mr Bridger viewed the entry into CNN as a crime at that time.

29. I met to discuss Operation Tempura with the COP on several occasions. Neither of us could understand the reason for the Governor not coming forward to advise the investigation of his approval and knowledge of the entry into CNN which was being described by the investigation team as a   burglary.  It appeared that the Governor for whatever reason was content   to deliberately conceal his involvement in the process to the absolute detriment of the COP and 1.

30. Following my suspension from the RCIPS I found it inconceivable that such action was warranted as in my view I had carried out a legal and legitimate policing operation surrounding the entry into the CNN office. Further more, such entry had been authorised directly and with the full knowledge of the Governor. I knew that Mr Jack had full knowledge as I had personally discussed and explained the entire planned entry to him prior to it taking place with him.

Impact of the suspension on me

31. The impact of being suspended as a Chief Superintendent in the RCIPS has far reaching effects on me as I was linked within the worldwide media to a “corruption enquiry” as well as linked to having committed a crime.

32. The consequences at a personal, family, professional and psychological level on me were immense. It is my opinion that the investigation of the COP and myself was ill considered, disproportionate and ill managed considering the facts that were known at the time. Governor Stuart Jack appears to have deliberately concealed his part in the legal police operation which started this whole affair. It should also be noted that Operation Tempura did have a direct impact on my reputation and future employment in that if I were to apply for any future employment I do not believe that I would get through the initial paper sift once a computer search had been undertaken on my name in the Cayman Islands.

33. Although I was subsequently exonerated of all alleged criminal and disciplinary conduct and allowed to return to my post I believe Operation Tempura adversely affected my career with the RCIPS and any employment that I would wish to seek thereafter.

Metropolitan Police Service Enquiry

34. Hopefully this investigation will be successful in determining the individuals responsible for enabling Operation Tempura which has not only cost the people of the Cayman Islands a substantial amount of money, but has devastated the lives of not only the COP and myself but at least several others as well.

35. The contents of this witness statement are true to the best of my knowledge, information and belief.

John Jones      10th April 2013

 

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Speak Your Mind

*