March 25, 2023

Peter Polack: Canover Watson’s removal from Cayman Islands Courts Building

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-1By Peter Polack

I have noted the recent commentary in regard to the manner that Canover Watson was removed from the Courts building after conviction.

I would draw the following to the attention of the public:

1.Accused and convicted persons are usually handcuffed from the front when being escorted from the court buildings. Handcuffing a person from the back and being handled from the back invariably leads to the person in custody being forced into a bowing position. A survey of videos and images of persons leaving the Courts building will confirm this. It amounts to cruel and unusual punishment unless necessary for misbehaving inmates which is not the position here. The persons being handcuffed from the front include those convicted of the most serious and violent offences. Some sample links are below.

2.Convicted persons are usually brought through the court cells and out the back to a waiting vehicle. This did not happen for Canover Watson.

Clearly Canover Watson has been dished out an unusual and humiliating manner of departure from the Courts.

The question is who is responsible for this breach of protocol if not human rights.

Watson is clearly in the custody of the RCIPS presently headed by lame duck Commissioner Baines. He loves an investigation into the behavior of his officers and here is just such a sample of misconduct that deserves his attention.

Answers are required for the following:

1. Was the handcuffs put on by a member of the prosecuting Financial Crime Unit?

2. Were the handcuffs put on by the custody officer and if so was the rear application of handcuffs on whose instruction?

3. Who instructed departure from the front of the Courts building.

4. Did Court Administrator Kevin McCormac sanction or investigate this irregular behavior.

5. Did Chief Officer of the relevant portfolio Jacqui Wilson sanction or investigate this irregular behavior.

6. Will there be an enquiry into this.

The Compass and Mr. Connor are both in error. This treatment was because he is a colonial subject deserving less rights than the UK national Sue Nicholson or the UK policeman who fled after assaulting a female in the cells without sanction.

The former head of the ex UK colony of Uganda, Idi Amin Dada used to greet foreign dignitaries in a hut that forced them to bow on entering before him. It seems we may have some doppelgangers of Idi Amin Dada in the Cayman Islands.

Recently there was release of documents on the treatment of pro-independence activists in Kenya that included castration and concentration camps. Concentration camps were not an invention of the Nazis but the British during the Boer war at the turn of the century.

I hope that the regular panel of the compelling radio program On The Record will not meet the same fate.

Image of Peter Polack

Peter Polack was born in Jamaica in 1958 where he attended various schools including Jamaica College until 1972 when he went to Denstone College boarding school in England. He is a proud graduate of the University of the West Indies and Norman Manley Law School. Whilst at UWI he was co-founder of the Amnesty International campus group and a member of the Union of Democratic Students. A criminal lawyer in the Cayman Islands since 1983,he resides there with his family. He was a former rapporteur of the International Bar Association, Co-Founder and first Treasurer Caymanian Bar Association. His only hobby but not a current interest is practical pistol shooting. In July 2005 he organized a Cuba relief shipment after Hurricane Dennis from generous donors of the Cayman Islands. Research on his first book, Last Hot Battle of the Cold War led to the first international release of Cuban casualties of the Angola War published in the Miami Herald 20 February 2010. Inspired by the book and experiences with youthful offenders the exhibit of his first work as an artist entitled The Confinement Assemblage was displayed at the Cayman Islands National Gallery in May 2013.The exhibit is now on permanent display at HM Prison Northward in the Cayman Islands. In 2014 he became a part time reporter for Reuters News Agency reporting on the Cuban refugee crisis in the Cayman Islands. He was a contributor to the Encyclopedia of Warfare recently published by Amber Books His most recent article, Syria: The Evolution Revolution was published in the U.S. Army John F. Kennedy Special Warfare Center magazine June 2014.He is a part time reporter for Reuters News Agency in the Cayman Islands. In June 2014 he co-founded the Northward Prison Legal Clinic with his daughter Olivia.

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  1. I won’t wag a finger as I don’t know any facts about the broken protocol, but you will find the odds are in favour that who did it just don’t know better. Mental laziness is my best attempt to describe this attitude that I see much too often.

  2. Get a life Peter! It could simply have been Canover’s preference! He could have been asked. Maybe he got extra time to say goodbye to his father hence going out front? Maybe you are thinking too deep and coming up with the answers you want to see. It’s not colour race or creed but a criminal being escorted out! Maybe just maybe, criminals should be treated as such! He was not harmed , not abused, not treated discourteously He was simply treated as a convict!

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