March 7, 2021

The Editor speaks: Bridger blackmail?

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Colin Wilsonweb2
After reading the extraordinary letter from Martin Bridger of Tempura infamy that was available in full on the CNS website (has been removed at the time of writing this), I have to agree with Premier, Alden McLaughlin, it could be interpreted as “blackmail”.

In one of the letters Bridger wrote to the premier he said he had new evidence as well as previously collected documentation.

He invited the Cayman Islands Government to enter into without prejudice discussions so as to avoid “the significant damage that exposure of all the evidence I hold would bring to senior officials both in the Cayman Islands and the UK and the significant reputational damage to the Cayman Islands…”

He then went on to say he would be willing to be a part of a negotiated settlement “which included comprehensive and without prejudice discussions …”

He threatened he would deal with the issues in the best interest of his family and himself should the government underestimate his resolve to have the issues dealt with and not move to resolve matters amicably.

There is nothing explicitly mentioning monetary compensation but it certainly can be construed that way. What else could a “negotiated settlement” mean especially as he went on to say he reserved the right to deal with the issues in the best interest of his family and himself.

You can read the full at: https://caymannewsservice.com/2016/06/premier-accuses-bridger-of-extortion/.

Watching the premier on television yesterday one could see McLaughlin’s anger. He told the Legislative Assembly Bridger would not get “one red cent” and Bridger was misguided if he believed differently.

McLaughlin said the governor at the time (who had started the whole of the Tempura investigation), Stuart Jack, had forced the country to pay the huge Tempura bill via an order of council.

I can well understand McLaughlin’s anger. And he has interpreted Bridger’s compensation that also referred to his family as an attempt to extort money.

Even if it wasn’t there would seem to my understanding of the law a strong hint of blackmail.

From Wikipedia:
Blackmail is an act, often a crime, involving unjustified threats to make a gain (commonly money or property) or cause loss to another unless a demand is met. Essentially, it is coercion involving threats to reveal substantially true or false information about a person to the public, a family member, or associates, or threats of physical harm or criminal prosecution. It is the name of a statutory offence in the United States, England and Wales, Northern Ireland, Victoria, Australia, and Tasmania,[6] and has been used as a convenient way of referring to other offences, but was not a term of art in English law before 1968. It originally meant payments rendered by settlers in the Counties of England bordering Scotland to chieftains and the like in the Scottish Lowlands, in exchange for protection from Scottish thieves and marauders into England.

Blackmail may also be considered a form of extortion. Although the two are generally synonymous, extortion is the taking of personal property by threat of future harm.[9] Blackmail is the use of threats to prevent another from engaging in a lawful occupation and writing libelous letters or letters that provoke a breach of the peace, as well as use of intimidation for purposes of collecting an unpaid debt. Some US states distinguish the offenses by requiring that blackmail be in writing. In some jurisdictions, the offence of blackmail is often carried out during the act of robbery. This occurs when an offender makes a threat of immediate violence towards someone in order to make a gain as part of a theft. For example, the threat of “Your money, or your life!” is an unlawful threat of violence in order to gain property.

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