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The Editor Speaks: JP’s, gun control, the Commissioner and a lawyer

Colin Wilsonweb2Let’s start with the lawyer to untangle this mixed bag, as he is the string that ties all this together.

The lawyer is Peter Polack who has been trying with great patience to get answers from the authorities, mainly the police and the Attorney General’s office to questions that we all have a right to know.

What, unfortunately, is showing us is how reluctant these government departments are in providing us with the information.

Every ‘trick’ in the book they use to delay, refuse to the request on ludicrous grounds giving the right to appeal, including even just to ignore the requests and when answers are given often it comprises the verbal diarrhea top government employees are schooled in.

It is unfortunate (in my old age I am becoming polite) that both these bodies that implement our laws and should be seen to be completely transparent and act as role models are the very worst offenders.

I will now use my favourite word. Appalling. Yes, it is, appalling. And they have been getting away with it for years.

It is not that they are trying to hide some dastardly secrets, well maybe they are, but the majority of it is to cover up complete incompetence and general laziness. If I am offending the hard working persons there, I am very sorry. I can only answer back it is only the conclusion I can come to based on the evidence I have and I have lots of it!

I will start with JP’s (Justice of the Peace).

Polack has been campaigning for years for regulation and training of JP’s. It has finally come and I asked him in my Editorial of April 22 2015 for some comment. I made the mistake of starting it off with “I am sure local attorney Peter Polack is going to applaud the tabling by Cayman Islands Deputy Governor, Franz Manderson, for revised regulations for the appointment and training of Justices of the Peace.”

Here is Peter Polack’s slightly edited reply:

“The belated introduction of the JP legislation having taken over five years since inception is an indictment of delinquency by the two persons most responsible. [EDIT]. Yet there is the matter of section 29 of the Public Service Management Law which provides for the dismissal of a chief officer as a result of significant inadequate performance over a reasonable period of time. The public should avail themselves of this provision in circumstances where non-performance is the norm. The delay is particularly egregious as the highly paid upper echelon bear no responsibility or salary reduction while lowly paid civil servants discharge their duties daily without a raise in sight. There must be some accountability even if the Emperor does not have any new clothes. Meanwhile the legislature allows illegally obtained and executed search warrants from incompetent Justices of the Peace to persecute the citizens of this country with no real remedy. In the USA it is fairly simple, illegally obtained evidence is inadmissible in court.”

Next – Gun Control

I 100% support this and I hope you will take up Peter Polack’s appeal and support his ban on firearms:

You are urged to support the widespread ban of firearms.

There is no need for this large of number of firearms in the Cayman Islands.

The deceptive RCIPS FOI reply fails to point out that many of the 661
firearm holders have multiple firearms.

Few are members of the Gun Club and fewer attend as regular members.
Membership is a guise and route to gun ownership.

The recent event of a self -shooting at the Gun Club display a lack of
control by club principals and/or oversight by the Police.

This unreasonably large store of firearms provides a regular supply for

There are few real farmers and our environmental law prevents killing of
most pests ie parrots.

The growth of Cayman’s residential areas provide few areas for discharge of
a firearm not in proximity to residences.

Forward to friends to support this initiative.

Peter also asked me to highlight the point that “the Gun Club has been completely unregulated with little or no oversight from the police”.


There is a large “number of firearm holders in Cayman who do not attend the Gun Club but are well connected Government functionaries who have no reason to possess firearms”.

Finally, and this has also been the subject of an article by CNS, the Police Commissioner.

The subject of this was outlined in my Editorial dated March 29 2015 “10 months goes by and Cayman Islands police do not even acknowledge lawyer’s complaint”

On the 29th May 2013 Cayman Islands lawyer Peter Polack notified the Summary Court he had made a complaint to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service on behalf of his client, Andre Woodman.

The Complaint concerned what Polack claims was an illegal search executed by Detective Constable Winston Harrison at the home occupied by his client. William I Wood Justice of the Peace issued the Warrant.

The Warrant was dated 22nd November 2013 and was issued because the JP was satisfied that the police officer had reasonable suspicion there was controlled drugs on the premises.

Polack’s complaint is:

1.Against the several officers of the RCIPS led by DC 137 Harrison who executed a search warrant issued under Section 26 of the Criminal Procedure Code in breach of Section 27 of the Criminal Procedure Code on 25 November 2013 at 189 Lemuel Circle, Northward namely that the warrant was executed at 5:47 am before sunrise at 6:39 am as per attached Weather Service certificate.

The complaint is of Criminal Trespass – Section 277 Penal Code, Forcible Entry – Section 84 Penal Code , Neglect of Official Duty, Section 119 Penal Code and related offences.

2. Against DC 137 Harrison who stated in the Summary of Facts that the warrant was executed at 6:25 am in circumstances where the warrant was executed at 5:47 am before sunrise at 6:39 am as per attached Weather Service certificate in breach of Section 27 of the Criminal Procedure Code on 25 November 2013 at 189 Lemuel Circle, Northward.

The complaint is of offences under Part IV of the Penal Code.

By copy email the Complaints Commissioner is notified of this complaint.


Peter Polack

Legal Counsel on behalf of Andre Woodman

Criminal Procedure Code (Rev)

27. (1) Every search warrant may be issued at any time and may be executed on any day between the hours of sunrise and sunset, but the court or Justice of the Peace may, by the warrant, in its or his discretion, authorise the police officer or other person to whom it is addressed to execute it at any time.

111. (1) A person who –

(d) while a judicial proceeding is pending, makes use of any speech or writing misrepresenting such proceeding or capable of prejudicing any person in favour of or against any parties to such proceeding, or calculated to lower the authority of any person before whom such proceeding is being had or taken.


Polack finally received an apology from Police Commissioner Baines and it did appear things would at last happened. I used the word “appear”.

Another reply came forth after further prompting:

Sent: Monday, May 04, 2015 11:44 AM
To: Peter Polack
Subject: RE: Complaint – Search Warrant 25 November 2013

Good Day Mr, Pollack. I have looked into the matter and have to confirm that as the court case regarding your client remains in existence, and is due for a pre-trial hearing on the 15th September 2015, before trial on the 30th November 2015, your complaint has not been finalized.

I am informed you have raised your concerns before the court, and whilst your challenge to the warrant etc was successful, the Magistrate did not dismiss the matter and a criminal case remains pending before the court.

Having discussed the matter with the DPPs office, we will not be progressing
your complaint further until the criminal case has been finalized by the court in order to avoid any potential conflict as the matter remains sub-judice.

David Baines.


Upon reading that, I was astonished. I am not a rocket scientist. I am not a lawyer and I am not a police officer of the lowest rank.

However, I can see that as the police’s whole case concerns an illegal search that the magistrate has also concluded, there is no case. And why would this in anyway stop the Commissioner from adjudicating whether an officer of his acted outside of the law?

Not surprisingly Polack was swift to reply:

To: “Baines, David” Mon, May 4, 2015 at 3:00 PM

Your unfortunate reply is acknowledged.

As you are aware this is a complaint against one of your senior officers and his conduct in a case before the court.

It is completely counter-intuitive and lacking in common sense that this mattershould not be adjudicated by you before the officer faces the witness stand.

Respectfully not only is this matter not sub-judice, an escape hatch commonly and erroneously applied by the ODPP, but it is completely in the interests of justice that the most important prosecution witness have any issues of integrity resolved before the trial of an accused.

In this matter you are a tribunal that should not rely on advice from the
ODPP for which there is a clear conflict of interest but seek independent

I draw your attention to the case of Ebanks below which parallels the instant situation in that you have failed to apply the principals of natural justice and you delegated your authority to the DPP.

By copy of this email I bring our position to the attention of CI Oliver in regard to the corruption complaint.

We shall apply for a stay of proceedings at the appropriate time based on:

1. Your reluctance to discharge your duty independently
2. The reliance on the advice of the DPP in circumstances of a clear conflict of interest
3. Your breach of the rules of natural justice.
4.The outstanding complaint against the chief prosecution witness

To be fair you are not a trained lawyer and I have advocated independent legal counsel for the RCIPS, budget permitting, to avoid you being led down the garden path by those of contrary interests.

Peter Polack with one L


I do have a copy of the case Polack cites but have not included it here.

I cannot argue against our lawyer who is one of the few who is not afraid to speak out. I do not always agree with him but I applaud him for being an advocate of justice. He does not hide behind any wall nor use any ‘fancy’ language. He is straight to the point. When the powers that be are not straight with him they are digging themselves a great big hole as Peter Polack is not afraid to use the media and provide all of the necessary backup.


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