August 9, 2022

The Editor Speaks: Oh No – Tempura again!

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Colin Wilsonweb2Tempura will NOT go away but it isn’t making the top news anymore.

It was notable Tue (16) evening that the announcement the Acting Information Commissioner, Jan Liebaers, had ruled the Cayman Islands governor must once again release the Tempura report, did not make the very top news.

In fact it was down to #3 on the list with the announcement and hardly any meat.

So will the governor appeal (judicial review) the decision and go back to the courts once again?

I expect so. After all it doesn’t cost the governor’s office anything. We pay the bill and I am betting the appeal will be levied at the very last moment – April 7th.

Delay is the name of the game,

And the majority of the public is fed up with Tempura. With the everchanging movement in population over the years since the 2007-2009 debacle I am betting a large number of persons living here then are not here now.

It was former Cayman Net News journalist from the UK, John Evans, who asked for the release of the Tempura records. Tempura was a police corruption investigation ordered by then Governor Stuart Jack, which resulted into an investigation into the then police commissioner who had asked for help from the UK’s Metropolitan Police. The Senior Investigating Officer was a retired UK police officer Martin Bridger who is himself supposedly being investigated.

Time and space does not allow me to go into anymore of the complete and utter shambles of Operation Tempura that cost the Cayman Islands public at least $10 M but I fear is nearer $20M, but if you want to refresh your mind just put the word Tempura into our search engine and you will find all our stories and Editorials on the subject. If that isn’t enough type in Tempura Cayman in your own favourite search engine and you will find hours of reading.

When I said Bridger is supposedly under investigation I chose the word ‘supposedly’ carefully. If he is, and Police Commissioner David Baines, has said he is, the investigation is taking a very long time. So long I expect, because I am cynical in my old age, the investigation will be ongoing until there is a ruling issued in the Governor’s favour. Then I will expect the investigation will be dropped.

You see the main issue Liebaers had to consider in his second ruling was whether or not the Tempura records were now exempt because of this Bridger investigation into his alleged misconduct in public office and other related offences whilst he was here.

We published the whole of the ICO Decision on February 16 “Cayman Islands Acting Information Commissioner orders parts of two Tempura Documents to be disclosed” at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/cayman-islands-acting-information-commissioner-orders-parts-of-two-tempura-documents-to-be-disclosed/

I must congratulate Liebaers for his very detailed report and he was not frightened to tell us Police Commissioner Baines, after “agreeing explicitly” to allow him access to the case files of this ongoing investigation into Bridger changed his mind and blocked the access. Baines cited the reason – the ongoing RCIPS investigation into Bridger!

Liebaers also stated the Governor’s Office in their judicial review argument had provided little in the way of a detailed legal analysis as to why the exemption” applied in the non release of the Tempura documents. He said the approach to their submissions was “illogical and haphazard” and their arguments were “extraordinarily difficult because of the way they have been presented, which can only be described as disjointed, repetitive and at times illogical and even fraught with grammatical errors”.

“I wish to make it clear to the Governor’s Office and other public authorities which may be called upon to argue an exemption under the FOI Law in the future, that arguments should be supported by cogent and clear evidence, and should be systematically and logically laid out. The burden of proof rests on the public authority to demonstrate how and why any exemption applies, and it is not up to the Information Commissioner to build the case for the public authority,” he said.

So we are back to the drawing board and wait for the merry go round to slowly turn again.

Oh NO!!

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