In a letter to Cayman Islands Governor Duncan Taylor, and copied to the head of Britain’s Diplomatic Service, Commander Allan Gibson of London’s Scotland Yard said that the allegations against Bulgin, former Governor Stuart Jack and Britain’s regional security adviser Larry Covington amount to possible “misconduct in public office, attempting to pervert the course of justice and possibly wasting police time.”
Gibson wrote, “It is my view the allegations are serious and contain sufficient detail to warrant a criminal investigation.”
In his response on Monday, Bulgin said, “There is not a shred of independent or contemporaneous evidence to support such a scurrilous claim and, to the contrary, the documents from that time demonstrate conclusively that the allegation is not true.”
He went on to say that he was considering claims for defamation against those responsible.
The controversy centres on what was the trigger for a high-level corruption investigation in the Cayman Islands by London’s Metropolitan Police detectives – a 2007 burglary purportedly in search of what was portrayed as evidence of collusion between the then deputy commissioner of police and a local newspaper publisher to supply confidential information about sensitive police operations.
The Scotland Yard detectives quickly concluded that no such leak existed but then proceeded to investigate the circumstances of the break-in itself, perpetrated by two employees of the Cayman Net News newspaper, based solely upon the fabricated assertion by one of them that there was such a leak and he had seen the evidence in the publisher’s office.
Following the discovery that then police commissioner Stuart Kernohan and one of his senior officers had been privy to the break-in as it was taking place, Kernohan was suspended and later terminated.
However, Kernohan has always maintained that knowledge and responsibility for the break-in went above him and has released a comprehensive statement detailing his discussions with Jack, Bulgin and Covington prior to the commission of the illegal entry.
Kernohan’s statement, if true, makes it clear that all three knew of and approved the burglary beforehand. According to Kernohan, Bulgin even concluded initially that there were insufficient grounds to obtain a search warrant but apparently nevertheless went along with the alternative plans for an illegal entry into the premises.
At the time, it seemed uncharacteristic to some local observers that an experienced police officer of Kernohan’s seniority would fail to get official and/or legal cover for what was an unauthorized entry into private premises, and this in fact now seems not to be the case, if Kernohan’s statement is to be believed.
Indeed, there was some speculation by Cayman Net News personnel (as documented by contemporaneous records) that, because Bulgin and the newspaper’s publisher, the late Desmond Seales, were not on the best of terms, it would not take a huge leap of the imagination to envisage that he (Bulgin) would have relished the opportunity to pursue something contrary to Seales’ interests.
In fact, it was believed to be entirely possible (even probable) that Bulgin would have wanted to believe that the accusations against Seales were true.
Meanwhile, the Governor’s Office in the Cayman Islands has confirmed that Taylor has received the Scotland Yard letter suggesting an investigation.
“I can confirm that the governor has received a letter from the Metropolitan Police and is considering it carefully. Before the governor can respond, he needs to take independent legal advice. This advice has been sought and is awaited,” a spokesperson stated
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