Premier Hon. Alden McLaughlin angrily denounced as blackmail a recent letter from Martin Bridger, the investigating officer sent to Cayman from Scotland Yard eight years ago in the ill-fated Operation Tempura, threatening to reveal alleged examples of corruption among high-ranking Cayman Islands officials.
The Premier voluntarily took to the floor of the Legislative Assembly on Wednesday (8 June) to confirm media reports of the letter and described Mr. Bridger as a man “who, quite frankly, should be jailed for what he has done to people in this country.”
In his remarks, Mr. McLaughlin described the 1 June letter from Mr. Bridger and a follow-up e-mail sent on Monday (6 June).
“The general theme,” he said, “is that he has in his possession loads and loads of evidence that show corruption on a massive scale among police officers, judiciary, parliament,” and other authorities. Mr. Bridger is then reported to seek a “negotiated settlement” or he will make public his claimed evidence.
The Premier said he decided not to dignify the letter with a response. As a result, he said, it is his belief that Mr. Bridger sent copies of the letter to media outlets.
Mr. McLaughlin continued, “So I just wish to say to Mr. Bridger, here’s your sign. While I hold this office as Premier, you will not receive one red cent of my people’s money, and you may sue until the good Lord comes.” The Premier claims that due to past decisions by former Governor Stuart Jack to override Cabinet and fund the Tempura investigation, “this ill-fated set of operations has cost this country up to $15 million so far.”
“I have no doubt,” the Premier concluded, that Mr. Bridger’s communication “constitutes blackmail and extortion of government, criminal offences.”