(CMR) The RCIPS confirmed with Cayman Marl Road this morning that the DPP’s office had decided to not press charges against Mario Rankin over a viral voice note that attacked the governor and his wife during the COVID-19 mandatory lockdown.
The voice note, which was shocking, had accused Governor Martyn Roper of arranging the first UK airbridge flight to the Cayman Islands in order to accommodate his wife returning from the UK at the time.
The voice note was shockingly laced with anger and profanity and was the talk of the town for several days. Premier Alden McLaughlin opined that there were not many times that he was ashamed to be a Caymanian – but that was one of them. Speaking at a press briefing on the matter, he was visibly upset and almost brought to tears when addressing it.
The governor also addressed the matter briefly and denied that was the accusations levied against him. In fact, he informed the press during a press conference that his wife was attending to her elderly parents, who were not well.
Rankin was arrested in April after the police conducted an investigation. However, the DPP has now ruled that “no prosecution will be initiatives against Mr. Mario Rankin, who has been advised accordingly.”
During the height of the pandemic in the Cayman Islands, the government had warned that persons would be prosecuted for spreading “fake news.” However, the only other person to have been arrested on Cayman Brac for a similar offense is still awaiting their fate. Speaking on that case, the police confirmed that “the investigation file was submitted to the ODPP (prosecutors) and a legal ruling is awaited.” That matter related to several false messages circulating on WhatsApp suggesting that a person who worked at Cayman Brac Power and Light had contacted COVID-19. On April 5, 2020, police arrested someone in the Brac and detained the person for an interview.