Did Police Leak Hartin Statement? If Not, Who Did?

Switching gears now...

Over the weekend new revelations in the Jasmine Hartin story came from an article in London's Mail on Sunday. The story details of the shooting death of Supt. Jemmott in quote, "Jasmine Hartin's own words".

And the opening paragraph says she has, quote, "told investigators in detail how she shot her friend by accident with his own gun".

This has led to suspicions that the magazine had somehow accessed portions of Hartin's initial caution statement.

It included quotes such as:
"Bullets found at the scene convinced prosecutors her claim she had been practicing unloading and loading Supt Jemmott's semi-automatic police- issue Glock 17 handgun were true;"

"Traffic police pulled over a 'highly intoxicated' Jemmott that day as he swerved around the island on a golf cart;"

And...

"The superintendent was on holiday, sharing a hotel room with a man who once stood trial for murder;"

All this along with the reports that Hartin had a visitor while in prison quarantine who told the newspaper quote: 'She's holding up pretty well. Obviously, as a mother, her main concern is for her twins.'

But where would these details have come from?

Was it the police, Was it Hartin's family members? Or was it the Alliance's PR machine?

This morning when we asked ACP Myvette whether he believed that the caution statement could have been leaked by one of his officers looking for a "come up" from the international press, he made a point of clarifying that the police were far from the only people with access to Hartin's statement.

Cherisse Halsall:
"Sir, if I could venture a question that would have been for the commissioner, it's about police officers. An international paper the Daily Mail on Sunday had some very detailed descriptions of what they believe is Ms. Hartin's Caution statement. Now, my question to you would be your police are now under incredible pressure from International media who is willing pay for a lot of information to be leaked, are you worried about officers leaking things?"

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch
"In that regard, the matter was discussed at length and yes indeed that is a concern we must also take into consideration that not only the police officers had access to what was in that caution statement. Miss Hartin herself had access to family members and she spoke to people."

"Of course, she would have had access to the statement if she made the statement, she knew what she said, and her attorney had access to that too as well. So it is not necessarily just looking at police that only police had access to that information."

Reporter:
"But it is a possibility that this information was leaked. .."

ACP Joseph Myvett
"Yes we are looking at that and that is a concern but as I mentioned it is not only the police department that had access to that information."

"In terms of a caution statement that is recorded, that is kept with the investigator but you must also bear in mind that a caution statement is not only recorded being from the officer and that accused person. Caution statements are recorded in the presence of justice's of the peace and at times, most statements are also video recorded but yes we are aware of the information and an investigation has been launched in relation to that."

PM Knew Jasmine, Not Her Cop Companion

And while police investigate their own, we put the Jasmine Hartin question to the PM.

It's only right, after all everyone else in the country seems to have weighed in on the issue.

And this morning Hon. John Briceno told Cherisse Halsall that while he's met the socialite, he's only said hi and bye in passing - but at least remembered her name:

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize
"I think I need to start off with this is a, I mean a tragedy that has affected not only Jasmine but also Supt...?"

Cherisse Halsall:
"Henry Jemmott."

Hon. John Briceno, Prime Minister of Belize
"Jemmott, yes and um Supt. Jemmott had served his country for many many years and whilst I did not know him personally by all accounts I am told that he was a good officer, and I don't know any of the two individuals, I've met miss Jasmine maybe once or twice just hi. But by any way you look at it it's a tragedy for everyone, one family lost somebody and then another family is torn apart by having somebody locked up. As to the investigation that is going on, I do not follow that up as Prime Minister I should not get involved, I do believe that the police are doing as best as they possibly can and trying to be able to come up with what exactly happened and what is important at the end of the day that we have justice and as we say madam justice should be blind and just deal with the facts that are in front of us."

Cherisse Halsall:
"So Sir, just as a very quick follow up you say you're not allowed to, to a certain extent and you should not get involved, however, Mr. Ashcroft is an acquaintance have you discussed this case with either him, any of his attorneys, or his representatives?"

The Mail on Sunday's article also brought back initial claims that Jemmot's shooting death was a mishap that resulted from the moonlight firearm lessons that the superintendent was giving to Andrew Ashcroft's partner.

Channel 7


Was Jasmine Hartin’s Caution Statement Leaked?

Was Jasmine Hartin’s caution statement leaked to international media, who have been on the ground following the shooting death of Superintendent Henry Jemmott?  The Canadian national has been on remand since last Tuesday, awaiting a bail hearing, for the charge of manslaughter by negligence in the death of the senior cop.  On Friday, the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions entered its submissions as to why the accused should not be given Supreme Court bail and today; Hartin’s attorneys filed their submissions ahead of Wednesday’s bail hearing before Justice Herbert Lord.  But over the weekend, detailed descriptions of what allegedly transpired in the early hours of May twenty-eighth were disclosed by an overseas media house. If true, how did they get access to Hartin’s caution statement? There are several means through which that could have happened, but at today’s press conference, Assistant Commissioner Joseph Myvett was asked if officers are being paid to leak information.

ACP Joseph Myvett, Head, National Crimes Investigation Branch

“The matter was discussed at length and yes indeed that is a concern. However, we must also take into consideration that not only the police officers had access to what was in that caution statement. Miss Hartin herself had access to family members and she spoke to people.”

Reporter

“So she had visitors this weekend?”

ACP Joseph Myvett

“I would not be able to say it because she is at the Hattieville prison.”

Reporter

“And she is in quarantine correct?”

ACP Joseph Myvett

“I am not sure of that.”

Reporter

“My question sir is do you receive visitors in quarantine in general?”

ACP Joseph Myvett

“The fact of the matter is that police doesn’t put anyone in quarantine so that would not be a question for me.”

Reporter

“But you were saying, sir, Miss Hartin had access to the statement?”

ACP Joseph Myvett

“Of course she would have had access to the statement; if she made the statement, she knew what she said. And her attorney had access to that too as well. So it is not necessarily just looking at police – that only police had access to that information.”

Paul Lopez

“But it is a possibility that this information was leaked…”

ACP Joseph Myvett

“Yes we are looking at that and yes it is a concern, but as I mentioned, it is not only the police department that had access to that information.”

Paul Lopez

“What kind of conversation do you have with your officers when these proposals are made? How do they handle it?”

ACP Joseph Myvett

“In terms of a caution statement that’s recorded, that is kept with the investigator. But you must also bear in mind that a caution statement is not only recorded being from the officer and that accused person. Caution statements are recorded in the presence of Justices of the Peace and at times, most times, caution statements are video recorded. But yes, we are aware of the information and an investigation has been launched in relation to that.”

Last week, both international and local media outlets gained access to a photograph of Hartin taken while she was in a cell at the San Pedro police station that was being offered for sale. Local media also revealed details of the shooting, similar to those presented in the caution statement, before she was transferred to the mainland.

British Newspaper Appears to Base Story on Jasmine Hartin’s Caution Statement

And while police investigate how Hartin’s caution statement could have been leaked and/or sold to the international press, one media outlet in the United Kingdom seems to have based their Sunday edition story on portions of it.  The Daily Mail reports that for the first time they can reveal details of the case or what they term, “her story” and that “Although she has not spoken directly to the Mail, this newspaper understands that she told police the gun went off and he [Superintendent Jemott] fell on top of her bleeding.”  The paper continues to say that she told police that as she was wriggling to free herself and see if he was okay, he “slipped into the water.”  According to the Mail, the thirty-two-year-old Canadian woman is reported to have told police that she and Jemmott had been drinking on the pier in San Pedro on the night in question and she had been practicing loading and unloading his gun.  She claims it went off accidentally after the magazine became stuck.  According to the Mail, she says she did not know there were any bullets in the chamber because she saw Superintendent Jemmott take some out and put them to the side. According to the Mail, the police officer who has been friends with Jasmine Hartin for years had suggested she get a gun following an incident at a party in Belmopan on May twenty-second when she says a man had become aggressive towards her. Hartin, who has two children with resort owner Andrew Ashcroft, has since been remanded to Hattieville Prison after her attorney’s bail application was rejected and an appeal was made to the Supreme Court.  A decision on that is expected later this week.  Because Jasmine Hartin is the mother of Sir Michael Ashcroft’s grandchildren, the case has gotten considerable international press coverage, particularly from newspapers in the United Kingdom such as the Daily Mail which has sent reporters to Belize for interviews, photographs, video footage and documents related to the case.

Channel 5