Former Cayman Islands premier appears in court

By Caribbean News Now contributor

GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands — Former premier of the Cayman Islands, McKeeva Bush, appeared in the Summary Court in Grand Cayman on Friday morning, when 11 charges against him were remitted to the Grand Court for mention on Friday, April 26.

Bush’s attorneys asked that the Grand Court date be set for mid-June because of campaigning before the May 22 general election.

However, Magistrate Valdis Foldats said the mention in Grand Court would be brief, and an earlier date would allow for papers to be prepared and an indictment to be filed.

Bush faces two charges of misconduct in public office and four charges of breach of trust by a member of the Legislative Assembly, which can only be heard by the Grand Court.

Although four charges of theft could have been heard in either court and one charge of theft was summary only, because the thefts are related to the other matters, all 11 charges were remitted to the Grand Court.

Bush was originally arrested on December 11, 2012, on suspicion of theft and corruption and one week later he was ousted from office when Cayman Islands lawmakers passed a vote of no confidence in him.

Bush is the second premier of a British Overseas Territory in the Caribbean to face accusations of theft and corruption in recent years. In 2009, then premier Michael Misick of the Turks and Caicos Islands (TCI) was also ousted after a Commission of Inquiry found evidence of systemic government corruption in the territory.

Misick later went on the run but was arrested pursuant to an Interpol Red Notice, also in December 2012, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. His extradition is currently being sought by authorities in Britain and the TCI.

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