Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush is “involved” in a second investigation, according to information revealed at a 5pm Friday news conference hosted at Governor Duncan Taylor’s house along Seven Mile Beach.
“There is a further investigation, a second investigation, involving the Premier,” Mr. Taylor told reporters after some prodding about whether there were any additional criminal queries involving Mr. Bush, other than one concerning “financial irregularities” that has been under way for more than two years now.
“[It’s] probably better that I don’t comment on it beyond that,” Mr. Taylor said, leaving his statement completely unexplained.
Efforts to reach Police Commissioner David Baines on Friday night about Mr. Taylor’s statement were not immediately successful.
A spokesperson for the Premier was emailed Mr. Taylor’s comment and said he would contact Mr. Bush. The Premier’s office later noted that it couldn’t comment and that Mr. Bush was trying to determine what Governor Taylor was talking about.
Mr. Bush said in a broadcast address to the country Thursday night that he did not know of any investigation that involved him.
Governor Taylor’s vague statement about the investigation was not the only trouble for Premier Bush revealed at Friday’s press briefing.
UK Overseas Territories Minister Henry Bellingham, on the last night of his visit to Cayman, noted that Britain currently had “concerns over the procurement process” used during negotiations for the proposed cruise port berthing facility in George Town.
The government has been in talks with China Harbour Engineering on the deal which also seeks to place a cruise facility in West Bay and make improvements to the Spotts dock area.
“I’ve asked [the Premier] to reassure me as to how he will bring this process back in line with international best practice,” Mr. Bellingham said, noting that Mr. Bush had agreed to seek the views of the Central Tenders Committee chairman, as well as the auditor general’s office before proceeding with the project.
Mr. Bush has previously said he hoped the George Town port project could be started in September.
Also, Governor Taylor admitted that it was unlikely the Cayman Islands government would be able to effect the divestment of its sewerage system by the end of the current budget year, 30 June.
Not being able to divest that system would leave government scrambling to find an additional $19 million within its budget over the next two months.
The UK, as part of its three-year financial plan with the Cayman Islands, has not allowed the territory to borrow money during the current 2011/12 fiscal year or in the upcoming 2012/13 year.