December First premier stands down

Bush arrested

Then-Premier McKeeva Bush was arrested 11 December in connection with ongoing police investigations. He was taken into custody on suspicion of “Theft in connection with financial irregularities relating to the alleged misuse of a Government credit card” and “Breach of trust, Abuse of office and Conflict of interest, contrary to S13, S17 and S19 of the Anti-Corruption Law 2008 respectively, in connection with the alleged importation of explosive substances without valid permits on or before February 2012”.

He has not been charged with a crime.

Following two days of questioning, Mr. Bush was released on police bail until February 2013. He promptly travelled to Jamaica to deliver a commencement address on integrity, although the university decided to hold off on awarding him an honorary doctorate it had promised.

Mr. Bush’s arrest kicked off several days of behind-the-scenes politicking, which resulted in a no-confidence vote against the government and Governor Duncan Taylor revoking Mr. Bush’s appointment as premier.

The governor named Juliana O’Connor-Connolly as premier, to head up a minority government consisting of five United Democratic Party members (who have since had their UDP membership challenged). The new cabinet comprises Ms O’Connor-Connolly, Rolston Anglin, Cline Glidden, Mark Scotland and Dwayne Seymour.

Since his arrest and fall from power, the former premier has remained on the offensive, saying he did nothing wrong and alleging that the whole to-do was politically motivated.

Shooting

The first homicide of 2012 occurred 16 December on Shedden Road in George Town. Tareek Ricardo Ricketts, 21, has been charged with the murder of 23-year-old Jackson Donovan Rainford, and has also been charged with possession of an unlicensed firearm.

Ricketts is scheduled to appear in Grand Court 11 January.

Crocodile found at Barkers

A cadre of local fisherman captured a crocodile at Barkers 4 December, then turned the reptile over to the Department of Environment.

The department released the three-to-four-foot-long crocodile to a more remote location.

The crocodile is an adult American Crocodile, or “Crocodylus Acutus”, similar to crocodiles that have been found in Cayman in the past. They can more commonly be found in Cuba, Jamaica and Florida and their range includes the Cayman Islands.

Two small crocodiles were found on Grand Cayman in 2011. A three-foot crocodile was found in 2009. A nearly eight-foot-long crocodile was found in 2006.

Turtle Farm inspectors

Following severe criticism from an animal rights group and an international outcry involving former Beatle Paul McCartney, the Cayman Turtle Farm invited a team of independent reviewers to inspect the facility and make recommendations. The four-person team conducted its investigation 10-12 December.

The team included a sea turtle scientist, conservation biologist, veterinarian/wildlife disease expert and marine conservation scientist, whom the Turtle Farm said had never been paid by the Cayman Islands government for any work in the past.

The review is expected to be complete by the end of January.

Cancer society burgled

A would-be Grinch broke into the Cayman Islands Cancer Society office in the wee hours of the morning 10 December, absconding with between $400 and $500.

Following news of the burglary, the public responded with an outpouring of monetary support that helped the organisation recoup its losses several 
times over.

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