‘Residence’ sign to be removed
Updated 11:40am: Both ex-Premier McKeeva Bush and local businessman Suresh Prasad complied with the conditions of their bail and presented themselves to Royal Cayman Islands Police Service officers Tuesday, police said.
The men have been re-bailed until late March 2013, police said.
According to a statement released by the RCIPS: “The investigation is still very active and police are following several positive lines of enquiry. The re-bailing of the suspects is to allow further investigations to take place in a number of foreign jurisdictions including locations in Europe, the United States and in Asia.
“Officers are working closely with law enforcement colleagues overseas and the investigation is being progressed as expeditiously as possible; however it should be noted that the enquiry team is required to follow the stringent, and often lengthy, legal processes in place within these overseas jurisdictions to obtain the necessary evidential exhibits and supporting statements.”
Former Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush is due to report back to local police early this month, according to conditions of his bail.
The former premier, who was arrested on suspicion of theft and corruption-related offences on 11 December, has not been charged with any crimes. The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service has given no indication of when that might occur. Mr. Bush was released from police custody on bail conditions on 12 December following interviews with RCIPS Financial Crime Unit officers.
According to a police service news release on the matter: “Mr. Bush has been placed on police bail until early February 2013, to allow further investigations to take place both here and abroad in connection with the allegations made against him.
“Police can confirm that a considerable amount of property, including computer equipment, was seized during searches [at the former premier’s residence on 11 December].”
Amidst all of the serious matters surrounding Mr. Bush, the “premier’s residence” sign in front of his West Bay home has been a subject of some contention in recent weeks. A number of individuals have contacted the Caymanian Compass asking when or if the sign would be taken down.
According to officials in the government’s protocol office, the premier’s residence sign is scheduled to be removed as soon as possible. They did not give a date for when that might occur.
Once it is removed, Premier Juliana O’Connor-Connolly’s office said Friday that she will not have that particular sign placed in front of her own home.
Ms O’Connor-Connolly lives in the Sister Island of Cayman Brac, but also has a residence in Grand Cayman, where she stays when on the main island.
“The premier said she will not be using the sign,” Charles Glidden, a spokesman for the premier, said Friday.
“The investigations involving Mr. Bush are still very active and the RCIPS will be pursuing all lines of enquiry in consultation with the Legal Department,” the police statement read.
A second man arrested on 11 December in connection with the police investigation into Mr. Bush, local businessman Suresh Prasad, had also not been charged as of press time.
“[Mr. Prasad] has been arrested on suspicion of breach of trust, abuse of office and conflict of interest (contrary to Sections 13, 17 and 19 of the Anti-Corruption Law 2008 respectively) and inciting a breach of the corruption law,” a police statement on the arrest read.
That arrest was curious, given that a local company Midland Acres Limited was fined a $1,300 after its director, Mr. Prasad, entered pleas of guilty on the quarrying company’s behalf to four charges of importing explosives without a permit at the conclusion of a court case on the matter last year. Charges against Mr. Prasad personally were left “on file” with the court, according to reports.
During a public meeting in December, Mr. Bush spoke briefly about the reasons he perceived were being given for his own corruption-related arrest.
“A further set of allegations in relation to a memorandum, which I sent to the collector of customs as premier and the minister of finance, along with a letter which was attached to the memorandum were made in respect of the importation of blasting materials [in early 2012] by Midland Acres,” he said.
“My attorneys have written to the police in relation to these allegations many months ago, providing them a full explanation of the same,” he added. “Additional allegations were made in respect of the ownership of Midland Acres. I refute the allegations. I have said publicly, I have done nothing wrong [or] unlawful. When any charges are ever brought they will be rigorously defended and I am confident that these charges will be unsuccessful.”
“They might have been right if they said I helped people, but not that I stole anything,” he said.