Editorial for 06 February: Disappointment with the police

We honestly had no intentions of using this space twice in
one week to come down on the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.

But then, we fully expected those investigating former
Premier McKeeva Bush to finally lay charges against him or let him go on with
his life.

Instead, he’s been put on a fish stringer for at least six
more weeks to founder in the waters of uncertainty, not knowing if or when he’s
going to be charged.

To string Mr. Bush along is a disservice to him and the
people of the Cayman Islands. In most civilised places in the world, if the
leader of a country was arrested, charges would be put forth rather quickly.

Mr. Bush was arrested on 11 December and ‘out’ on bail since
12 December. But he, and we, have been hearing about various police investigations
against Mr. Bush since February 2010.

For three years this man – our former premier – has been
under investigation and all that can be done with him is arrest him without
charges.

We do appreciate the need to get all of your legal ducks in
a row to make a case against someone, but are police really still following
‘several positive lines of enquiry’ three years later?

On Tuesday, members of the UDP called the ongoing bailing of
Mr. Bush and subsequent inquiries into these investigations a “witch hunt”. The
longer the police drag their feet without bringing charges against Mr. Bush,
the more it looks like exactly that.

All the actions of the police in the past three years have
served to do is cast doubt and suspicion on our premier and our country.

Mr. Bush is now to remain on bail, again, until 19 March.

We have to wonder how close to the May election the police
are going to let this mess fester.

Mr. Bush will be standing for election in West Bay and his
constituents have the right to know if he’s being charged before they go to the
polls.

All in all, this has gone on too long. The reputations of
Mr. Bush and the Cayman Islands deserve better treatment.

 

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4 COMMENTS

  1. Sadly, this kind of treatment seems typical of the way RCIPS expect to be able to operate.

    When I was at Net News a number a stories came to me about abuses of the police bail system. In effect it was being used, mainly against ex-pats, as unlawful detention. After being accused of a crime (but often never charged) their passports were held so they were unable to leave the Cayman Islands while investigations proceeded, often for many months and even years in some cases. In fact there was often no evidence that the RCIPS paperwork was really doing anything other than collect dust on a desk somewhere. It appeared that many of the delays were just a result of the officer involved being either unavailable or too busy doing other things.

    Possibly the worst case was a Canadian, accused of theft from his former employer, who was held on Grand Cayman for more than a year without any charges being filed. It was only when his lawyers took the matter to court that RCIPS suddenly decided they had enough evidence to charge him.

    In the past this has, for various legal reasons, gone largely unreported but I hope now someone will start asking questions.

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  2. I so totally agree. The whole issue of stringing people in general along on bail for month after month before being charged is bad. Innocent until proven guilty need to be reemphasized. The so call theft or misappropriation of the country’s funds in my opinion, should have been addressed as a non payable expenditure by accounts payable, and the Premiere office sent an invoice for repayment. Surely someone in accounts payable is screening the receipts for non payable spends. At the very least I would have expected to hear something from accounts payable before the police got involved, and only after all in-house processes had been exhausted should we had even heard about it. This whole process wreaks of failures unnecessary compounded.

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  3. Editor – you continue to give the public the mistaken impression that there is something strange and untoward about someone being arrested and placed on police bail for a significant period without being charged while the police continue their investigations. Actually that is often the case not only in Cayman but in many other Commonwealth jurisdictions. For example, your newspaper reported that Mr. Edlin Myles had been arrested in October, 2011 on suspicion of corruption. http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2011/10/20/Housing-board-shake-up/
    The alleged offences sounded fairly straightforward. However, you also reported that Mr. Myles was not charged until June, 2012 – a period of some 8 months between arrest and charge. http://www.compasscayman.com/caycompass/2012/06/13/Ex-housing-board-member-charged/

    Mr. Bush was only arrested in December, 2012 – less than 2 months ago – and it appears the investigation involves much more complex and far-reaching matters.

    Actually, given that Mr. Bush is no longer the premier, our reputation is not being harmed by continuing the process at all. It says to the world that the Cayman Islands takes these matters very seriously and no one, no matter the position he holds or used to hold, is above the law or to be given preferential treatment. On the other hand, it would be harmed if we were seen to be sweeping matters under the rug because it is deemed too embarrassing.

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