No matter what one’s feelings are about West Bay legislator
McKeeva Bush, the fact that he was formally charged with 11 counts of criminal
conduct on Tuesday is a dark day in the history of the Cayman Islands.
Mr. Bush has been a controversial figure for pretty much his
whole political career, which includes more than 28 years of elected
representation in the Legislative Assembly for the district of West Bay, where
he is loved by many of his constituents.
There are also plenty of people in the Cayman Islands who
despise Mr. Bush, and some of these people have responded gleefully to the news
of the criminal charges against him. But this is no occasion for celebration.
News of the charges has spread through the international media quickly, just as
it did when Mr. Bush was first arrested more than three months ago. Even if Mr.
Bush is eventually acquitted of the charges against him, there has been
considerable reputational damage caused to the Cayman Islands. This may be a
reason for glee among Cayman’s tourism and financial services industry
competitors, but given that Cayman already has some reputational issues these
days, no resident here should be happy about what has happened to Cayman’s
If there’s something good about what has happened, it’s that
the Cayman Islands is showing that it is a jurisdiction that conducts itself by
the rule of law and that no one is above the law.
It can be argued that perhaps in the past, the law didn’t
apply equally to everyone in Cayman and that certain people in high places
weren’t held accountable. That fact that in addition to Mr. Bush, Cabinet
Minister Rolston Anglin has been charged with – and pled guilty to – driving
while intoxicated, indicates that everyone is going to be held accountable.
This is a good thing for the Cayman Islands.
Residents must remember that Mr. Bush, like everyone else,
is innocent until proven guilty in court. Whether Mr. Bush is convicted or not,
those who don’t like the verdict reached will likely suggest conspiracy
theories of some sort, and some of those are already out there. At this point,
however, the people of Cayman need to just have faith that the criminal justice
system will work they way it is intended.