Five theft charges filed against former Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush earlier this year were dropped on Wednesday, 5 June, according to his attorney.
However, other charges against Mr. Bush alleging “misconduct in a public office contrary to common law” have been brought, Michael Alberga confirmed Tuesday. To read the indictment, please click here.
Mr. Alberga said the theft charges, which had formed a part of the case against Mr. Bush, were discontinued. However, Mr. Bush is still facing six misconduct charges in Grand Court as well as five charges of breach of trust under the Anti-Corruption Law.
The case is set for mention again in Grand Court on 28 June. Contacted by phone Tuesday, Mr. Bush declined to comment on the matter and directed calls about the case to Mr. Alberga.
Mr. Alberga said the five theft charges against Mr. Bush had been dropped because they were “completely unsustainable”.
The Royal Cayman Islands Police Service did not respond to requests for comment by press time Tuesday.
Late Tuesday, the police service published a statement, attributed to an unnamed spokesperson: “The case against Mr. Bush is now in the courts system and the issues therein may be considered subjudice. It should also be noted that any decision made in relation to charges and the framing of indictments is a matter for the Director of Public Prosecutions’s office.
“The RCIPS understands that no charges have been dropped, but that consideration has been given to consolidating some of the charges. You will be aware that any confirmation of such action, or any comment relating to it, must be made by the DPP’s office and not the RCIPS. It would be inappropriate for the RCIPS to comment further on this matter.”
The Caymanian Compass has obtained a copy of the indictment filed against Mr. Bush on 5 June and there are no theft charges against the former premier contained in it.
The number of charges, 11 in total, is the exact same number as what previously faced Mr. Bush. However, those charges now consist only of misconduct in a public office contrary to common law and breach of trust contrary to the Anti-Corruption Law.*
Mr. Bush, the longest-serving member of the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly, was re-elected on 22 May following his removal as premier via a no-confidence vote by a majority of lawmakers. He is now the Cayman Islands opposition party leader. All of the current 11 criminal charges facing Mr. Bush relate to his use of government credit cards.
Police have released Mr. Bush from bail in relation to an ongoing investigation into the importation of explosives without a valid licence.
Mr. Bush was released from police bail in April and was not re-bailed to return for further questioning in the investigation, according to local police.
Businessmen Suresh Prasad, who was arrested on the same day as Mr. Bush in December 2012 in relation to the explosives importation investigation, has also been released from police bail.
Neither man has been charged with any offences relating to the explosives importation probe. However, police said the investigation into the circumstances surrounding the importation of explosive substances without valid permits, on or before February 2012, was still ongoing.