McKeeva Bush not guilty

Former Premier McKeeva Bush was found not guilty this afternoon on all 11 criminal charges leveled against him.

It took a jury of four women and three men a day to find the United Democratic Party leader not guilty on six counts of misconduct in a public office, contrary to Common Law and five counts of breach of trust by a Member of the Legislative Assembly, under the Anti-Corruption Law. The verdict was unanimous.

The charges stemmed from allegations that he withdrew just less than US$50,000 on his government-issued credit card and used at least some of that money to gamble in casino slot machines – conduct prosecutors said amounted to an abuse of his power.

The verdicts, which were delivered to a packed courtroom shortly after noon on Thursday, bring to an end a public saga that began in December 2012 when Mr. Bush, who was then the leader of the country, was arrested at his West Bay home. He was removed from office following a vote of no confidence from his colleagues in the Legislative Assembly and his fractured party was defeated in a general election the following year, though he was personally re-elected in West Bay, becoming Leader of the Opposition.

During the three-week trial, Mr. Bush’s attorney Geoffrey Cox, QC, levelled allegations of a political plot, led by former Governor Duncan Taylor, to leverage the criminal investigation to oust the sitting premier from office.

The prosecution produced evidence that Mr. Bush had made cash withdrawals in casinos in the U.S. and the Bahamas, cross-referencing this with data from casinos about his substantial losses on slot machines in an effort to prove he had been using the government’s credit line to gamble.

Several civil service witnesses testified that personal usage of the government cards had been permitted during the period in question as long as the funds were repaid.

See Friday’s Cayman Compass for full story.


McKeeva Bush arrives in court Thursday morning. A jury found him not guilty on all 11 counts shortly after noon. –Photo: Chris Court


  1. Absolutely shocking. Cayman doesn’t allow gambling, but apparently it’s fine for someone to use a government credit card to go gamble in another country without even keeping track of the money lost or repaying it until they are under investigation.

  2. Justice was served in the wise decision reached by the Jury. Congratulations to Hon. McKeeva Bush, and to his legal team for the dignified and professional manner in which his case was handled. Having paid close attention to the proceedings of the case, it seems reasonable to conclude that there may have been a vendetta/witch hunt against Mr. Bush.

  3. What should worry people is the way this whole thing reads a bit too much like a re-run of Operation Tempura to be comfortable. The reaction in the UK press will be interesting.

  4. Some people are still not getting it why the War Ship has arrived here after 10 years. Coincidence? my foot. They expect a guilty verdict and was expecting to take us out.
    Surprise not Guilty on all 12. Blam, Blam. Take that.

  5. Congrats to a man that over the years I have seen defend his ppl with all his heart!! It saddend me to see this witchhunt, which was obvious from the beginning just beacuase he is a man that stands up.

    Justice was served today, and it was unanimous by all 7 members of the jury!!

    Honourable Mckeeva Bush congrats again, lets get back to work!!

  6. Cayman people are very forgiving especially if you repay your debt. I am happy that the first premier of these islands were proven innocence of those charges. but’ glad also that the money was returned to the treasury, and that a policy is now defined and will definitely be followed after all that costly scrutiny..

  7. Can someone please tell Twyla Vargas that the HMS Lancaster (also a type 23 Frigate) was here only last year so the idea that there hasn’t been a warship in Cayman waters for 10 years… or that the arrival of HMS Argyll was indeed timed to coincide with McKeeva’s trial is… well… you know…

  8. Is this really a surprise, it was a sham anyway, there was no crime committed yet he was dragged through the courts and it was all paid for by the Caymanian people. But in the end the people that orchestrated this got what they wanted and that was to damage him politically. It was obvious that the charges were trumped up to effect the outcome of the election and turn the public against him, just look at how gullible people were, he was called everything from a thief to the devil while others clearly took advantage of the whole thing to advance themselves.

    Yeah, I do think it was bad judgement to use his card, but it was not against the law and also not against Cayman Islands Government policy. I also think that losing a lot of money gambling is stupid, but again it’s not against the law. And it was his money he lost not the peoples, if it was’t paid back it would be a different story.

    Yes, gambling in Cayman is illegal, but it is legal in US casinos so again no crime was committed, no different than an American Citizen visiting Cayman and enjoying a Cuban cigar which happens to be illegal in the US, or even a visitor in Amsterdam smoking Weed while there on Vacation.

    For those who feel that this whole thing was justified, think for a moment, if they can do this to the leader of the country just imagine what they could do to you.

  9. Peter Vere no one has to tell me anything. If you so want to tell me something, then we can do it over a hot cup of coffee.
    Beside that I said what I said concerning the War Ship and I will not be changing my words.
    You must have a very good reason to be worrying about my comments; and I would suggest in Cayman lingo Try get off mi back

  10. Nothing more need to be said after reading Michael Davis comments. He has touched on the good bad and ugly, but sincerely the truth. Well spoken.

  11. I, for one, will admit that there were points where I bought into the hype and seemingly popular questioning of Mr. Bush’s character. I also questioned some of the motives of Mr. Bush. There were also instances where I completely disagreed with some of his choices. As is my right, shared with all those whom also had opinions, which were based on the limited information that was presented to us. However, I do believe that Mr. Bush has always operated for the betterment of the nation, because I do believe unequivocally that he loves Cayman and has always remained in the Middle of the road, in terms of serving and helping the young, up and coming and ambitious and not just the privileged few with larger voices.

    In my experience with this government it is clear that their side, intent and sensitivities has NOT been in favor of the majority of the nation, being the average Caymanian, but more for themselves and their own motives and those whom would support and wish to share in the liberties that their power grants them, to assist them achieve their goals.

    Now that Mr. Bush has been exonerated, it is not only a win for Mr. Bush, but the country, for now the powers that be, and would be, have learned that it is not as easy as they think to bully and conspire against those who serve the people as a whole and not themselves, with the average person as an afterthought.

    Congrats Mr. Bush, make sure you strike back, and do so with a vengeance! Send a message to those arrogant souls and let them walk away with hung heads and humbled and shattered pride.

    Let us say this…let us say that there may have been some tongue in cheek liberties that Mr. Bush took in his tenure. If in fact their was, then maybe this experience has been a message to sober these actions and place him on track again, knowing that he will now be stronger than ever, but also serve as a reminder that he is also a bigger target than before.

    Mr. Bush, do good, be fair, stay in the right path, stand back every once and a while and ask yourself if you are doing the right thing and let those who would try to keep the classes separated be pushed aside. Continue to fight for the people and most importantly listen to the many and not the privileged few.

    Above all, push and shove, where necessary, all businesses that operate here in Cayman and benefit from our model, whether Caymanian owned or not, that their responsibility to contribute to the local infrastructure come not only by way of their fees payable to government, but also to the people of which the government represent. They MUST give opportunity to locals whom deserve the opportunity and have nowhere else to go for it. Recognize that those whom would fight against this model are only those whom are already abusing the system.

    Should you bare in mind all of the above, you sir, will have an entire nation behind you and will truly solidify the future progression of the country.

    Good luck sir, we are all watching….

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