There were scenes of jubilation both inside and outside the Grand Court in George Town on Thursday as supporters of McKeeva Bush celebrated his acquittal.
“It was like Happy New Year,” said Twyla Vargas. She said the only thing missing was fireworks to blast off the occasion when Mr. Bush stepped through the courthouse doors.
“Justice has been served as far as I am concerned and God will continue to richly bless my brother. He is for us,” said Clara Fay Bush, Mr. Bush’s sister.
Supporters hugged, kissed, shook hands and blew car horns. There was singing, crying, wailing, laughing and shouts of “I am so happy,” and “Justice has been served,” from the supporters as Mr. Bush left the courthouse and made a public statement on the steps.
Following his speech, Mr. Bush’s special song broke out, “Oh! For the lion of Judah shall break every chain and give us the victory again and again.”
West Bay MLA Bernie Bush concurred with his UDP colleague who had just been cleared in court, saying “It was no doubt that this was a witch hunt, this was personal ….”
As the celebrations continued on the courthouse steps, at times Mr. Bush and one of his lawyers, William Frain-Bell, were hoisted in the air. The prosecution team were greeted less effusively, however, as some supporters, spotting them leaving the court house, walked after them and shouted “Go away from here.” After a quiet word from a police officer to desist, the group turned back to Mr. Bush and continued to celebrate.
Supporter James Moore said, “Big Mac, you are back and I hope you are back for good, they can’t stop you because you are the best in politics in this country.” “What else could they do but say not guilty,” said Billy McLaughlin.
“Caymanians will be drinking the bubbly tonight! We will be drinking champagne, not the English people,” said Reba Dilbert, referring to emails revealed during the trial in which former Governor Duncan Taylor said he would enjoy “a quiet bottle of bubbly” if Mr. Bush were charged.
Earlier, inside the court, when the jury forewoman read out the first not guilty verdict of the 11 counts, people started to silently weep and hold hands. As the not guilty verdicts kept coming on each count, by the time the 11th not guilty count was read, emotions grew and after the judge left the courtroom, everyone jumped to their feet.
“Never in my entire life have I seen an outburst in the courtroom like that,” said Ms. Vargas. “Everyone just put their hands in the air and shouted with joy, it was an emotional verdict with people stifling tears, and then the tears of joy came.”