Jurors in the criminal trial of Canover Watson found him guilty of five of the six corruption-related charges he faced.
Around 4 p.m., jurors pronounced a not guilty verdict on count number 5 of the indictment, the charge that alleged money laundering in connection with the CarePay hospital contract scheme. They found him guilty on count 6 of the indictment that alleged Watson had breached his trust as a public official in the Cayman Islands.
Earlier in the afternoon, jurors found Watson, 45, guilty on the four other charges – two of conspiracy to defraud, one of fraud on the government and one of conflict of interest under the Cayman Islands Anti-Corruption Law.
Watson was placed in handcuffs inside the courtroom and was led out by officers with the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. He was ordered remanded in custody until his sentencing hearing, which has been scheduled for Friday at 10:30am.
In an unusual set of circumstances, following the announcement of the partial verdict, the jury told Grand Court Justice Michael Mettyear that they were still undecided on the other two counts in the indictment against Watson.
Mr. Mettyear told jurors to resume deliberations on the other two counts and report back when they had finished.
“Mr. Watson, you’re not allowed to leave the building,” Justice Mettyear said.
Watson reacted to the verdict by a look of surprise, he then put his head in his hands and later went over to speak with his father, who has been present for nearly every day of the trial.
Watson was accused, along with his business partner and friend Jeffrey Webb, of orchestrating a scheme that skimmed hundreds of thousands of dollars from the Cayman Islands public hospital system’s CarePay patient swipe card contract. A scheme which prosecutors said Watson directed as the former chairman of the Health Services Authority Board.
Jurors had been deliberating in the case for about four hours between Wednesday and Thursday before reaching their partial decision. They deliberated for another hour or so prior to reaching a verdict on the final two counts.