December trial set in Bush assault case

Defence: COVID-19 impacting progress of video analysis

Speaker of the House McKeeva Bush is expected to stand trial in December for the alleged common assault of a female bar employee.

Bush appeared in Summary Court on Friday for a case management hearing before Magistrate Valdis Foldats.

The West Bay West MLA’s attorneys told the court that COVID-19 challenges are impacting their pursuit of expert analysis of CCTV footage of the alleged incident on 21 Feb. involving the veteran politician and a female member of staff at Coral Beach Bar on West Bay Road.

However, this did not prevent Foldats from setting a trial date for 7 Dec. Three days were assigned for the trial.

Bush, who faces four charges – three counts of common assault and one count of disorderly conduct – maintained his not-guilty plea Friday.

According to court documents, Bush’s attorney Michael Alberga informed the magistrate that he was attempting to retain video experts but with ongoing “COVID implications”, firms have not been able to deal with the video analysis.

He indicated that he was still searching for experts to analyse the video evidence.

Director of Public Prosecutions Patrick Moran is representing the Crown in the case.

Foldats has set another case management hearing for Friday, 21 Aug.

While the magistrate said he would hear the matter in December, he indicated that the trial could be held sooner than that, as it was a tentative date.

The name of the alleged victim was read aloud in court but the Compass is not publishing her name in order to protect her identity.

Bush, who has been on a leave of absence from his duties as speaker of the house since 21 Feb., remains on bail.

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