The Rule of Law Alive and Well
In what was the highest profile prosecution brought in a British Overseas Territory, former Premier McKeeva Bush was unanimously acquitted on Thursday 9th October 2014 of six counts of misconduct and five counts of breach of trust.
The charges sprang from an exhaustive three year investigation of the former Premier by a team of UK officers seconded to the Cayman Islands Police Force under the direct control of the Commissioner of Police, who in turn, under the Constitution, reports directly to the Governor, a UK Government appointee. The investigation, as it transpired, wrongly concluded that the former Premier had misused his Government issued credit card. It became clear, however, in evidence from the Financial Secretary, that all such usage had been in accordance with a Government policy, the cash advances having been subsequently itemized on the relevant Government form and repaid.
The defence team was led by Mr Michael Alberga, Managing Partner of Travers Thorp Alberga instructing Mr Geoffrey Cox Q.C. and Mr William Frain-Bell and local attorney, Mr Stephen McField. On discovery, a series of highly confidential emails between the Governor, Mr Duncan Taylor, now appointed as the British Ambassador to Mexico, and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office in London were revealed and evidenced what was described in his closing speech by Mr Cox Q.C., as "a plot of breathtaking proportions" and a conspiracy to remove Mr Bush from his democratically elected position as Premier. It appeared from the emails (some of which were heavily redacted) that the charges were timed with press releases alleging widespread corruption with the intention of removing Mr Bush from Office prior to the 2013 Elections which were subsequently won by the then opposition PPM Party.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought about your specific circumstances.