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.
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The claim followed the conclusion of two years of litigation (ORD 12/0035 & ORD 12/0034) between the parties in respect of the Bank's contractual claim for amounts owed by TSEL to the Bank pursuant to certain business loans.
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