Above: the Cayman Islands Legislative Assembly (CJ Photo)
By Alexander Britell
Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush, who was arrested Tuesday in a corruption investigation, has been released and placed on bail until February 2013, according to the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service.
The service said, however, that “the investigations involving Mr Bush are still very active and the RCIPS will be pursuing all lines of enquiry in consultation with the Legal Department.”
Bush was released following “a number of interviews” with Financial Crime officers.
Police said Bush was placed on bail “to allow further investigations to take place both here and abroad in connection with the allegations made against him.”
Cayman Police also said they could “confirm that a considerable amount of property, including computer equipment, was seized during searches yesterday.”
A second man who was arrested on suspicion of “inciting a breach of the corruption law” has also been released on bail. The man had returned to face further questioning.
Like Bush, he has been bailed until February 2013 while enquiries continue.
In a statement yesterday issued by the Premier’s Office Chief of Staff, Leonard Dilbert, urged the people of the Cayman Islands “not to rush to judgment.”
“Being suspected of having done something is far from it having been proven that you did that thing,” he said. “Sadly, it is a feature of our society that simply being accused of wrongdoing tends to taint one’s reputation as if one has been proven guilty.”
The political advocacy group Coalition for Cayman has called for Bush to step down from office.
“We must always be careful not to prejudge anyone and allow the due process of the judicial system to run its course,” the group said in a statement. “However, as a nation we must be clear that we will not tolerate corruption in any form, and we feel it is in the best interest of our Country that Premier Bush step down from office immediately as the judicial process runs its course.”
Although he did not specifically mention resignation, the leader of the opposition People’s Progressive Movement, Alden McLaughlin, said in a statement that “accepted international best practice and the conventions of the Westminster system of government provide clear guidance as to the course of action that ought now to be followed by Mr Bush and his Cabinet and supporting backbench MLAs.”