By Caribbean News Now contributor
GEORGE TOWN, Cayman Islands — Police in the Cayman Islands have confirmed that they are pursuing another investigation involving former premier McKeeva Bush, this time regarding the alleged misuse of public funds to pay for limousine services in the United States. The Cayman police issued a statement on Wednesday confirming that Bush, now leader of the opposition, was questioned on Tuesday by the Financial Crimes Unit in connection with the latest investigation but he had not been arrested.
“Mr Bush was not arrested,” the police emphasised. “He was interviewed in connection with the alleged misuse of public funds to finance limousine services provided by a company owned by an employee of the Cayman Islands office in Miami. Enquiries are at an early stage and as such it would be inappropriate to comment further,” an RCIPS spokesperson stated.
According to Bush, when asked about the latest probe, he has done nothing wrong and he told the police the limousine services used in his role as premier when visiting the US were organised by staff and followed a protocol that had been in place for many years.
“Car services have always been provided by staff in the US since the 1990s, and both security and car services were made available for the premier both here and overseas by the protocol office,” he said. “The police asked me about cars but I don’t know what is paid to which companies for them; I was merely provided with the cars when needed.”
Bush said he had no idea who owned the companies involved. Bush is currently facing several corruption related charges over the alleged misuse of a government credit card in casinos in Las Vegas, Florida and The Bahamas.
He is alleged to have made unlawful cash withdrawals totalling over $50,000 at the Seminole Hard Rock Casinos in Hollywood and Tampa, Florida; the Mirage Hotel and Casino, the Bellagio Hotel and the Venetian Casino in Las Vegas; and the Atlantis resort in The Bahamas, on eleven different occasions between July 2009 and April 2010.
He faces six counts of misconduct in public office under the common law and five charges of breach of trust under local anti-corruption law, all of which could result in imprisonment if he were to be convicted.
Bush has denied all of the allegations against him and stated that, where necessary, the money was repaid. He claimed the cash withdrawals were for legitimate purposes. He appeared in court last Friday when his trial, which is expected to last four weeks, was scheduled for next September.