Alden files suit against Mac

| 07/05/2015 | 23 Comments
Alden McLaughlin, Cayman Islands Premier (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

Alden McLaughlin, Cayman Islands Premier (Photo by Dennie Warren Jr)

(CNS): The premier and opposition leader are heading for a major courtroom battle after Alden McLaughlin’s lawyers filed suit against McKeeva Bush Thursday for libel, slander and defamation, claiming unspecified damages. As expected, the country’s leader is taking his opposite number to task over allegations Bush made in a proposed private member’s motion and at a press conference, where he accused the premier of being part of a conspiracy that he says unlawfully ousted him from office.

McLaughlin cites the motion, the press conference called to publicize it, the wide media coverage it received and further comment Bush made to CNS via text message in the wake of a letter sent to him demanding an apology, which was published last Friday, as the grounds for his claim. The premier has also requested an injunction by the court to restrain the opposition leader from repeating what he states are the malicious falsehoods being alleged against him.

In the writ McLaughlin’s lawyers, Hampson and Company, state that Bush convened the 14 April press conference “to ensure that his defamatory allegations had the widest possible media coverage and circulation so that they could do the greatest possible damage” to the premier’s reputation and position.

The suit states that on the basis that “some mud sticks”, Bush had made the announcements without informing the premier so he would not have time to refute the allegations. This, McLaughlin states in the writ, was because Bush knew “the allegations against (the premier) were completely untrue”.

Despite knowing the allegations were false, the lawyers say that Bush pressed ahead “recklessly, not caring whether they were true or false in the hope or expectation that the prospect of personal and political gain to him outweighed the risk of paying any or any substantial damages”.

The suit focuses on allegations made by the opposition leader that, along with the police commissioner, the former governor and others, McLaughlin, while in opposition, managed to leverage the power of the state and the criminal justice system to topple Bush undemocratically, against the background of the criminal investigations against him and his arrest.

It suggests that the opposition leader’s private member’s motion implies that the leader of the PPM abused executive powers, leading to Bush’s downfall when he was premier. The writ claims that in his motion Bush falsely accused McLaughlin of a catalogue of crimes, corruption misconduct and abuse of office for his own political ends.

Cayman News Service

McKeeva Bush, Cayman Islands Leader of the Opposition with MLA Eugene Ebanks

“As intended, authorized and foreseen by the defendant (Bush) the false, malicious and defamatory statements were republished widely throughout the Cayman Islands and overseas,” the writ states, adding that the premier will be relying on that wide coverage as part of the case.

McLaughlin immediately and categorically denied the claims that Bush made on the same day. He indicated at an early juncture that Bush had gone too far and in a matter of days the premier sent a letter from his attorneys to Bush demanding a public apology, otherwise he said would sue. Bush failed to respond to the letter and McLaughlin confirmed last Friday that he would take legal action.

In the statement of claim the lawyers say that the premier’s reputation has been damaged by the lies and false allegations and, as leader of the country, the comments are “highly destructive of public confidence and likely to destroy the political and legal career” of McLaughlin as they ask for general aggravated and exemplary damages for libel and or slander and for malicious falsehood as well as costs.

CNS has attempted to contact Bush, who is understood to be overseas, for comment on the latest development but so far efforts have been unsuccessful. It is not clear if either the opposition leader or his attorneys have accepted a copy of the lawsuit, which is now filed in the Grand Court.

Yesterday Bush confirmed that he was waiting to see what the premier intended to do but that he had not withdrawn the controversial conspiracy motion.

McLaughlin v. Bush – Writ of Summons and Statement of Claim filed 7 May 2015

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Category: Elections, Politics

Comments (23)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    So we don’t have enough CRAP already tying up the overworked court system? Guess this lawsuit will take priority over a murder case.

  2. Anonymous says:

    In all I do, I try to be fair to all and give each man the benefit of doubt but have to wonder how he could use that word?
    As I read the article I thought:- “Embarrassment”??
    I didn’t know that was “reserved” for some people but reflected that at some point in life we’ll all make some quaff and feel a bit of embarrassment?
    I think too that it must have been embarrassing for Bush and his family when he was arrested and faced trial too!
    However for all the hype and build-up in every avenue of media, we all learned, once the can was opened in Court, that the list should have been much longer right?
    But as the old saying goes “it’ll all come out in the rinse” and “what’s done behind closed doors will come to light”
    So now I guess, here we go again, as we’ll have to be in Court to hear this too as this other “can of worms” is opened…….
    “O what a tangled web”…….Lord have mercy on us and our islands!!

  3. Anonymous says:

    Politicians. Integrity. How does one defend the indefensible?

  4. Anonymous says:

    Best thing that could ever happen. Let the two drivers of the main political clown cars of do maximum damage to themselves. Should be a real hoot. Beep beep.

  5. Anonymous says:

    A judge alone, with no previous connection to CI. Judge who understands the law fully relating to these charges. No jury to be rigged. A complete study of all Mac’s allegations and also of every dodgy or controversial action he has ever taken as Member of the LA
    Bring it on ASAP so that it is out of the way before the next election.
    OMOV Nationwide, limit LA to 5 elected members to administer the peoples directions through a quarterly referendum on every matter of importance to the country. Make registering to vote compulsory for all residents over 18 years and make voting compulsory as well.
    Import experts on contract to assist the LA with the admin, give them the tools and the people to train and implement succession plans for all of them.
    Cayman cannot afford this amateurish ,self centred buddy system.

  6. Sharkey says:

    Mack make sure the court is open to the public, and the press . The plaintiff has chosen to hear this in the court of law .

  7. Anonymous says:

    How are our elected leaders going to enact progress in our country if they themselves are at war? We do not need any more division right now. Mac and Alden need to make peace on their own accord without going through the court and work together on getting the Cayman Islands back on track! And besides if Mac can step up to the plate to play peacemaker with the gangs of West Bay, he can certainly do so with Alden!

  8. Sharkey says:

    This sounds like everyone is up in arms about Mack wasting money , Alden defending his name. Is this law suit going to cost the taxpayers big money ? If not could everyone make sure that these two pay for it out their own pocket .

  9. Anonymous says:

    Is it just me, or was filing a writ a cowardly act? Our Premier is well aware of the rules of evidence and the ‘cover’ of parliamentary immunity. If the opposition leader’s allegations are too farfetched to be discussed in the LA, (where they are notorious for wasting time & resources) why is it not a waste of the court’s time? (where there is backlog on legitimate claims bordering on the infringement of human rights)

    Now is definitely not the time for our Premier to be hiding behind smokescreens and mirrors! Our people are hurting, our country is in dire straits. Yet our leader finds time to instruct attorneys to create a circus from material deemed unworthy by The Court Jesters.

  10. Big Brown says:

    Freedom of speech comes with the responsibility to tell the truth, especially by people who should know better. It is high time that someone reminded Bush that he will pay for his mouth if he cannot stick to this basic tenet.

    I am 100% in favor of Alden’s suit. Let the Court determine whether Bush has acted maliciously in this matter.

    • CaymansList says:

      Same goes for Alden, Let the court decide if he did anything wrong…The same as they had to decide for Bush..

  11. Anon says:

    I am fed up with the so called ‘Leaders’ of this country trying to silence the people’s right to freedom of speech and expression.

    If McKeeva has no evidence of his claims this would soon be evident before the Legislative Assembly.

    Stop trying to bully the people of these Islands in to not standing up for transparency and justice.

    Alden – your attempts to silence Mac with this move only makes it look more likely that Mac is correct and you are trying to silence him and block or delay the disclosure of his evidence.

    Alden – when you were in the Opposition you could not stop spewing allegations against Mac in every possible forum and encouraging the people to take the streets and making demands for the Government to stand down. There was nothing wrong with that and we thank you for that. But now why are you trying to stop the opposition from doing the same.

    Let McKeeva present to the LA whatever it is that he has and let the people and honourable members of our LA decide for themselves.

    • Anonymous says:

      Attempting to silence? Mac is being given a golden opportunity to produce whatever evidence he has in court. We’ll soon see what that is.

  12. Anonymous says:

    Why bither to sue. Politicians lie all the time about their opponents. All that will happen is that the lawyers get richer and he will make McKeeva relevant again. Alden just do the job you are hansomely paid to do and kick this man into touch.

    • Sammi blue says:

      Suppose it was your integrity at stake, would you fight for it. All of you out there cussing the Premier for standing up for himself are delusional. I would do the same with every breath in my body. I really wonder if any of you bad mouthing the Premier even have a reputation worth defending. It seems not.if you lose you good name you might as well cease to exist.All of you have been drinking Mckeeva’s kool- ade. Seems like it has finally effected your brains.Mackeeva’s started this fight and I support the Premier in taking him to Court. Take it all the way to the Supreme Court,

      • Anonymous says:

        Say wah!! His integrity? You must be kidding right? Yes we drank Mac kool -ade and you drank Alden’s, now let the court decide just like they did for Mac, we all took our licks now lets see how you all take yours!

  13. Anonymous says:

    Hopefully the ice palace will be completed in time to host this circus.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Bush overseas? Shit, has he still got the credit card?

    • Anonymous says:

      He has his paycheck to use for his pleasure….Mac doesn’t need to use excuses of sick relatives to get perks like some do……

  15. Anonymous says:

    What a stinking bunch of Bob the Clowns. Cayman is falling apart, but this we have time for. Sick of this shit and these inept politicians.

    • Anonymous says:

      this is a private matter that affect public figures. is about time someone is been hold accountable for running his mouth. whomever is right will prevail, whomever is wrong… well, i trust that cayman electorate will never vote for him again.

      • Sammi blue says:

        I agree with the Premier, he has to defend his integrity and character. McKeeva is always running up his mouth . I thought from the time he had the press conference that the Court House was the place to settle this and not the LA where he could rant and rave with immunity. If he has proof then he along with his supporters has nothing to fear. Mr. premier if this goes in your favour and if you are innocent it will, then do not hesitate to take him to the cleaners and while you are at it please see if you can also get our money that he wasted on the Cohen deal as well as pain and suffering he caused the good people of these Beloved Cayman Islands. It will be worth every penny you have to put out to teach him to be respectful of other people.

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