Watson free but faces CIFA corruption probe

| 05/06/2018
Cayman News Service

Canover Watson leaving court after sentencing

(CNS): Canover Watson, the former Health Services Authority Board chair who was convicted for corruption relating to a payment system at the hospital, has been released from jail after serving just over two years of his seven-year term. But despite his early release, Watson’s freedom may be in jeopardy, as CNS can confirm that Watson was the man arrested by Anti-Corruption Commission investigators Monday in connection with the ongoing Cayman Islands Football Association corruption probe.

Watson was arrested last year, along with former CIFA VP Bruce Blake, in the same ACC investigation examining allegations of potential corruption, fraud and money laundering by officials and executives on the local football association board. To date, no charges have been brought in the case.

It is understood that investigators arrested Watson for the second time in this inquiry on almost his first day of parole after he was released early from his seven-year term on licence. He was questioned for several hours at the Fairbanks Detention Centre before he was bailed.

CNS understands that he was arrested Monday for the same offences as was the case in June last year — secret commissions and money laundering — but also on suspicion of conspiracy to defraud under the Common Law.

It is not clear how Watson, a former CPA, local business leader, CIFA treasurer and HSA board chair, was able to secure such an early release, given that he has served less than a third of his sentence. He was convicted on 4 February 2016 and taken into custody, just days before the implementation of the Conditional Release Law, which requires that all prisoners serve 60% of their term before they can be considered for parole, an obstacle that Watson dodged by a very narrow margin.

Given the latest allegations, if Watson is charged it is possible that he will be returned to custody.

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Category: Local News

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