Bush assault trial stalled by legal arguments

| 22/02/2024
Speaker McKeeva Bush accused of rape, Cayman News Service
McKeeva Bush as Speaker of the House

(CNS): Legal discussions between the crown and the defence lawyers stalled the trial of McKeeva Bush MP on Wednesday and delayed the appearance of the complainants in court until Thursday. Following a brief cross-examination of the detective who presented the CCTV footage to the court, the lawyers were engaged in arguments before the judge over a number of issues that cannot yet be revealed for legal reasons.

During the morning’s proceedings before the jury, Sallie Bennett-Jenkins KC, who is representing Bush, challenged Detective Russell These over what people may or may not have been able to see during the cocktail party in September 2022 at the Ritz hotel, where Bush is alleged to have indecently assaulted two civil servants who were working at the event.

Presenting a different interpretation of the silent CCTV footage and the clearly awkward moments between the first complainant and Bush, Bennett-Jenkins suggested that Bush hugged her because another person was taking a photograph of them — a point the detective disagreed with — and that after Bush allegedly assaulted the woman, she had stroked his arm and rubbed his back.

Bennett-Jenkins also challenged the detective over the point where the footage was cut off and any suggestion by the crown that the first complainant’s husband was anywhere near her and Bush when the alleged assault happened.

Following the adjournment due to legal issues, the judge asked the jury to return on Thursday at 10:00am. Video footage of the complainants’ police interviews, recorded in the immediate wake of the incident, will be played to the court, and then the first complainant is expected to appear to give evidence.

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