Bush discharged as judge stops assault trial

| 29/02/2024 | 166 Comments
McKeeva Bush leaves the court on Thursday

(CNS) UPDATED WITH FULL STORY: Mckeeva Bush was discharged by the court Thursday after the judge presiding over the case against him for indecent assault stayed the proceedings as a result of a successful application by the defence accusing the crown of an abuse of process. Justice Stanley John discharged the jury, released Bush from his bail conditions and stopped the trial.

The crown noted that Bush had not been discharged as a result of the evidence but because of the process and that it was open to the prosecution to appeal the judge’s ruling and, if successful, retry the West Bay veteran politician.

Over the last few days, the prosecution and defence lawyers engaged in legal arguments on a number of issues relating to the disclosure process that involves the crown handing over pertinent material to the defence well ahead of a trial as well as the conditions under which the director of public prosecutions brought this case to court.

The media is still restricted in its ability to report the full details of the submissions made to the court by both the defence and the crown for legal reasons, but we are able to reveal Justice John’s ruling that led to his decision to stay the proceedings against Bush.

On Wednesday morning, the judge upheld an application by Bush’s lawyer, Sallie Bennett-Jenkins, to stay the proceedings on the grounds of an abuse of process but issued a temporary gag on that ruling until other legal matters were ironed out.

Then this morning, Thursday, after discharging Bush, he told the jury the trial had been concluded as a result of a ruling he had made following an application by the defence. Justice John also then lifted the gag order, allowing the press to report on his decision.

The judge has said that he will issue a full and detailed ruling by the end of March, but in the short decision handed down yesterday, he said that the court was “concerned with the process, and I stress the process, by which the decision to prosecute was made”. He did not comment on his position regarding the evidence that had been heard by the jury since the start of the trial last week. 

Offering a short explanation for his decision, he said, “I pose this question rhetorically: Would a right-minded citizen hearing the process used to have the defendant brought before the court… not have serious concerns?”

Additional disclosure was made to the defendant on Tuesday afternoon. This had followed the disclosure of other important information on Monday, a week after the trial started, all of which was relevant to the case. The crown has a legal obligation to give defendants material that may be of assistance to them that has been uncovered by police and prosecutors during the course of any investigation. While disclosure is a continuing process, it is problematic for key material to be revealed in the middle of a trial.

In this case, the content of the disclosure, as well as the process, was such that it led the judge to stop the trial. “This entire process has caused a level of disquiet,” Justice John said as he announced his decision to stay the proceedings.

Charles Miskin, who was representing the crown in this case, stated in court that the ruling was “not a verdict on the evidence”.

He stressed that if the Cayman Islands Court of Appeal sat permanently, the crown would have been able to appeal the judge’s decision immediately and get a decision within a relatively short period, enabling the case to be adjourned, the jury retained, and if successful, to return to the proceedings. However, because the appeal court here is seasonal, this is not possible, and so he accepted the jury must be discharged.

Miskin told the court that it was up to the director of public prosecutions to make a decision whether or not to appeal when the court sits in April and then, depending on that outcome, to make a decision about a retrial since Bush has been discharged and not acquitted. 

However, the court confirmed that as of Thursday morning, there were no longer charges against Bush in this matter, and he was a free man. Following the adjournment of the court, Bush spoke briefly with the media.

“The whole country understands what has taken place,” he said. “This was a huge abuse of process and an abuse of this member of parliament.” 

Bush stated that he had been willing to take the stand and give his side of the story at trial. “And while the lies have come out, I have not been given the chance to give my side yet, but the truth will come out… I’m discharged,” he said as he left court with a close family friend.


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Category: Courts, Crime

Comments (166)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Does any of this come as a surprise to anyone?

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  2. Anonymous says:

    The MAGA moron cult in America ain’t got nothing on Cayman. Bush will keep getting voted in no matter what. You know what they say, you just can’t keep a bad man down.

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  3. Anonymous says:

    Any lawyers out there? What sort of serious abuse of process issues could there possibly be in a case like this? Two complainants, similar stories, same event, other witnesses. It’s not like there is exculpatory evidence to disclose to the defense! Lack of any transparency as usual.

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  4. Anonymous says:

    McKeeva is a piece of dog poop from “Old Bush” in WB with no “brought-upsy”. He could have been a good example of coming from nothing and making something of oneself. But, with his background he could not help acting as he has done all these years. So instead, he has become an example of ALL that is wrong with our public service – no sense of decorum, crass behaviour, XXXX and mass appeal to morons and society’s illegal fringe!!

    You can take the man out of the bush but can’t take the bush out of the man. No matter his political stature, his social “stature”, his fake “awards”, he is still a piece of dog poop from Old Bush!!

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  5. Anonymous says:

    Both the prosecutor and defender are very expensive KCs.
    They, and their teams were flown from the UK, probably in the front seats of the plane.
    While in Cayman they stayed at expensive hotels.
    The costs are extremely high.
    Are we permitted to know these costs which we are funding?
    As the case was discontinued are we also paying for the costs of Mr Bush?

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  6. Anonymous says:

    I am behooved to say this is the biggest redemption since Shawshank. The honorable civil servant who stands up for the everyday hardly working Caymanian is now getting a second chance to lead us all in guidance and erection to a brighter future. Truly this day is a day the Justice system shines bright like a diamond in the sky!

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  7. Anonymous says:

    it is amazing the hat that these lawyers wear was Misken not the defence lawyer for one of the Canover Watson trials that got thrown because of the ACC failure to disclose.

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    • Anonymous says:

      And that got buried quickly !

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    • Anonymous says:

      You do know that counsel are not the people responsible for disclosure – thats on the DPP. And in this case it was not the failure to disclose – its what the disclosure showed when they did ! The issue is what exactly those emails showed that made the judge so concerned as to the process. Nothing to do with his guilt or innocence – just sad and rather concerning.

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  8. Elvis says:

    Money talks

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  9. Anonymous says:

    I don’t know what’s worse,his behaviour or the fact people keep voting for him. Unbelievable.

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  10. Anonymous says:

    Sad day indeed! Is it any wonder our street thugs believe they can shoot up residential areas or football gatherings with reckless abandon when we have representatives with the behaviour and attitude that we have in Parliament and the system seems to protect them instead of holding them accountable?!

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  11. Anonymous says:

    I guess the cane/walker & face mask was only required when he wished to appear as a pitiful defenseless old man. No need for that anymore I guess. Until the next trial.
    What I don’t understand is why the various women that have endured these abuses simply do not slap the snot out of him the instant something happens? Make it apparent right away. Don’t wait for court.

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    • Anonymous says:

      I agree, out of reflex that’s what I would do but I’m pretty sure some of his psychotic supporters would take it upon themselves to intimidate anyone that would embarrass him that way.

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  12. Island Time says:

    Mac is like a Cat. He has 9 lives.

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    • Anonymous says:

      1. First Cayman Bank
      2. Stan Thomas fax
      3. Hard Rock Casino
      4. Coral Beach assault
      5. Nation Building Gate
      6. Indecent Assault charges
      7. Rape charges

      What am I missing? The nine soon done either way.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Midland Acres.

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        • Island Time says:

          Than still 1 to go LOL

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        • Anonymous says:

          Dynamite!

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          • Anonymous says:

            The Dynamite incident was an outrageous act of attempting to circumvent the law, with his buddy bagman who was equally guilty.
            Bush had the civil servant (who insisted that the laws should be followed) removed from office at great personal cost to the poor man’s health. Criminal behavior that got swept under the rug.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Cabinet status grants .
        Ritz Carlton apartments.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Illegal status grants to secure his political future.

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      • Anonymous says:

        It didn’t say in the guidelines that it wasn’t ok to use a Govt credit card for gambling

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      • Anonymous says:

        Status grants to Cambridge Real Estate clients!? (But surely any links are totally coincidental).

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      • Anonymous says:

        Using a govt. credit card for gambling?

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      • Anonymous says:

        Getting the Port authority to buy land 3 times its value from a close acquaintance with the same name and promising future retail units to a family member in DOT. The PA still have done nothing with it.

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        • Anonymous says:

          Shut up

        • Anonymous says:

          You seem to know a lot.

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        • Anonymous says:

          A lot more than 3 times it’s value.
          More than 10 times.!

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        • Anonymous says:

          He that that has no SIN cast the first stone!!

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          • Anonymous says:

            … but those of us with just a little sin can fire away. Guess we should be making our pile of stones.

        • Anonymous says:

          YOU should Reveal your name!!! You seem to be very acquainted with the details. One guess ! Sameone that used this as political football. Sameonethat was always Under MAC armpit!!
          Many many times Government paid 2 to 3 the value of properties in GT if they needed to put a road or a major development, and that property to . Why would anyone sell their property if they are happy where they are living to uproot their lives …just for the value .

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      • Anonymous says:

        How about doing a deal with the Chinese Harbour to build a new dock in George Town with no tender or business case?

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        • Anonymous says:

          To be fair, the Chinese are very generous to their business associates.
          Gov Taylor had the cojones to put a stop to that one and we paid over $2Mi damages .
          Thanks Mac.

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      • Ryan says:

        Getting an apartment in the ritz from the developer in return for changing the planning laws for the max floor levels from 5 to 9!

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      • Anonymous says:

        I think he has mad more than 9 scandals… but no worries the DPP is here!

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      • Anonymous says:

        Giving away status grants to his buddies.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Back in the 90’s supporting a foreign (US) takeover of the water company and being flown to Texas and elsewhere on more than one occasion. You know he wasn’t doing that for free.

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      • Annonymous says:

        Stoogies Cigar bar alleged assault

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  13. Anonymous says:

    Who was the Prosecutor on behalf of the Crown?

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    • Anonymous says:

      A very expensive UK KC and team prosecuted.
      A similarly expensive UK KC defended.
      They, and all their backup staff flew from UK first class and stayed at expensive hotels.
      Are we allowed to know the cost?
      Presumably the prosecution costs are paid by us. Now that the prosecution has collapsed will we pay for McKeeva’s costs as well?

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  14. Anonymous says:

    Secret bureaucracy, it’s just a lie
    The devil’s henchmen, in suit and tie
    A sacred brotherhood, an ancient rite
    Politicians and the double lives they hide

    Violate your rights, no more equality
    Surrender freedom, your Social Security
    We the people face unconstitutional lies
    In greed we trust, in revolution we die

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  15. JTB says:

    Another glorious triumph for our prosecution authorities.

    But at least they got rid of that horrible Moran chap, with his ludicrous ideas about staff actually being required to do their jobs. The DPP’s office now may be hopelessly incompetent, but at least there’s none of that kind of racism any more, eh?

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  16. Anonymous says:

    A judge accusing the Crown of abuse of process is a very very serious allegation!

    One area where abuse of process was painfully evident was in the prosecution of the Brac artist known as “Foots”. Although that was not the express reason Foots was acquitted, to those following the case, abuse of process was apparent from the start and throughout the pursuit of the case. The presiding judge was not gentle on the prosecution, but stopped short of declaring abuse of process in so many words.

    Foots should file a lawsuit for costs plus damages to his reputation. There is little doubt he would win.

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  17. Anonymous says:

    #dirtbag

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  18. Anonymous says:

    I’d rather not think about Mac’s discharge if it’s all the same with you.

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  19. Truth says:

    “The whole country understands what has taken place,…….

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  20. Anonymous says:

    I won’t be smiling. I’d at least apologise for the unacceptable behaviour and disappear from the limelight in shame

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  21. Anonymous says:

    I’m not even surprised by this, and I’m not surprised by the fact that no one will be held accountable.

    The incompetence and corruption of the police and DPP knows no bounds!!

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    • Anonymous says:

      Governor…

      Law and Order?
      Good Governance?
      Corruption?
      Police?

      Who is in charge of these? Who is responsible for the #shitshow we are so quickly becoming.

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      • Anonymous says:

        Poor governor is probably restrained by the equally egregious activities of one of her 1980s predecessors, and cannot protest too much.
        His government house cocktail and dinner party women were in most part happy and flattered by his clandestine advances, until he went too far in a couple of instances.
        He left , should have been disgraced, but felt that he was too important to be bothered with such trifles.
        The UK papers enjoyed smearing him and Cayman, but with 5 pensions under his belt , why would he care… some parallels with Mac it seems.

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    • Anonymous says:

      @7:39:
      Someone was held accountable: Bush was prosecuted. However, due to the blithering incompetence and impropriety (Abuse of process no less!) of the Director of Public Prosecutions and his minions, that fell through.

      Damn! Abuse of process! Let that sink in…

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    • Annonymous says:

      At least case didn’t drag on until a Jury had to convict because we know how that would have gone.

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  22. Anonymous says:

    For all the haters out there, the fact the proceedings are stayed due to abuse of process is a good thing for all of us. it really is that simple. Just because its Big Mac doesn’t mean this isn’t a good result for the country. If the evidence is there, the Crown can bring it back properly.

    now i’m off to ride my unicorn

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  23. Another sad day in cayman says:

    Another sad day in Cayman.

    Unna forget he is alleged of committing rape too? Will there will be undue process surrounding that case?

    And you wonder why women don’t report things more? This is a joke!

    Nobody with “right thinking”, wants him to represent us in the halls of our parliament.

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