Charge against Cayman Islands Speaker dropped

Saturday, August 05, 2017

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FLORIDA, United States (CMC) – The charge of misdemeanour against the Speaker of the Cayman Islands Legislature, McKeeva Bush, following an incident involving a waitress at a Florida casino on July 17, has been dropped.

The spokesman for the Florida State Attorney's Office, Ron Ishoy, in a statement, noted that “the Broward State Attorney's office in Fort Lauderdale filed paperwork Friday afternoon – an announcement of no information – noting that it will not file a charge of misdemeanour battery against William Bush. An explanation of that decision will be available in the coming days.”

Bush's Florida-based lawyer, Keith Seltzer, had earlier indicated that he was informed by the state attorney's misdemeanour crimes division that a “no information” document would be filed with the court in regard to Bush's case.

“This record will reflect that the state has declined to prosecute Mr Bush on a charge of battery,” Seltzer told the Cayman Compass publication.

According to a probable cause affidavit filed by Seminole Police following Bush's arrest, the arresting officer was contacted by Coconut Creek casino security late Monday, July 17, concerning “an incident that occurred between a casino waitress and a guest.”

Bush, a former premier in the British Overseas Territory and Seltzer had argued publicly that Bush was mistakenly arrested by Seminole Police.

He told the Cayman Compass Friday that the state attorney's office did not have “any physical evidence” in the case with which they could obtain a conviction.

In the state of Florida, prosecutors typically have up to 21 days following a person's arrest to determine whether to proceed with a case against the suspect. In this instance, an allegation of battery [unwanted touching] was made against the House Speaker, but he was not formally charged by authorities and did not appear before a court.

Bush returned to the Cayman Islands on July 21, after posting a US$1,000 bond following the arrest. Seltzer said that bond would now be returned, following the final disposition of the case.

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