CoP defends slow Mac probe
(CNS): In a short statement released on Monday afternoon the police commissioner defended the timeline of the investigations into the Cayman Islands premier, explaining that financial investigations can be protracted when the allegations involve witnesses as well as other evidence located overseas. Breaking his silence on the three enquiries involving McKeeva Bush, one of which has lasted for some two years, David Baines said that the level of interest into the investigations and the speculation was not fair to those involved. However, he said he would ensure that a thorough investigation was completed with the resources available in as timely a manner as possible.
The commissioner released the statement just over a week after the RCIPS issued a statement confirming that Bush was the subject of three police enquiries. Last summer the public was informed of the first investigation, which related to a letter Bush sent to former Cayman landowner and Texan developer, Stan Thomas, as a result of various document leaks and then an eventual admission from the Governor’s Office.
The fact that there was more than one probe was revealed by the governor on Friday 20 April during a press briefing with the British OT minister, Henry Bellingham. A police spokesperson confirmed on Saturday 21 April that the premier was at the heart of a second investigation into financial regularities, the details of which have not been released, and also a third, which involved the recent seizure by the authorities of a shipment of unlicensed dynamite.
However, both the police and the governor have remained tight lipped about the probes, one of which has been underway for some two years.
As a result of what the commissioner called “a considerable amount of public, political and press speculation” regarding the time it is taking to complete the investigations into the premier, Commissioner Baines said he could not comment specifically about the ongoing enquiries but that every investigation undertaken by law enforcement agencies was different.
“The speed with which an investigation can be completed is dependent on many factors and is often protracted -- particularly financial investigations when the allegations involve witnesses, and documentary evidence, located within other legal jurisdictions,” Baines said. “Whilst I appreciate that there will inevitably be a high level of interest in these investigations, the continuing speculation is not helpful, nor fair to those under investigation, but I will ensure that a thorough investigation is completed with the resources available in as timely a manner as possible.”
He also noted that when the investigations have been completed, a file would be forwarded to the director of public prosecutions, who would determine whether there was "evidence of criminal conduct and any actions therefrom.” He added, “It would not be appropriate for the RCIPS to provide any further information about these investigations in the meantime.”
The police have said little else about the probes, which have caused considerable alarm in the community, nor has Baines revealed why the premier has not been interviewed in connection with any of the enquiries involving him. As a result, the premier has persistently stated that he has not been informed of any investigations relating to him and any allegations would be baseless.
In a statement released last weekend he said he has done nothing wrong and there is no reason for him to step aside, as he pointed the finger at UK civil servants in the FCO who, he claimed, were involved in a conspiracy to discredit him and the Cayman Islands.
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