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Trial of ex-premier to get under way tomorrow

Published:Sunday | September 14, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Former Cayman Islands' Premier McKeeva Bush

GEORGE TOWN, AP:A judge in the Cayman Islands has sworn in a seven-member jury as the government prepares for a corruption trial against a former premier who has been the islands' longest serving politician.

McKeeva Bush faces 11 criminal charges in a trial that is scheduled to start tomorrow.

He lost a no-confidence vote in December 2012 and was ousted as premier after police arrested him on suspicion of misusing a government credit card, abuse of office and other charges.

Bush remains the opposition leader and head of the United Democratic Party (UDP). He has denied the charges and said they are politically motivated.

The UDP has accused the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service of "abuse of official power" as it relates to the former premier.

"The UDP is of the opinion that, over the last 24 months, there has been an orchestrated witch-hunt against the former premier in an effort to damage his reputation and remove him as the democratically elected premier together with the government which he led," the party said immediately after Bush was charged.

The British territory is the world's sixth largest financial centre and a well-known haven for mutual funds and private equity.