Caymanian House Speaker denies charges of assault

Speaker of the Legislative Assembly, McKeeva Bush, on Friday denied charges of assault and being drunk and disorderly, when he appeared via video link in court.

Bush, 65, a veteran politician, is accused of beating up the bar manager at a bar in February.

However, no trial date has been set for the case because Bush’s attorney is waiting on forensic analysis of CCTV footage.

The politician’s attorney, Michael Alberga, told the court that he had dispatched the tapes, which he received from the crown in discovery, to Miami for analysis.

He however stated that with the COVID-19 pandemic raging in Florida, work at the lab had been stalled, and given the circumstances caused by “the health crisis there”, he did not know when the analysis would be done.

The case has been set down for a management hearing on August 14, and Bush was bound over to return on that date.

The politician has denied that he attacked a woman who was managing the bar on the night that Bush was said to have engaged in excessive drinking. He also denied being drunk at a licensed premises, using offensive language and refusing to leave.

Bush has claimed that he went to the bar, which it is said is partially owned by a close relative, to get food.

He said he fell and because he was disorientated, he lashed out at people trying to assist him.

But the politician admitted that he does have an issue with alcohol abuse as a result of never dealing with the grief surrounding the tragic loss of his daughter nine years ago.

Earlier this year, Bush took a leave of absence from his job as speaker in order to seek medical help for underlying mental health issues.

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