Former premier alleged to have paid $1M for PhD

By Admin Wednesday May 22 2013 in Caribbean
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GEORGE TOWN: The police and the Anti-Corruption Commission in the Cayman Islands are investigating allegations that a payment of US$1 million was made to the University College of the Caribbean (UCC) in connection with an honorary doctorate that former premier, McKeeva Bush, was due to receive until he was arrested on fraud and corruption charges last December.


UCC Chancellor Dr. Herbert Thompson confirmed that a donation was received in relation to the honorary PhD that was to be conferred on Bush but it was returned after the college deferred the award.


Bush was scheduled to receive the honorary doctorate at the college in Jamaica on December 13, 2012. However, he was arrested days before and questioned by police for two days. Following his release on bail, he travelled to the college, where he delivered an address on integrity but did not receive the degree.


Last week, Bush denied any knowledge of a $1 million donation to UCC. He said that it was no coincidence that he was arrested just before he was due to go to Jamaica to receive the award.


Bush, who is currently facing 11 counts of theft and corruption, ran for re-election in yesterday’s general election in the Cayman Islands.


According to charges filed in court, Bush is accused of making cash withdrawals of more than $50,000 from casinos in the United States on a number of occasions during his first year in office, using a government issued credit card.


He faces two charges of misconduct in public office, four charges of breach of trust by a member of the Legislative Assembly, and five charges of theft.


Bush was originally arrested on December 11, 2012, on suspicion of theft and corruption. One week later, he was ousted from office when Cayman Islands lawmakers passed a vote of no confidence in him.


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