Mac ducks out on witness box

| 03/10/2014

(CNS): The former premier of the Cayman Islands passed on his opportunity to tell his side of the story on Friday when he ducked out of entering the witness box. Attorney Geoffrey Cox QC, representing McKeeva Bush, told the court that his client would not be calling witnesses or giving evidence in response to the crown’s allegations. With the formal closure of the prosecution’s case against Bush, the opposition leader was given the chance to present his defence but he opted to remain silent. “The defence will call no further evidence,” Cox told the court after handing copies to the jury of various emails relating to Bush’s case.

As a result of Bush’s decision not to take the stand, Justice Michael Mettyear was obligated to ensure that he had been advised thathe now had the chance to give evidence and as result of choosing not to do so the jury could draw conclusions from that silence.

Although the premier has previously spoken from numerous public platforms about the charges and what he has said is a political witch-hunt against him, he opted not to speak directly to the seven men and women who are to decide his fate. The changes in the criminal procedure code do not remove a defendant's right to silence and the crown must still prove its case rather than a defendant having to prove he is innocent, but a jury can now choose to consider that decision to remain silent adversely.

As prosecutor Duncan Penny QC began his closing argument to the jury, he specifically pointed to Bush’s decision not to take the stand and questioned why he was now “so reluctant to share on oath with you the jury the truth about what he did and why he did it,” as he implied that from the very beginning Bush had been dishonest about his use of the card.

Check back to CNS later for more from the crown’s closing speech.

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Category: Crime

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