Bush jury sworn in

| 11/09/2014

(CNS): Four women and three men were finally selected Thursday to try the former Cayman Islands premier when the case against him for misusing a government credit card is expected to open on Monday. The process took several days after the entire jury pool of almost 100 people was pared down to around 25 as a result of a questionnaire they each had to fill out. Despite the early elimination of jurors that were perceived to have a real or possible bias from the survey, both Bush’s defence team and the crown used up all five of their challenges to the names drawn from the remaining pool. Nevertheless, eventually a cross-section of seven people from the local community was sworn.

Before dismissing the jury until Monday morning the presiding judge, Justice Michael Mettyear, issued awarning to the seven men and women about the need for Bush to have a fair trial and for them not to discuss the case with anyone or to pursue any background research before or during the case.

The judge stressed the importance of deciding this case only on the evidence that they will hear in the court and drawing on their own common sense to arrive at a verdict. He warned them that talking to others about it or reading media reports or researching other information about the case could consciously or unconsciously influence them, which would be unfair as well as being in contempt.

“There has been media coverage, as there is bound to be in a case like this, but it can be wrong and misleading. What matters is what happens in court,” the judge said. “It is going to be an interesting experience for you I am sure,” he added as he dismissed the newly sworn panel.

Legal discussions between the two teams of attorneys before the judge was expected to continue through Thursday and Friday before the opening of the crown’s case against Bush on Monday.

See related story on CNS:

Jury surveyed over Bush bias

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