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Cayman Islands Premier Refuses To Quit After Released On Bail

Cayman Islands Prime Minister McKeeva Bush, who was arrested as part of a corruption probe earlier this week, refused to step down after he was released on bail.

In a statement on Thursday claiming innocence, Bush said "the government continues to operate as normal."

The 57-year-old leader blamed the move to investigate him for fraud on "vindictive political witch hunt" supported by Britain.

Bush was arrested on Tuesday at his home in the West Bay by members of the Financial Crime Unit of the Royal Cayman Islands Police Service. It said the premier is suspected of theft related to the misuse of a government credit card as well as the abuse of office over the alleged importation of unspecified explosives without valid permits.

Bush was released on bail a day after interrogation.

The police in the British overseas territory in the Caribbean had indicated earlier this year that Bush was the subject of three ongoing investigations, two of which were related to financial irregularities. But Bush had denied any wrong doings and publicly rejected the corruption allegations.

Bush has been the premier of the British Caribbean territory, a well known global tax haven, since May 2009, when his United Democratic Party (UDP) won 9 out of the 15 Legislative Assembly seats in the general elections.

He had founded the UDP in 2000, when he was the tourism, environment and transport minister in the Cayman Islands. He is the longest serving member of the Legislative Assembly.

Apart from being the premier of the Cayman Islands, Bush also holds the position of minister of finance and tourism.

by RTTNews Staff Writer

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