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Prosecutions delayed

CAYMAN ISLANDS – The scheduled preliminary inquiry hearings to determine whether there is adequate evidence to indict former ministers and their relatives have been delayed by what are being called “administrative matters”.

The hearings, which were due to be held late last week, did not go forward as originally planned. They are now being delayed for approximately 30 days or until March 9, sources say.

Other sources indicate that the prosecution’s case files, which must be furnished as part of the discovery process, arrived at the defendants’ attorneys’ offices late in January.

The defendants include three former government ministers and one former minister’s wife, three brothers and a former backbench member of parliament, two attorneys, one the brother of former Premier Michael Misick, and at least one developer. All of those involved in what promises to be the first round of prosecutions were connected with the last elected administration of the Progressive National Party (PNP).

Charges include money laundering, bribery and profiteering from illegal Crown land sales. The hearings now scheduled for early March will not be the actual trials but a review by the court whether or not there is adequate prima facie evidence to go forward with the prosecutions.

The last minute rush to conduct the hearings while evidence is still being organized is being viewed as indications that the direct rule government imposed by Britain in August 2009 is currently attempting to reach the milestones set down by British Overseas Territories Minister Henry Bellingham as quickly as possible.

These milestones must be met before elections can be scheduled.

In related news, sources have reported that Progressive National Party activists are planning another strike or shut down of government facilities for the purpose of distracting attention from the prosecution of the party’s former ministers.

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CAYMAN ISLANDS – The scheduled preliminary inquiry hearings to determine whether there is adequate evidence to indict former ministers and their relatives have been delayed by what are being called “administrative matters”.

The hearings, which were due to be held late last week, did not go forward as originally planned. They are now being delayed for approximately 30 days or until March 9, sources say.

Other sources indicate that the prosecution’s case files, which must be furnished as part of the discovery process, arrived at the defendants’ attorneys’ offices late in January.

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The defendants include three former government ministers and one former minister’s wife, three brothers and a former backbench member of parliament, two attorneys, one the brother of former Premier Michael Misick, and at least one developer. All of those involved in what promises to be the first round of prosecutions were connected with the last elected administration of the Progressive National Party (PNP).

Charges include money laundering, bribery and profiteering from illegal Crown land sales. The hearings now scheduled for early March will not be the actual trials but a review by the court whether or not there is adequate prima facie evidence to go forward with the prosecutions.

The last minute rush to conduct the hearings while evidence is still being organized is being viewed as indications that the direct rule government imposed by Britain in August 2009 is currently attempting to reach the milestones set down by British Overseas Territories Minister Henry Bellingham as quickly as possible.

These milestones must be met before elections can be scheduled.

In related news, sources have reported that Progressive National Party activists are planning another strike or shut down of government facilities for the purpose of distracting attention from the prosecution of the party’s former ministers.