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Cayman Islands Premier Bush Ousted Following Arrest

Dec. 19 (Bloomberg) -- Cayman Islands Premier McKeeva Bush was removed from office by the British territory’s governor following his arrest last week for misuse of government funds.

Bush was forced to step down and has been replaced by deputy Premier Julianna O’Connor-Connolly, who will also serve as finance minister, according to an e-mailed statement from U.K. Governor Duncan Taylor. Four other ministers were also confirmed today, after lawmakers voted 11-3 yesterday to support a “no-confidence” motion against Bush.

Bush, who took office in 2009 and is known as the “Father of the House” for his almost three decades of service in the country’s parliament, was arrested on Dec. 11 for misuse of a government credit card, conflicts of interest and importing explosive substances, according to police. Bush has maintained his innocence and remains on bail until February while police continue their investigation.

The Cayman Islands, a British Overseas Territory, has the highest number of hedge funds in the Caribbean and has historically attracted companies such as Bain Capital LLC and Medtronic Inc. looking to lower their tax burden. The nation was home to 10,979 funds as of Sept. 30, up from 9,258 in 2011, according to the country’s monetary authority.

In a statement yesterday, the Cayman Finance trade association said it supported an investigation of the charges and that the political debate wouldn’t affect their industry.

“The financial services industry operates independently of the political arm of the legislature and any potential criminal charges against an individual do not impact the ongoing effective functioning of the government or the Cayman Islands Monetary Authority,” according to the statement.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eric Sabo in Washington at esabo1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Joshua Goodman at jgoodman19@bloomberg.net

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