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Gestapo tactics

By Hilbert Haar ~ Oh oh; the justice system is doing what it is supposed to do and politicians start to feel the heat. Don't let their cries of Gestapo-tactics, denationalization and Dutch takeover fool you. Nor should you be fooled by the...

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Dear Reader

In this edition we bring you the Tuesday news including part 2 of our 7-parts series from our special report on the workings of the Public Prosecutor's Office in regards to the lead times of criminal investigations and the statutes of limitations, if any, when it comes to the length of these investigations.

Given the relevance of the news about the latest statements made in Parliament by MPs in regards to the workings of the Public Prosecutor's Office when it comes to prosecuting local politicians and high profile citizens of St. Maarten, we bring you the unabridged translation of the's Dutch language article entitled " St. Maarten accuses The Hague of 'gestapo tactics'".

The Netherlands uses 'gestapo tactics' on St. Maarten. That is the accusation made by the St. Maarten members of Parliament Theo Heyliger and Franklin Meyers (both United Democrats) on Monday in a parliament debate following a petition that they themselves orchestrated against interference from The Hague. Their faction colleague Tamara Leonard thinks that the Netherlands does not respect the Trias Politica.
The parliamentarians accuse the Dutch government of abusing the situation after hurricane Irma to take control of the island that has had the status of autonomous country within the Kingdom since 2010 through manipulation of the legal system. The Dutch contribution to the reconstruction (550 million euros) was described as the Trojan Horse that The Hague is using to replace local leaders with Dutch people. The Netherlands sees its own performance on St. Maarten as legal, Meyers argued, "but the slavery and apartheid conceived by the Netherlands were also considered legal."
Members of Parliament Frans Richardson (United St. Maarten) and Christophe Emmanuel (National Alliance) supported the accusation that the island was 'nationalized' by the Netherlands. Before Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever could respond, a power outage brought an abrupt end to the debate.
The immediate cause for the swipe at The Hague is the decision of the Public Prosecutor's Office to conduct a criminal investigation against Heyliger. He is suspected of bribery. St. Maarten wholesales in politicians who are under suspicion, are been prosecuted or have already been convicted for charges such as corruption and fraud.

For those curious about the other parts of our 7-parts series, we wish to reveal the topics here for our avid readers. (Spoiler Alert!)

In part 4 we will discuss the length of investigations carried out by the Public Prosecutor's Office, how long these may last and who oversees these investigations (part 5). Part 6 deals with the question if investigations can be dealt with faster and finally in part 7 we look at whether the situation in St. Maarten is the same as in The Netherlands.

The reason for these spoilers is because one of our subscribers emailed us the following:

" I have been reading your piece on the Justice system and how it works. Nice but there is more I would like to know. Is the time that it takes to process a case longer than in the Netherlands? Are we being treated different than cases in the Netherlands? That is what needs to be explained. "

Obviously, we are saving the best for last. The answers to these questions will be revealed in part 7.

In the meantime, happy readings!


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7-parts series about the Public Prosecutor's Office views on the lead times of investigations
This is a special report brought to you by outlining the views of the Public Prosecutor's Office on the statutes of limitations pertaining to the length of investigations, in particular those of politicians, other public figures and prominent citizens on St. Maarten.

The introduction to this special report can be read online via the following article:

Part 2 - The process by which the Public Prosecutor's Office carries out criminal investigations.

In part 1 we discussed the Public Prosecutor's Office and its workings. In this part we will discuss how the OM carries out criminal investigations. In other words, how is a criminal investigation executed?

Criminal investigation must be carried out carefully and in accordance with the legal provisions. In the interest of the investigation, procedures can be applied that violate the personal life and privacy of a person. Also liberty depriving measures such as incarceration and pre-trial detention can be part of this process. However, these measures are in the interest of the investigation and the decision to do so is not taken lightly. In addition, they are reviewed by a magistrate or a judge.

When taking decisions in the context of a criminal case, the principles of good procedural order, including the principle of proportionality and subsidiarity, are also observed, in addition to the legal requirements. This means that the importance of the case must be in proportion to the infringement that is being made and that the goal can not be achieved in another, less drastic way. In addition, a reasonable and fair interest is weighed in each case for whether investigations and possible prosecutions are appropriate. Infringement of the principles of due process may lead to the case of the Public Prosecutor's Office being declared inadmissible in court.

In part 3 we will discuss whether the Public Prosecutor alone can take the initiative to investigate and prosecute a case. Top Stories
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