By Today Newspaper
GREAT BAY, Sint Maarten – A 26-year old man who was found in the possession of a small amount of marijuana and two ecstasy pills on December 12 of last year did not bother to show up in court for his trial yesterday. In his absence, the Court in First Instance sentenced Richard Francisco Dilone to 1 week of imprisonment – a punishment that will show up on his police record but that is not likely to ever be executed.
The absent defendant was spotted near the former Marina bar – a hot spot for drug dealing, where he was talking with another man near his car. When the men saw the police approach, they jumped, reason for the officers to do a control. Dilone immediately indicated that there were drugs in the console of his car, saying he had found it in the bushes and failed to take it to the police immediately.
Prosecutor Nanouk Lemmers asked the court for the 1-week prison term, confiscation of money ($200 and €10) and withdrawal of the drugs from circulation.
Attorney Shamira Roseburg asked the court to exclude the drugs from evidence and to acquit Dilone. “The search of the car was unlawful because there was no reasonable suspicion of guilt. That my client jumped when he saw the police is insufficient. This is a far-reaching violation of his basic rights.”
Judge Angela did not see it that way. “That bar has a reputation for drug dealing,” she noted. She sentenced Dilone to 1 week in prison and ruled that the money must be returned to him because there is no evidence that he was dealing. “A pity he did not show up in court,” the judge concluded,