SINT MAARTEN (PHILIPSBURG) – On February 23rd the prosecutor’s office notified lawyer S. R. Bommel that based on the investigation carried out by national detectives there is no need to continue an investigation against her client Member of Parliament (MP) Omar Ottley, the office of the MP stated in a media statement on Tuesday afternoon. There is insufficient grounds to proceed with prosecution therefore the case against MP Ottley is dismissed (geseponeerd).
MP Ottley was nominated as a candidate minister. Seeing that Sint Maarten doesn’t have a screening law in place yet for candidate ministers, MP Ottley voluntary agreed to a screening process carried out by VDSM.
During this screening process Ottley was informed that the Prosecutor General has him labeled as a suspect.
Based on that information of the Prosecutor General, Mr. Ottley could not be sworn in as minister of VSA.
The MP has always maintained his innocence throughout the whole process and began to protest such actions.
On behalf of MP Ottley, a request was submitted to the appeal committee, which rendered the popular decision that VDSM had no jurisdiction for screening of candidate ministers, as they are not on the list to be screened.
However, Ottley ’s hinderance was not due to any VDSM report, but that of the prosecutor’s office which had him labeled as a suspect.
Lawyer S.R. Bommel brought the case before the court on January 23rd and requested that a date be set on whether the case against her client will be dropped or taken to trial. The court granted the request of the defense and gave the prosecutor office 30 days to make a decision on whether they will prosecute MP Ottley or not.
On February 23rd, an email was sent notifying the MP’s lawyer that the case will be dismissed due to insufficient grounds to prosecute.