PHILIPSBURG:— The Public Prosecutor (OM) Sint Maarten registered 178 penal cases in the period after the Hurricane “Irma” passed. Of these 61 cases were dismissed outside the Court with a so-called “conditional” (conditional dismissal). This was mainly about public disturbances and not keeping the curfew. These persons had to provide services ranging from 20 to 60 hours to prevent further prosecution. Suspects found during the curfew with additional facts, such as possession of a baton or stabbing weapon or limited amount of drugs received the maximum number of 60 hours to be imposed by the Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM). In 39 cases, the service was completely completed and with that, the matter was settled, others are still working. Some of them have not completed the service and are still soon in Court. Previous refusals have yet been sentenced by the court to a community service of 120 hours or 60 days of replacement detention if they did not comply with the community service.
In addition, a summons was issued to the suspect in 77 of the registered number of cases. This concerns heavier offenses such as looting, committing robbery, firearm possession, drug possession, theft, and healing. In recent months, the Court has already imposed penalties ranging from prison sentences of four weeks up to and including one year, whether or not in combination with a community service or special conditions. Youth detention was imposed on minors. In the coming months, a number of matters will be brought to the session.
In 15 cases the case was dismissed. A dismissal decision is taken if insufficient legal evidence can be obtained, if in the opinion of the Public Prosecutor the suspect has already been penalized sufficiently or if a different means of settlement prevails over criminal law. In the other cases, the Public Prosecutor must decide on the settlement.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office thanks all its partners and services that have worked hard with limited resources in these turbulent months to ensure peace and safety in our society. In particular, the Public Prosecutor’s Office thanks the Sint Maarten Police Force, the Guardianship Council and the Probation Service for intensive cooperation and adequate assistance to contribute together in the fight against crime. Also, the help of the community was very much appreciated.
Prosecutor’s Office Press Release
Source: St. Martin News Network http://www.smn-news.com/st-maarten-st-martin-news/28210-handling-irma-related-cases.html