One year after appeal no new date for vote buying trial

St. Maarten News – While the parliament engaged this week in a rather senseless second round of debate about – mostly – the term vote buying, the election fraud case that rocked St. Maarten in 2014 and led to accusations of class justice has seemingly come to a complete standstill.

In August 2014, the Court in First Instance ruled that the prosecutor’s office had called upon itself “the semblance of class justice” by prosecuting four police officers and a representative of the United People’s party for selling and buying votes ahead of the 2010 parliamentary elections, while UP-leader Theo Heyliger was not dragged into court. The judge used this as the basis for declaring the prosecution inadmissible; he threw the case out with a remarkable ruling that basically declared all the accused guilty.

The prosecutor’s office appealed this ruling and it found the Common Court of Justice on its side when it overruled the lower court in May 2015 and sent the case back for retrial to the Court in First Instance.

Ever since that ruling, pronounced on May 6, 2015, things have become very quiet. Asked when the case will go back to court, the spokesman for the prosecutor’s office stated: “The prosecutor’s office is still busy with this. A definitive date has not been established yet.”

Source: Today SXM One year after appeal no new date for vote buying trial