Babel claim case ruling August 30 | THE DAILY HERALD

WILLEMSTAD–On August 30, the judge will pronounce a verdict in the confiscation case against “Babel” convicts, former Curaçao prime Minister Gerrit Schotte and his partner Cicely van der Dijs.

The Prosecutor’s Office tried to prove that the couple had laundered money given to them in 2010 by St. Maarten casino boss Francesco Corallo. The MFK-leader was already found guilty of accepting a bribe and forgery during the Babel case, as was Van der Dijs for the latter crime in assisting him.

They both received prison terms and Schotte also a prohibition to run for office, but the sentences weren’t executed yet because they have appealed all the way to High Court in the Netherlands and that process is still pending.

According to the couple’s lawyers, the prosecutor wrongly argued that the money will be taken anyway because of previous convictions by the court. “In this way, the prosecution has presented the citizens of Curaçao with an incorrect representation of the facts.

“Apart from the fact that the Babel ruling is not yet irrevocable, a confiscation order is not automatically assigned in a criminal case. To this end the prosecution must provide enough evidence showing that there has been personal enrichment. They have not been able to demonstrate this in the courtroom.

“Some 79 per cent of the so-called confiscation order against Schotte has nothing to do with the prosecution in the Babel case. Moreover, Schotte has never been prosecuted for this amount.

“Of the remaining 21 per cent that has been part of the Babel for both, it has been proven with evidence that they have not personally enriched themselves,” the attorneys stated in a press release.

Source: The Daily Herald