Hearing in double-murder Mars investigation delayed

PHILIPSBURG–The hearing in the so-called “Mars” investigation into a man and woman suspected of involvement in the murders of Luis David Sarante Diaz and Erwin “Eggy” Rosario Contreras on December 5, 2016, was postponed Wednesday for a second time, now until February 14, 2018.

  A previous pro-forma hearing, held inside the confines of the Pointe Blanche prison on September 19, was also postponed, with a new date set for yesterday.

  Suspects T.J.F. (28) and K.K.K.S. (31) were arrested on February 16 and February 17 respectively, and remain in pre-trial detention, the Court of First Instance decided.

  The Prosecutor’s Office said that “lots” had already been done in this extensive investigation involving five suspects in total.

  The mortal remains of two bodies found in Belair are to be transported to the Netherlands for investigation by the Netherlands Forensic Institute (NFI). The remains, consisting primarily of bone fragments, presumably of the two victims, were initially to be flown out to the Netherlands on September 6.

  Hurricane Irma caused more delays in the Mars investigation as experts from abroad still need to investigate some 20 to 30 confiscated data carriers, among which are cellular phones.

  There are also suspects and witnesses still to be questioned, the Prosecutor explained to the Court.

  Attorney-at-law Cor Merx claimed K.K.K.S. was not a co-perpetrator or an accomplice in this case. Citing psychological factors, he said the woman, who is easily influenced, is merely a “follower, who joined out of fear.”

  He pleaded with the Court to lift or suspend his client’s pre-trial detention, because the first offender already had spent nine months in custody and has an 11-year-old child and a sick grandmother to care for.

  The Prosecutor’s Officer objected to the request, as the woman is considered an accomplice. She is the ex-partner of the main suspect in this case and the mother of his son.

  “I am not a threat to society and I have to take care of my family. I do not want to sit for something I have not done,” the woman in question told the Judge.

  The Judge decided that K.K.K.S. will have to remain in detention as a suspect in what the Judge described as a “terrible” double murder.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/71011-hearing-in-double-murder-mars-investigation-delayed