Judge lifts suspect’s pre-trial detention

PHILIPSBURG–The trial of two men suspected of involvement in several supermarket robberies, attempted manslaughter, destruction, and possession of illegal firearms was suspended Wednesday for an indefinite period of time.

The cases against S.A.K.G. (26) and M.H.A. (24) were postponed on December 13, 2017, until March 14, 2018, to allow for the hearing of witnesses.

The Prosecutor stated on Wednesday that a resident of French St. Maarten still needs to be questioned, as this person had declined to appear voluntarily at the Courthouse for questioning.

He added that, in the meantime, the Prosecutor’s Office has also launched investigations into the two suspects’ possible involvement with two other robberies.

Stating that her client has already been detained for 10 months and there is no prospect of a trial any time soon, attorney Sjamira Roseburg requested that the Court lift or suspend A.’s pre-trial detention. G. is no longer detained and was released at an earlier date.

According to Roseburg, her client has been held for three robberies and not for any other crimes. She claimed there were insufficient objections against her client’s release.

The Prosecutor disagreed, as A. had confessed to the possession of an illegal firearm that was used during robberies.

He also pointed out that the French authorities would not allow A.’s extradition, as he is a French national and resident of French St. Martin.

The Prosecutor recommended that the Court attach a number of strict conditions to a possible suspension, such as the recording of a fixed address, and order the suspect to appear at every Court hearing and police investigation.

The Judge ordered the suspension of A.’s detention and said he was not to leave the island pending his trial. A. must stay with his mother and work at her flower shop.

Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/74653-judge-lifts-suspect-s-pre-trial-detention