THE HAGUE–The Kingdom government aims to have the enhanced supervision by the Council of Europe in relation to the case of St. Maarten casino owner Francesco Corallo and the detention facilities on the island terminated later this year.
Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs Stef Blok on Wednesday informed the Second Chamber of the Dutch Parliament on the status of the enhanced supervision, implemented by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe in March 2019. Member of the Second Chamber Chris van Dam of the Christian Democratic Party CDA had asked for information during a debate in April 2019.
In his letter, Minister Blok, also on behalf of State Secretary of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations Raymond Knops and Minister of Legal Protection Sander Dekker, explained why the Kingdom government was placed under enhanced supervision as a result of the Corallo case at the European Human Rights Court.
The European Human Rights Court in October 2018 ruled that the Dutch Kingdom was responsible for violating the international treaty that forbids inhuman and/or degrading treatment of people in detention, in this case of Corallo who was held at the police station in Philipsburg awaiting his extradition to Italy.
The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe considered the detention circumstances as a structural problem and therefore it placed the Kingdom under enhanced supervision in March 2019.
In April 2019, the Kingdom, on behalf of the St. Maarten government, submitted an action plan to the Committee of Ministers. This action plan describes the renovation works that have taken place at the detention facilities on St. Maarten and which renovation works are still to be carried out in the foreseeable future.
The Dutch government expects to receive an “appreciation” of the Committee of Ministers later this year. It is possible that the Committee of Ministers will give another instruction to receive information which is needed to comply with the ruling in the Corallo case, Minister Blok explained.
Minister Dekker and State Secretary Knops in April 2019 visited the detention facilities on St. Maarten, including the police cells. The renovation of the police cells has been largely completed. The stay at the police cells has been limited to a maximum of 10 days. Corallo stayed at the police cells much longer than that.
Minister Blok stated that the Dutch government considered the improvement of the detention facilities on St. Maarten very important. For this reason, agreements have been made between the Netherlands and St. Maarten to improve the detention facilities also at the Pointe Blanche prison and the Miss Lalie Centre. These efforts should result in a termination of the enhanced supervision by the Council of Europe.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/88269-kingdom-hopes-supervision-due-to-corallo-case-ends-soon