Man gets compensated for wrongful detention


PHILIPSBURG–Boat captain C.J.G. was awarded US $9,000 in damages for being wrongfully detained in a Philipsburg police station holding cell for five days in June. The Judge awarded the plaintiff US $1,000 per day, plus $4,000 for lost income during the time he was in detention.

C.G., who has been living and working in St. Maarten for eight years, was held at Princess Port de Plaisance Casino on June 21 on suspicion of involvement in fraud for using falsified casino tickets. After his release he filed complaints with the Chief of Police, the Police Force’s Bureau of Internal Affairs, the Minister of Justice and the Ombudsman.

He said neither fingerprints nor his picture had been taken at the time nor had he been led in front of a Prosecutor or Judge of Instruction while he was held at the police station. He went on a hunger strike on the second day of his detention, as he was denied access to his lawyer.

He was held until June 27 in a cell which he shared with two other arrestees. “I had to sleep on a rusty metal bunk bed with dirty bedding filled with urine and faeces, or sleep in my clothes on the dirty floor. I was not allowed other clothing and could not get a toothbrush and toothpaste,” he informed the Judge at his hearing.

Source: The Daily Herald