Matser released, remains suspect


PHILIPSBURG–The tentacles of “Octopus” have loosened their two-week hold on independent Member of Parliament Silvio Matser. The MP was released from custody by the National Detectives on order of the Prosecutor’s Office this afternoon. He remains a suspect in the Octopus investigation into election fraud in the August 2014 Parliamentary Elections.

The investigation into the case that has so far netted 17 suspects, including Matser, continues, according to a statement from the Prosecutor’s Office. Several people including his 79-year-old mother, have been questioned by the National Detectives.

Matser had been in the custody of the National Detectives since March 2. His arrest has stalled the handling of the 2016 draft budget in Parliament as it came on the day of budget debate was expected to wrap up in Parliament.

The meeting on that day did not get a quorum of members and was put off. It was recalled on March 10, but was suspended until further notice by Parliament Chairwoman Sarah Wescot-Williams. It is expected that the meeting will be reconvened soon with Matser’s release. His presence in Parliament will restore the majority for the Coalition of Eight.

Meanwhile, the Prosecutor’s Office issued a call, related to the Octopus case on Sunday for witnesses who “might have more info or were contacted before the elections in 2014 to accept presents, money or goods in exchange for votes.”

Anyone with information should contact the National Detecive via by e-mail, call 587-7217 or can visit the National Detecive office on A.Th. Illidge Road 56 (between GEBE substation and the Windward Island Bank) Monday to Friday.

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