PHILIPSBURG–Three Members of Parliament (MPs) expressed compression to fellow MP Frans Richardson (United St. Maarten Party) and his family on Thursday in a sitting of the Central Committee of Parliament.
Richardson was arrested Wednesday by the Anti-Corruption Taskforce TBO on suspicion of accepting bribes, tax fraud and participation in a criminal organization aimed at recruiting votes for itself.
MP Franklin “Frankie” Meyers (United People’s party), whose family was thrusted into a similar situation more than a year ago with the arrest of his brother Etienne “Tochie” Meyers, said his thoughts and prayers were with the family and friends of Richardson at this “most trying time. He singled out Richardson’s mother, Suzette, in whose home he also “grew up practically.”
Meyers noted it is an internationally accepted norm that everyone is “innocent until proven otherwise and as such I hope that those same rules apply for St. Maarten.”
MP Rodolphe Samuel (National Alliance) also expressed strength to the family and friends of Richardson. The arrested MP was deputy leader of NA, before launched on his own with the founding of the US Party four years ago.
“We all grown up in this neighbourhood called St. Maarten and it is tough when one of us has to be faced with challenges,” said MP Claret Connor (UP).
Richardson is the third embattled sitting MP. Fellow US Party parliamentarian Silvio Matser is in continued court battles related to accusations of voting buying and tax evasion. Former US Party, now independent MP Chanel Brownbill is also before the court on tax evasion charges.
Richardson and Brownbill are seeking re-election in the February 26 snap elections. Richardson as the number one on the US Party slate and Brownbill as number five on the United Democrats list.
Matser is not seeking re-election.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/73710-mps-express-compassion-to-richardson-s-family