According to Heyliger’s lawyer Eldon “Peppie” Sulvaran (Seen here arriving at the Belair Community Center Monday morning), the Prosecutor’s Office has closed a “sweet deal” and “paid millions” to M. in exchange for providing incriminating statements against his co-defendants.
BELAIR–In exchange for his statements, – he was questioned no fewer than twenty times during the investigation in the “Larimar” case – the Prosecutor’s Office offered Dutch consultant R.M. the status of crown witness. In Dutch law such a witness admits guilt and testifies as a witness against his/her associate(s) or accomplice(s), often in exchange for leniency in sentencing or immunity from prosecution.
At this moment, St. Maarten law does not know crown witnesses, but in the new Code of Criminal Procedure, which has been submitted to Parliament for approval, the crown witness is included.
M. provided the Prosecutor’s Office with an elaborate affirmative statement pertaining to the allegations and role of his co-defendants in the scheme, in exchange for, among other things, his transfer from Pointe Blanche prison where he was held in pre-trial detention to a “safe” prison in the Netherlands. M. was arrested in the Netherlands on August 23, 2018, and detained for five months.
According to Heyliger’s lawyer Eldon “Peppie” Sulvaran, the Prosecutor’s Office has closed a “sweet deal” and “paid millions” to M. in exchange for providing incriminating statements against his co-defendants.
The lawyer calculated that US $1.8 million had been made available for M.’s security and that he is facing a dispossession claim of 1.1 million euros. “This means he is allowed to keep US $3.1 million,” Sulvaran claimed.
The prosecutor admitted that half of the amounts mentioned in the indictment were returned to M. so that he can pay the cost of his security for the duration of his trial here in St. Maarten. The Prosecutor’s Office will submit a dispossession claim for the remainder of the “illegally obtained benefits.”
Based on M.’s statements, the Larimar investigation was launched in St. Maarten. The “Frozen” investigation in the Netherlands pertains to corruption by construction company Volker Stevin and Windward Roads’ parent company in the Netherlands, Janssen de Jong.
According to the Prosecutor’s Office, M.’s crown witness deal was approved by an investigating judge and signed on March 19, 2019. The agreement includes a reduction of 15 per cent on the sentence and a settlement where the dispossession is concerned.
The Prosecutor’s Office also arrived at a lesser punishment because M. can no longer be prosecuted for all payments received as these have in the meantime become time-barred.
Source: The Daily Herald https://www.thedailyherald.sx/islands/sweet-deal-closed-with-crown-witness-r-m-66