Bada Bing trial to February 11

POSTED: 01/20/15 8:05 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance set the date for the Bada Bing bribery trial for February 11 and 12 yesterday, overruling objections from attorneys who wanted more time to study the dossier and one who would have loved to keep February 11 free because it is his birthday.

Former independent MP Patrick Illidge, who is charged with taking $150,000 in bribes from Bada Bing owner Jaap van den Heuvel appeared in court with his attorney Ralph Richardson. Attorney Geert Hatzmann was there with his client Krijn Eelco van der B., the manager of Bada Bing. Jaap van den Heuvel is currently in the Netherlands, but his attorney Cor Merx was present.

Merx objected to the dates because the vice president of the court, Mr. Koen Luijks scheduled them without consultation with attorneys or defendants. “This pro forma hearing today was scheduled to consult about the trial dates,” Merx said. “Mr. Luijks has seen fit to follow the wishes of the prosecution.”

Merx said that he could only begin to write his defense after all witness-interviews have been completed.

Prosecutor Gonda van der Wulp pointed out that the trial dates had already been mentioned during a hearing in October of last year. “The defense could have reacted then. Now the court schedule is full. If we have to move it again, it will go to August.”

Attorney Richardson also objected to the trial dates, because he has not completed his preparations yet.

Hatzmann preferred to keep February 11 free because it is his birthday. “I would love to spend that day with friends and loved ones, but this is a done deal and the judge has the last word. It is an important day for me and there are enough other days when this case can be handled.”

Judge Paulides noted that the dossier was complete in August of last year. “I do not see that it is impossible to prepare the rest properly. It is a pity that this falls on your birthday,” she said to Hatzmann.

The Bada Bing trial will now begin on February 11 at 9 a.m. and if necessary continue the next day.

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