Brothel-owner re-arrested after appeals court ruling

POSTED: 12/16/11 1:03 AM

St. Maarten – On Wednesday evening around eight o’clock Border Bar-owner Ignacio Augustine P. was back in jail after police re-arrested him. The Court in First Instance suspended the 64-year-old brothel-owner’s detention last week Wednesday (under loud applause of his supporters), but the Common Court of Justice overturned this decision on appeal the day before yesterday. After the decision came down, the prosecutor’s office immediately ordered the police to re-arrest the suspect.
The Common Court heard the prosecutor’s office appeal against the suspension on Tuesday behind closed doors. The justices concluded that the defendants health and age do not make him unfit to spend his detention in jail.
The prosecutor’s office stated in a press release that the Court in First Instance will have to take a new decision about P.’s prolonged detention. This will happen in a court hearing next week Friday. The judge will have to weigh the higher court’s ruling in her decision.
The brothel-owner is a suspect in a large human smuggling case. “The living and working conditions of several female adult entertainers in the Border Bar caused the police to investigate what is being considered a modern slavery situation,” the prosecutor’s office stated. The slave trade at the Border Bar comes down to the trade in women who are routinely recruited in the Dominican Republic to work as prostitutes in St. Maarten.
The trial against P. is scheduled for February 29 of next year.

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