Cocaine smuggler awaits prison time or acquittal

POSTED: 05/18/12 1:37 PM

St. Maarten – Davonan S. will hear on June 6 whether he walks or whether the Court in First Instance has a punishment in mind for him. The 34-year-old defendant was caught with 54.9 kilos of cocaine about his boat by the Coast Guard and the public prosecutor has demanded a 5 year prison sentence for the offense.

Attorney mr. Cor Merx however, has contested the competency of the officers that searched the vessel, arguing that only the Coast Guard commander who is appointed by the Dutch Minister of Defense has the authority for such actions.
Merx said that the officers that approached his client’s boat were not on a routine control mission, but that they had immediately engaged in a criminal investigation. “Where is the box? They asked immediately when they entered the boat. They did not indicate to my client who their commander was. They went to work immediately.”
mr. Merx asked the court to exclude the evidence (the box with 54.9 kilos of cocaine) from evidence and to acquit his client.

Prosecutor mr. Manon Ridderbeks labeled the attorney’s argument as hogwash. “It’s a theoretical story. The officer aboard the Coast Guard vessel has been designated as commander by national decree and he was authorized to act as the commander.”
Judge mr. Monique Keppels will pronounce her verdict on June 6.

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