Court blocks armed robber’s return to Bon Futuro prison

POSTED: 01/29/11 1:28 PM

St. Maarten – The Common Court of Justice ordered yesterday morning that Nashon Elwin Francis must be detained again at the Pointe Blanche prison and no longer in Bon Future in Curacao. Francis has been moved there as a disciplinary measure by prison manager Rudsel Ricardo after Francis had been involved in a fight in Pointe Blanche.
Francis, who is serving 12 years and 10 months for four armed robberies and several other charges, was in court on Thursday to appeal his verdict. The appeal will be heard on March 2, because his attorney mr. B.B. Brooks had been unable to have sufficient contact with him due to his stay in Curacao.
Brooks contested the prison director’s authority to decide about sending her client to Bon Futuro. Since the status change in October of last year there is no longer a legal basis for detaining local convicts elsewhere, Brooks said.
Yesterday the attorney spoke with Justice Minister Roland Duncan at the courthouse. The Minister assured her that there is a regulation that gives the Justice Minister authority over such decisions, but that the prison director does not have this authority.
Solicitor-General Mr. A.C. van der Schans contested this in court yesterday. “The prison director falls under the authority of the Justice Minister. He is a civil servant who is authorized to act on behalf of the minister.”
But Brooks disagrees: “The Minister cannot delegate that authority.”
The court decided that it needs more time to study the regulation. In the meantime, it ordered that Francis be detained in Pointe Blanche and not return to Bon Futuro.

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