Court denies request, but appeal is still pending: Attorney seeks release King murder-suspect

POSTED: 01/18/13 2:11 PM

St. Maarten – Attorney Brenda Brooks seeks the immediate release of her client Meyshane Kemar J., the main suspect in the September 21, 2012 murder of Thelma and Michael King, but a first attempt to achieve this stranded in the Court in First Instance yesterday.
The 29-year-old former security guard refused for a second time in ten days time to come to court, claiming that he had been misled by the prosecutor’s office into signing a waiver for the required term between the date he received the summons and the date he was scheduled to appear in court.

Last week, J. was scheduled to appear in court for the first time, but because he has refused to sign the waiver for this term, the court declared the summons void. On the same day, the prosecutor’s office took a new summons to the Pointe Blanche prison, where the murder-suspect is held in preventive custody. This time J. signed the paperwork, but his attorney objected in court yesterday to the way the prosecutor’s office had obtained his signature.
When J. was first served with court papers, the document proving he had received the summons required two signatures: one for reception of the papers, and one for confirming that he waives the legal term between serving the court papers and the date he has to appear in court. Last week, the prosecutor’s office served J. with a different document that required just one signature; it included the statement for waiving the term.

Attorney Brooks attacked the prosecutor’s actions of different fronts. “The summons that was served to my client on January 7 has been declared void, because my client did not sign for waiving the term. The summons he was served on January 10 includes the waiver, but my client denies that he has waived the term. It was not pointed out to him and it is written in Dutch, a language he does not understand.” Brooks said that she has appealed the court’s decision to declare the first summons void, “when a summons is declared void, the defendant has to be released immediately,” she said.
The attorney pointed out that the prosecutor’s office has three weeks to serve a new summons to a detained suspect, but that it is not entitled to serve this summons while there is no definite decision about the appeal against the first one.
“I ask the court to declare the prosecution inadmissible in the second summons. I have asked the appeals court to immediately release my client,” mr. Brooks said.

Prosecutor Georges van den Eshof asked the court for a brief adjournment to discuss the case with his colleague mr. Tineke Kamps.
Upon his return to the court room, mr. van den Eshof contested the claim that J. did not know what he was signing when the second summons was served to him. “I drove myself with the papers to the Pointe Blanche prison and I explained the situation to the duty officer. I asked her to explain that the document asked him to waive the term. He knew what this was all about and he signed for it.”
The prosecutor also contested that the defendant should have been released last week when the first summons was declared void. “The preventive custody remains in place if the prosecution issues a new summons within three weeks. It is undesirable to let him loose in the streets just like that. On top, appealing an invalid summons has no value for the defense.”

Attorney Brooks suggested hearing the duty officer as a witness to establish what happened when she served her client the second summons. “She never spoke with him about waiving the term. J. denies that this has been communicated to him.”
mr. Brooks pointed out that the same three players that are involved in the King-murder were also involved in the disappearance of Natalee Holloway in 2005 in Aruba, namely Chief Commissioner Peter de Witte, Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos and Solicitor-General Taco Stein.
The attorney said that, if the second summons is not void, the prosecution ought to be declared inadmissible because it was served while there is no decision about her appeal against voiding the first summons. “The value for me is: the immediate release of my client,” she said.
Prosecutor Van den Eshof wondered in a last remark: “Where does it say that it is not possible to serve a summons while an appeal is still running?”

Judge Tamara Tijhuis took some time to consider the arguments from both parties. “This does not deserve a price for beauty,” she concluded, “but I am not going to follow the defense argument. I have a document with a signature and it contains the waiver for the term. Is there reason to believe that the defendant was misled: no. this is all a bit confusing, but there was no intention to mislead.”
Judge Tijhuis added that the defendant is familiar with the procedure, because he went through the same motions a bit more than a week before the second summons was serve d. “He knew what this is all about,” she concluded.
The Judge also said that she had already ruled last week that the defendant’s preventive custody remains in place. The case has been filed with the court and I reject the request to release the defendant.”
Meyshane J. will now get a third summons to appear for a pro forma hearing in court on January 22.

After the hearing, attorney Brooks said that the objective of the appeal against voiding the first summons is still to get her client immediately released. It is unclear when the appeals court will deal with this matter.

Did you like this? Share it:
Court denies request, but appeal is still pending: Attorney seeks release King murder-suspect by

Comments (1)

 

  1. Brooks lost it says:

    How on earth does the main suspect and his attorney believe that a possible (apparently non existent) error with a waiver could lead to the release of the suspect? As if the law would reward minor errors with a release for a murder suspect.