Court hears Roorda-case against government Friday

POSTED: 05/4/11 1:56 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance will handle the court case of Bas Roorda versus the government of St. Maarten this Friday. Roorda, who was fired as the head of the finance department will fight his dismissal.

The government has given conflicting statements about the reasons for the dismissal. Roorda’s dismissal letter states that he violated his oath of secrecy. Later, Justice Minister Roland Duncan, who chaired the meeting of the Council of Ministers wherein Roorda was fired, stated that the dismissal had to do with insubordination.

Roorda’s attorney Maarten Le Poole has qualified the reasons for his client’s dismissal as fabrications.

The real reason, the attorney says, is that Roorda filed a complaint with the office of the public prosecutor about embezzlement at the Tourist Bureau.

Minister Duncan has been quoted in media report as saying that he thought Roorda should have confronted those he suspected of embezzlement, and he even stipulated that he had an obligation to do so under the rules and regulations that apply to civil servants.

Le Poole has dismissed that notion, as has Roorda, with a reference to article 200 of the penal code that obliges civil servants to report crimes to the office of the public prosecutor.

Minister Duncan was quoted in am media report as calling Roorda “a notorious liar and an incompetent civil servant on an ego trip.”

When the controversy intensified, Roorda received the advice to leave the island to protect his personal safety. On April 8, he left on a KLM-flight for the Netherlands, but he will be present on Friday during the court hearing.

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