Court suspends Topper’s restaurant owner’s detentionPOSTED: 09/30/14 10:59 PM
St. Maarten – After the bad news from last Saturday, when a driver lost control of her car and crashed through a part of Topper’s restaurant and bar in Simpson Bay, there was good news for the restaurant-owner yesterday afternoon, when the Judge of Instruction ordered the suspension of the pretrial detention of 75-year-old Herbert Daboul. The restaurateur was arrested on Wednesday September 17 and spent the next twelve days behind bars on charges of illegal firearm possession.
Earlier attempts to bring about his release failed. Yesterday the court adjourned the handling of the prosecution’s demand to detain Herbert “Topper” Daboul, and to allow his attorney Jairo Bloem to file a new request for the release of his client.
The attorney, mentioned to the court his client’s age, his medical condition, the fact that he was not carrying the firearms (they were stored in a vault), and his traumatic experiences with violence in the past as arguments in favor of a suspension. In September 2012, Topper’s friends Thelma and Michael King were brutally murdered in their villa in Cupecoy.
Bloem also told the court that his client had submitted a request for a gun permit, and he furthermore pointed to other cases of gun possession whereby the court had granted a suspension of the pretrial detention.
The prosecution did not object to the suspension, on the condition that the defendant surrendered his passport or paid a deposit.
The judge of instruction granted the suspension on the condition that Topper remains available for the police and justice and that he will not evade the execution of renewed pretrial detention in case there is an order to terminate the suspension. Another condition is that the defendant will accept a sentence from the court, also when this is not a conditional prison sentence. Topper is not allowed to leave St. Maarten without the permission from the prosecutor’s office and he had to surrender his passport.