Details emerge about kidnapping Israeli drug dealer in December

POSTED: 04/7/11 11:59 AM

Trial two suspects moved to June 8

St. Maarten – Only now the details are emerging of a violent kidnapping of an Israeli drug dealer that occurred on December 16 of last year. Two suspects involved in this crime appeared in the court in First Instance yesterday. Their trial date was set for June 8. In December, the police failed to report this crime in its report to the local media.

The players in this drama are one of a kind. The victim of the kidnapping is Nael Othman Awad, a by now 36-year-old Israeli who was born in Nablus on the occupied West Bank. In March 2007, the Court in First Instance sentenced Awad to 48 months of imprisonment for his role in a drugs smuggling ring that used the cruise liner Mariners of the Sea to bring marijuana from Jamaica to St. Maarten, and cocaine from St. Maarten to the United States. Six others were sentenced at the time together with Awad.

In prison, Awad got acquainted with Isidro Eddison J., a 27-year-old St. Maartener who told the court yesterday that he had shared a cell with Awad for sixteen months. The cell mate is now one of the suspects in the kidnapping, together with Roberto Francisco G., 35, and Jeannot Sanon, a 22-year-old who was sentenced last month for a burglary at the Sun Color building.

On December 16, Awad was accosted at his home by the suspects. They threatened him with the words “don’t fucking move. Be calm,” duct-taped him and blindfolded him, rolled him in a blanket and stuffed him in a car before taking him to a home in Middle Region. There, Awad was duct-taped to a chair. The kidnappers burned his ears with cigarettes and put a hot iron on his leg.

It is not immediately clear from the court records what kidnappers wanted from Awad. They managed to rob him of just $50, before they finally let him go.

Defendants Isidro J. and Roberto G. are also accused of a burglary at the home of one Murray on Cougar road in Cay Hill on January 3, and of attempted manslaughter on their victim. From Murray’s home, the suspected allegedly stole two laptops, a DVD camera, a Playstation system with 40 CD’s and a plasma TV.

Prosecutor Mr. B. den Hartigh asked the court yesterday to postpone the trial, because the investigation is not complete yet.

The attorneys for the two defendants, mr. S.R. Bommel and mr. R.M. Stomp had no problem with the postponement, but they asked the court for different reasons to either end or suspend their clients’ preventive custody.

Bommel said that one co-suspect, a son of the cab driver who is currently in custody for human smuggling, has been released, while he was considered to be one of the main suspects in the kidnapping. Bommel’s client Isidro J. was arrested on January 7. She asked the court to hear several witnesses, and complained that the prosecutor’s office had not made video footage available to the defense.

Stomp said that since the  arrest no new facts have surfaced that point to his client Roberto G. as one of the kidnappers. G. lost his right underarm after a machete attack and needs medical care in the Dominican Republic. Stomp asked the court to consider a temporarily suspension of his custody to enable him to tend to his medical needs.

Stomp quoted from a letter written by Jeannot Sanon wherein he claims that he has been offered money to take the blame for the kidnapping.

Prosecutor Den Hartigh apologized to the defense for not making the video footage available sooner and said he had no objections to hearing Awad, Murray, Dorothea and Sanon as witnesses. He did object to a request by Stomp to hear detective Elisabeth, but suggested a temporary suspension of G.’s custody.

Judge Mr.. Keppels however, maintained that there are serious objections against releasing the suspects. She allowed the defense to hear all the witnesses, including detective Elisabeth..

Did you like this? Share it:
Details emerge about kidnapping Israeli drug dealer in December by

Comments are closed.