Fine for firearm possession

POSTED: 04/19/12 12:36 PM

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance sentenced Jacques de Castro, 52, to a 12-month conditional prison sentence and a 1,500 guilders (about $835) fine yesterday for firearm possession. The court imposed a 2-year probation period. Prosecutor mr. Dounia Benammar demanded a 12-month unconditional prison sentence at the trial on March 28.

On July 12 of last year the police searched the business premises of De Castro at Cannegieter Street at the request of the authorities in Curacao. In the defendant’s desk officers found a Jennings firearm, caliber .380 auto. The gun held seven rounds of live ammunition.

At the trial, De Castro stated: “It is correct that the firearm was in my desk. I knew it was there because a former employee passed by one day. He took it out of a cupboard and put it in my desk.”

The court rejected De Castro’s attorney mr. Jairo Bloem’s request to declare the prosecution inadmissible. That request was based on the opinion that the prosecution had withheld process-documents.

Judge mr. Monique Keppels noted that these documents have nothing to do with the firearm possession charge.

“They have to do with the criminal case against R.A. dos S., Caribbean Investment Group Ltd. and Jamaroma Lotteries N.V. The procedural violations have to do with that case and eventual consequences will only follow in that case.”

While the standard punishment for firearm possession is 1 year imprisonment, the court found grounds in the fact that the defendant has no criminal record and in his personal circumstances to make the prison sentence fully conditional.

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