Judge moved to other islands pending investigation

POSTED: 09/16/15 9:52 PM

St. Maarten – Judge Maria Paulides will handle criminal cases in Aruba and Curacao for the time being and no longer in St. Maarten, press Judge Mauritsz de Kort said in answer to questions from this newspaper. Wednesday a week ago, there was an incident in the courtroom whereby a defendant seemingly made threats against the judge. The investigation into this incident is ongoing and during that investigation, the court will give no further information about this case.

Judges from Aruba and Curacao will alternate to preside over criminal court hearings in St. Maarten until the investigation has brought clarity about what happened in the interaction between the defendant and Judge Paulides.

Last Wednesday, Judge Yvonne Vanwersch handled criminal cases in St. Maarten. Vanwersch works as a judge in Aruba, where she also chairs the central board for rehabilitation.

Next week, Judge Peter Lemaire will preside over the two-day trial against former Public Health Minister Maria Buncamper-Molanus, her husband Claudius, retired notary Gijsbertha and two others.

Lemaire started as the vice-President of the Common Court of Justice on August 1. The 53-year-old judge comes from the criminal court Arnhem-Leeuwarden. Between 2002 and 2005 he was also a member of the Common Court of Justice for the six islands of the former Netherlands Antilles.

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