Justice Minister Duncan may not attend mid-January meeting out of anger

POSTED: 01/5/12 12:43 PM

Two million transferred from Crime Fund

St. Maarten – Justice Minister Roland Duncan is unsure whether he’ll attend a mid-month consultation in Curacao with his colleagues from Curacao, Aruba and the Netherlands. The biannual meeting is a chance for the four Justice Ministers to discuss cooperation, but Duncan is “not happy with the cooperation or threats that have been hurled at him by especially the Dutch government.”

“I have been threatened about the ICT arrangement. That was first put forward by former Minister of Kingdom Relations Piet Hein Donner. I’m unhappy with the relationship with the Netherlands and I don’t know if it makes sense to waste money to go and meet people who threaten you. I’m not a hypocrite,” Duncan said.

Next to the ICT arrangement Duncan is a bit peeved that the Dutch Justice and Security Minister Ivo Opstelten has yet to reply on a request to transfer Devon Otto to a maximum security prison in the Netherlands. The request for the transfer was made several months ago when the Government of Curacao sent Otto – a particularly violent criminal – back to St. Maarten. Duncan says that up until this point he has yet to receive a reply beyond a statement confirming receipt of his request.

“Otto remains in Point Blanche under heavy scrutiny. I have written several letters and they have not answered. I just have to keep him,” Duncan said.

Pressed more on the matter the minister said he’d discuss Otto’s detention with Opstelten if he travels to the meeting in Curacao and if the pair find time for a bilateral meeting.

Curacao has also drawn a bit of Duncan’s ire because he has only just received a two million guilder disbursement from the Crime Fund Netherlands Antilles that is seed money for the Crime Fund St. Maarten. Duncan is also claiming the country is owed more money and is pressing for that money to be transferred to the Government of St. Maarten soonest.

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