Minister Heyliger defends airport director choice

POSTED: 04/27/11 11:47 AM

“I believe in the presumption of innocence”

St. Maarten – Vice Prime Minister Theo Heyliger defended his choice to nominate Tourist Bureau director Regina Labega as the new airport director, in spite of the fact that she is the subject of a criminal investigation into embezzlement.

“I believe in the presumption of innocence,” the Minister said. “The Public Prosecutor’s Office has three years to pursue such an investigation. Mrs. Labega is currently working. She has not been suspended. What should we do? Sit in a dark room for three years? Or continue with life as it is.”

Heyliger said that when the investigation at the Tourist Bureau became an issue in October of last year, he was accused of “wanting to get even, because she had voted for the National Alliance. Now that I want to appoint her as the director of the airport, I am accused of vindicating her.”

The Minister said that he had been working with Labega for twelve years when he was responsible for tourism as a commissioner. “If she is found guilty, I am sure she would do the honorable thing. I don’t see why she should not be able to run a government-owned company.”


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