MP Patrick Illidge about integrity controversy in the Netherlands: “I chose the path of wisdom”

POSTED: 06/18/14 11:53 PM

St. Maarten – Independent MP Patrick Illidge says in an interview with Steven Cyrillien that can be listened to on that he “chose the path of wisdom” when the controversy erupted about his presence at a meeting about integrity of the Inter-parliamentary kingdom consultation (Ipko) in The Hague.

Socialist Party MP Ronald van Raak had announced beforehand that he did not want to sit in such a meeting with Illidge, who is a suspect in the Bada Bing bribery case. “I do not want to talk with the underworld about the underworld,” Van Raak said at the time.

Illidge says that after consulting with the St. Maarten delegation led by MP Roy Marlin, he withdrew from this meeting.

“Later I heard that the Prime Minister of the Netherlands made a statement that if I would be present at the reception he was not going to welcome me and not shake my hand.”

Dutch media reported that PM Mark Rutte had taken this position because Illidge did not attend a court hearing about the bribery-case. This newspaper reported immediately that this was incorrect: during the pro forma court hearing about the Bada Bing case on May 7, Illidge’s attorney Ralph Richardson nor his co-defendant Jaap van den Heuvel’s counsel Cor Merx were available, and the court had let the suspects know that they did not have to appear. A report about Rutte’s blooper on the Dutch-language news site Caribisch Netwerk received more than 5,000 hits.

Illidge confirmed in his interview with Cyrillien that he was not expected in court at all, and he supported his statement by showing official court documents.

“I did not make any statement in the Netherlands about this,” he said. “When you see confusion and you see the game that is being played you have to be wiser – and I chose the path of wisdom. With all respect to the prime minister of the Netherlands, he tried to pass judgment on me and I don’t think that was right. The court has never held me in contempt for being absent from any hearing.”

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