Opinion: And the wind blows ….

POSTED: 06/22/12 2:10 PM

Temperatures must be rising in Willemstad, after the Public Prosecutor’s Office announced that it is almost ready to go to court with its Bientu investigation.
Bientu (Papiamento for “wind”) is everything Justice Minister Elmer Wilsoe does not want to see. He has made numerous attempts to throw curve balls at the prosecutor’s office and at Attorney General Dick Piar.
Bientu is a large scale investigation into money laundering. The key suspect in the case is lottery-boss Robbie dos Santos, a half brother of Finance Minister George Jamaloodin. Wilsoe has attempted in vain to get a lien lifted on American bank accounts of two companies that are controlled by Dos Santos. Media reports have suggested that these accounts hold almost $60 million.
The prosecutor’s office in Willemstad has introduced a radio silence towards the local media, because everything it has said so far about the case has been twisted in the political arena. That silence, with an apology to the media, has made the position of Finance Minister Jamaloodin rather awkward, though one could argue that this was already the case anyway.
Jamaloodin has been interrogated by the National Detective Agency – the Landsrecherche – in connection with the investigation, but so far Jamaloodin has denied that he has been labeled a suspect and the prosecutor’s office has not released any information about the minister’s status.
Opposition parliamentarians Glenn Sulvaran and Magali Jacoba have asked Justice Minister Wilsoe to clarify Jamaloodin’s position. An earlier letter with a similar request to Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte went unanswered.
The opposition MPs find it remarkable that the cabinet keeps quiet about the investigation and that it is not taking its distance from the accusations at Jamaloodin’s address.
Helmin Wiels, the leader of Pueblo Soberano has his own role to play in this Caribbean drama – and his does so with gusto.
According to a report in the Antilliaans Dagblad this week, Wiels has blackmailed Schotte and Jamaloodin by saying that if they submitted their resignation to the governor, he would make sure that they would get locked up. Now Wiels claims that the prime minister and the finance minister are free men because of him. The opposition in the meantime mumbles that all this makes Wiels an accomplice.
Hmm, we are not sure how things work in Curacao, but in our book the Public Prosecutor’s Office still has the monopoly on prosecuting suspects. PS-leader Wiels has absolutely nothing to say in these matters, so his statements are nothing more than political saber rattling.
The opposition has different fish to fry. It wants to know whether Jamaloodin is a suspect; if this is the case, the minister ought to step down. In their letter to Wilsoe Sulvaran and Jacoba (who served as the last Justice Minister for the Netherlands Antilles) state: “In the constitutional state that we know it is tradition that when a minister is a suspect in a criminal investigation, he (temporarily) distances himself from his function until everything is cleared up.”
That’s apparently not the way it works in Willemstad these days. But then, nobody has said that Jamaloodin is a suspect. There is a difference between being interrogated by the national Detective Agency and being labeled a suspect in a criminal investigation.
If only everybody believed Jamaloodin, there would not be a problem, because he has firmly denied that he has anything to do with his half brother’s affairs. Sooner or later, we’ll learn from which direction the wind is blowing.

Did you like this? Share it:
Opinion: And the wind blows .... by

Comments are closed.