Opinion: Determination to bring MP case to court

POSTED: 12/18/13 11:57 AM

The prosecution’s decision to address the Common Court of Justice with a request for permission to prosecute independent MP Patrick Illidge in the Bada Bing bribery investigation gives off different signals.

First of all, it shows the determination to bring the case to court. To be able to do that, the solicitor-general needs to obtain an order from the Common Court of Justice.

Secondly, the fact that the prosecution is only now taking this step – more than nine months after the story broke – indicates that the case is not as simple as it seemed when the Bada Bing-video surfaced on the internet in March.

While the footage screamed bribery, the prosecution must present legal and convincing proof in court to get a conviction. The argument by the suspects that there is no hanky-panky involved and that the money Illidge received was an installment of a loan seems hard to crack as long as all involved stick to their story.

Yesterday’s trip to the Common Court of Justice suggests that the prosecution has sufficient evidence to prove bribery. In many countries, this would mean the end of a political career. Whether this is also true in St. Maarten remains to be seen.

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