Opinion: Grave-digging

POSTED: 11/19/12 1:57 PM

The Public Prosecutor’s Office in Curacao has established a committee tasked with reviewing politically sensitive reports. The past couple of months the prosecutor’s office has fielded an avalanche of reports from politicians, concerned citizens and lobby groups. Among them are reports against former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte that hint at corruption. Disputes between politicians also quickly deteriorate into complaints at the prosecutor’s office about perceived insults or fraud.

The prosecutor’s office hardly knows how to handle all these complaints. The decision to take on a case or to just drop it is often met with comments in the media by politicians.

The committee that now has to deal with the complaints consists of employees from the prosecutor’s office and the national detective agency (the landsrecherche).

The committee will study all reports and advises the management of the prosecutor’s office about further investigation and the desirability of prosecution. The decision will be made known to those who filed the complaint.

This is how politicians are digging their own grave – and it is something to be grateful for that such a situation does not exist in St. Maarten. We remember just one complaint filed by a politician against another politician – UP-MP Jules James against independent MP Romain Laville for threatening to kill him – but that’s about it. If politicians start using the prosecutor’s office to settle their political differences, there is hardly any time left to fight crime. In that sense politicians who show up too often at the prosecutor’s office are overplaying their hand and they are not doing the country they are supposed to serve any favors.

Political differences should be settled the political way: based on arguments, and in the political arena. Apparently, that is too much to ask from politicians in Curacao.

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