Opinion: Schotte’s hogwash

POSTED: 10/8/12 4:00 PM

In love and war everything is permitted, a popular saying goes. Add elections to this line up. We have a very funny feeling about the “burglary” at the offices of Gerrit Schotte’s MFK-party in Curacao and an even funnier feeling about the bugging devices the ousted prime minister paraded in front of journalists in Willemstad on Friday.
On Tuesday, the party claims to have discovered that it was the target of what one could call an espionage operation. Schotte showed reporters some bugging devices, claimed they had been found in the MFK-offices, at the homes of MFK-members and even in their cars.
With a little stretch of the imagination one could call this an attempt at political espionage. We do not know the criminal code by heart but we think that that is a crime. Or, to phrase it a little milder: we think it is not legal to stuff people’s offices, homes and cars with equipment designed for sophisticated eaves dropping.
Remarkably, the party did not go to the prosecutor’s office to file a complaint. That’s because Schotte is still in coup d’état mode. He has gone over to the dark side in the sense that he trusts nobody anymore, including the prosecutor’s office.
At the press conference, Schotte made a claim that seems to be at least questionable: he said that the prosecutor’s office had done nothing with a complaint by MFK-MP Pisas about an attempt to bribe him into leaving the party and thus causing the fall of the Schotte-cabinet.
The prosecutor’s office said already earlier last week that attempted bribery is a crime, that it has asked the Landsrecherche to investigate and that people have been interrogated from the beginning – sometimes twice.
Because Pisas repeated his bribery-claims during a press conference after Schotte left Fort Amsterdam last weekend – and because his statements differed from what he had told the prosecutor’s office earlier – the MFK-MP was summoned to the prosecutor’s office to make another statement.
Sources within the prosecutor’s office even hold it for possible that Pisas will become the target of prosecution.
And now Schotte wants people to believe that somebody has been running an espionage operation against him, his party and his fellow-party members. He does not want to file a complaint, but he wants to bring democracy back to Curacao.
How Schotte wants to do that – while he obviously does not trust key players in that democracy – is a question for him to answer.
Common sense tells us that the story about the bugging devices is a fairy tale, to express our opinion in a polite way. Schotte showed the tiny devices to reporters without giving any detailed information about them, but he knew apparently that they are of a high technological level and that they are only used by certain groups. That almost sounds like Schotte suspect the CIA from spying on his embattled party. His supporters will swallow such a story probably like manna from heaven, but we prefer to call it hogwash for the time being.

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