Orca-trial tentatively scheduled for May 7POSTED: 02/27/14 12:25 AM
St. Maarten – The Orca-trial against independent Member of Parliament Patrick Illidge and Bada Bing-owner Jaap van den Heuvel will most likely take place on Wednesday May 7. The date is not set in stone yet, but prosecutor Tineke Kamps confirmed that the date has been reserved. “It is not entirely certain yet, but there is a chance that this will happen. The defendants have not been summoned yet and therefore I cannot confirm the date yet.”
The Orca-investigation started last year in March after video-footage surface on the website of the Daily Herald that shows how Bada Bing-owner Jaap van den Heuvel pays a seemingly large amount of money – probably $15,000 – to MP Patrick Illidge.
The Telegraaf broke the story when Illidge was in the Netherlands as a member of the delegation at the inter-parliamentary kingdom consultation (Ipko). Van den Heuvel said in an interview with Today – published on March 16 of last year, that he had made the video at the request of UP-leader Theo Heyliger. The purpose was to embarrass Illidge to the point where he would withdraw his support for the second Wescot-Williams cabinet.
“I gave the recording to Theo, and he gave it to the Daily Herald,” Van den Heuvel said. “He asked me to start with Patrick about Marlin and he was going to use that to bring Patrick back to his side,” Van den Heuvel said at the time. He also claimed that Heyliger had asked Mike Granger, a reporter at the Daily Herald, to edit the video and to delete the part where he paid Illidge.
Heyliger has denied that he gave the video to the Daily Herald and Granger also denied that he has had anything to do with the material.
Van den Heuvel and Illidge both have always denied that the money that changed hands on the video was a bribe. Instead, both suspects have maintained that it was a payment for a loan.
In March of last year, Van den Heuvel said that Heyliger had approached him with the story that he – Van den Heuvel – had paid Illidge for a permit for his club. “I said that this was not so, but that I borrowed money from Patrick in 2011 and that he came to me regularly to pick it up piece by piece.”
According to Van den Heuvel, Heyliger then asked him to record his next meeting with Illidge and to question him about Vice Prime Minister Marlin. “He knew there were problems between Marlin and Illidge. That was the only part Theo was going to use – to get Patrick back on his side.”
The Public Prosecutor’s Office acted swiftly after the video became public. Investigators confiscated the video from the newspaper. Justice Minister Roland /Duncan, Economic Affairs Minister Romeo Pantophlet, UP-leader Theo Heyliger, Daily Herald publisher Paul de Windt, Illidge and Van den Heuvel were all interrogated by the National Detective Agency.
Van den Heuvel spent 18 days in jail in September of last year. In January, Patrick Illidge was detained for ten days, but the prosecutor’s office did not ask for a prolongation of his detention, as it has done last year with Van den Heuvel. The Bada Bing-owner’s detention was suspended; Illidge’s detention was entirely lifted upon his release on January 30.
Attorney Cor Merx, asked about the court date, told this newspaper: “I do not know anything about this – nothing will happen. If something happens, we will prepare ourselves for it. I am curious about the charges though.”