Pandemonium at police station

POSTED: 10/15/13 11:40 AM
Officers deny access to clients; attorneys enraged

St. Maarten / By Hilbert Haar – Attorneys Shaira Bommel and Cor Merx hit a blank wall yesterday when they wanted to visit their clients at the police station. The police refused them access, saying that “the ruled has changed.”

Merx said that the commotion at the police station started when Bommel – who is the on-call attorney this week – arrived to visit a client who had just been arrested.

Bommel confirmed the confrontation. “This is scandalous,” she told this newspaper. “My client was detained as a suspect. His girlfriend informed me about it. I arrived at the police station and saw my client. I went to ask him what had happened. Then officer Nap told me that he had to appear before the assistant public prosecutor before I could talk with him. He told me that I could only see my client under supervision and that it was his police station.”

Attorney Bommel said that she will file a complaint with the chief commissioner and with the office of the Attorney General. “I am not going to complain to the prosecutor’s office here, because they won’t do anything about this,” she said.

The attorney said that officer Nap – whom she described as extremely arrogant – told her she had to wait outside for her own safety because her client supposedly still had a weapon in his possession. “Then he told me that I was behaving inappropriately and I told him that he had no ground to talk about respect because he does not have any himself.”

From there the situation went from bad to worse when duty officer Rudolph Bloeiman arrived on the scene. “He is crazy as a loon and he started ranting against me, telling me I had to leave the police station. Things should not get crazier than this,” the attorney said. “I told Bloeiman, you are angry because I arrived here on time and now you cannot force a false confession out of my client. They let me wait for an hour and then I finally called prosecutor Tineke Kamps. She called the head of the detective department and then I got access to my client.”

Before the situation had evolved to this point attorney  Cor Merx arrived at the police station to see his client Jaap van den Heuvel. “They refused him access as well,” Bommel confirmed.

Merx said that the way the police refused Bommel access to her client is a violation of the rules for legal assistance. He referred to the Salduz-arrest that stipulates that people are entitled to see an attorney as soon as they have been detained as a suspect.

Bommel said she would have offered her apologies if the police officers had declared that her client was not a suspect. That did not happen though: “I am going to file a complaint, I do not accept this,” the attorney fumed. “This has to stop. I got the reproach that the police think the police station belongs to them.”

“Then I arrived,” Merx said. “I had called ahead and there was no problem for me to see my client John van den Heuvel at four o’clock. Normally when I arrive at the police station, I push against the door and I enter without delay. But this time they told me I was not allowed to go inside and that I had to wait outside.”

Merx said that the officer at the reception desk even asked what his business was at the police station. “I have been coming there for more than a week to see my client, and then I get such a question,” he said. “He told me that I had to sit down and wait because there were new rules. And that they had gone into effect on Monday.”

Merx asked to see Chief Commissioner Peter de Witte but it turned out that he is in the Netherlands. Commissioner Carl John was not available either for an explanation.

Next Merx contacted the prosecutor’s office to discover that Chief Prosecutor Hans Wesselink is on vacation. Prosecutor Dounia Benammar confirmed according to Merx that there were new rules for attorneys. “What are those rules? I asked and she said that she did not know. They told me to come back later but I refused and instead I went to the Today newspaper.”

Merx said that he filed an appeal against Friday’s order by the Judge of Instruction to put his client Jaap van den Heuvel in custody. Van den Heuvel was initially detained on suspicion of forgery, money laundering, and not filing his tax return on time. “They have dropped the money laundering charge but now they have added trafficking of woman,” Merx said.

Van den Heuvel reported voluntarily to the National Detective Agency on September 30 – to the day a year after he made a video recording of a meeting with independent MP Patrick Illidge in his nightclub Bada Bing. The video shows how Van den Heuvel seemingly pays a large amount of money to Illidge, triggering stories about bribery, but Van den Heuvel has maintained that the payment concerns a loan.

After he made a statement to the National Detective Agency, Van den Heuvel was taken into custody. The Judge of Instruction ruled the detention lawful on October 3 and ordered his conditional detainment for eight days. Last Friday the Judge of Instruction approved the order to detain Van den Heuvel for an additional eight days. Merx has appealed this decision, but a ruling on the appeal is not expected before Friday and by then the eight day period has been completed and the Judge of Instruction will be confronted with the decision to extend the detention with another eight days. After that there is an option to extend the detention with 60 days and when that period ends there is a possibility to extend it one more time with 30 days.

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Comments (2)

 

  1. lupussssssssssssssss says:

    I have had my experiences with the police station. Some of these guys are animals who seem rather clueless and lazy. I reported a case and one police officer tried to refuse to take my report, telling me that they would not assist me if the person who knows the suspect wont give them the suspects address. After I quoted a few laws for the police officer indicating that he had to take my report he became furious and walked away. They sometimes never investigate your case, inform you that they are working on it sends it to the prosecutor office but all lies. No investigation, no file. No nothing.

  2. BINGO says:

    Some police officers are rude and at times lie to the public. I am aware of an incident which took place whereby a friend reported a death threat to the police department. The officers in charge were furious at the victim due to the fact that she corrected them on the wrong information given to her. One of the chief detectives got enraged when a victim stated that she would take a picture of the suspects vehicle and the individual so he the detective would have a clear view of what the victim look likes. The top detective lied to the victim informing the victim that the license plate number was not in the system, he doesn’t know what the suspect looks like hence he h the case will take. After the victim explained that she would take a picture of the vehicle so he the detective would have an idea as to the suspect the detective blow up stating he would not assist the victim anymore, he doesn’t care what the victim does he would not help her and he hung up the telephone. After reports were made another top detective informed the victim that they were working on case, then they claimed it was sent to the prosecutor office. Only to find out ABSOLUTELY NO INVESTIGATION DONE. DETECTIVE LIED ABOUT SENDING CASE TO PROSECUTOR OFFICE