Prosecution appeals class justice rulingPOSTED: 08/29/14 2:46 AM
St. Maarten – The prosecution filed an appeal yesterday against the ruling in the 2010 election fraud case (the so-called Masbangu investigation). On Monday, the court declared the prosecution inadmissible in the prosecution of three suspects who are accused of selling their vote to the United People’s party and one suspect who gave these suspects money on behalf of the UP. The court ruled that the decisions the prosecutor’s office made in this investigation –excluding the UP and its party leader Theo Heyliger from the investigation – have “the semblance of class justice.”
The court declared the prosecution inadmissible because it violated the principle of equality and the ban on arbitrariness.
“The Public Prosecutor’s Office agrees with the vision of the court that the role of the UP has not been sufficiently investigated, but it has provided an explanation for this during the trial. The prosecutor said at the trial on August 4 that the investigation could not be more elaborate considering the capacity at the National Detective Agency (NDA). At the time of the previous elections the NDA consisted of one or two detectives,” the prosecutor’s office states in a press release it issued yesterday afternoon.
“The Public Prosecutor’s Office is of the opinion that capacity and feasibility considerations justify that the investigation in the Masbangu-case has been kept small. In any case, the Public Prosecutor’s Office, also against the background of current jurisprudence of the Supreme Court, considers that the sanction of inadmissibility is going too far.”
The press release notes that the NDA in the meantime has been expanded. “This enables the NDA better to conduct new investigation better and more profound. However, the formation of the NDA is still not at the strength it should have. Even now, some cases remain unattended for too long or they are insufficiently investigated. The prosecutor’s office has brought this already to the attention of the Minister of Justice.”