Reaction to statements by Jaap van den Heuvel

POSTED: 02/3/14 12:09 PM

“Prosecution handles identical cases always the same way”

St. Maarten – “The Public Prosecutor’s Office always treats suspects in identical cases the always same way. However, all cases have their own nuances and this is certainly the case when the suspicions differ,” press officer Tineke Kamps said in a brief reaction to statements made by Bada Bing owner Jaap van den Heuvel in this newspaper on Friday.

Van den Heuvel wondered why he was put in pre-trial detention while a co-suspect – independent MP Patrick Illidge – was saved this embarrassment. Van den Heuvel also vented his anger over other limitations imposed on him – like the surrendering of his passport.

“If the impression exists that the Public Prosecutor’s Office handles cases differently without any reason, the court will in the end express its opinion about that,” press officer Kamps stated.

Van den Heuvel’s attorney Cor Merx totally disagrees with the prosecutor’s point of view. “No two cases are identical,” he said. “But in this case we know what it is all about – money laundering, forgery and membership of a criminal organization. That is the same for both.”

Merx suspects that the prosecutor’s office shied away from putting Illidge in pre-trial detention because this would have resulted in a suspension from his position in parliament. “They did not dare to do that,” he said.

Merx points out that the punishment for accepting bribes is harsher than for offering them. “Accepting bribes carries four years, offering them two years.”

The attorney also said that Van den Heuvel was put in pre-trial detention on the argument that the legal order had been shocked by the case. “If that is so for one it ought to be the same for the other,” he reasoned.

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