Roland Plasterk wanted secret service undercover in St. Maarten

POSTED: 10/20/14 6:54 PM

St. Maarten – Kingdom Relations Minister Roland Plasterk asked Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams to let the Dutch secret service AIVD operate in St. Maarten under the flag of the country’s own security service VDSM “to carry out the screening according to the criteria set by the minister,” Wescot-Williams wrote in an email to this newspaper.

According to the prime minister this is in essence what the governor now has been instructed to do, “but then on my instruction via the St. Maarten security service. This was not to be made public. Of course, I objected.”

After Wescot-Williams refused to play ball, Plasterk took the case to the Kingdom Council of Ministers that issued the instruction to Governor Holiday last Friday.

The prime minister furthermore stated that the government will resist the move by the Dutch government, noting that the three Caribbean countries – St. Maarten, Aruba and Curacao – objected in vain to the instruction in Friday’s Kingdom Council of Ministers meeting.

“Our arguments in the case of the integrity-instruction are even stronger in this case,” Wescot-Williams stated. “No autonomous matters seem to exist anymore in the eyes of the Dutch government.”

The prime minister conceded that the current screening process is not perfect: “It is in evolution. We have adjusted and refined the process over time. But it is our responsibility. Our national security service has cooperation agreements with many other services and when necessary calls on them. But we cannot replace our service by other experts because the Dutch government has issues with some politicians on the island. It is absurd.”

Wescot-Williams referred to the rhetorical question she posed last year when the instruction to the governor to initiate an integrity-investigation came down: “What will be next?”

The PM pointed out that the governor should not be put in this position. “After all, he is also part of the Government of St. Maarten, and worse, he does not decide if a minister is admissible. He needs to inform the Kingdom government. This is asking for trouble.”

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