Ronald Plasterk caught on camera with Bada Bing boss Van den Heuvel

POSTED: 09/13/14 11:49 PM

St. Maarten – Five days before the pro forma hearing in the Bada Bing bribery case, aka the Orca-investigation, Bada Bing owner Jaap van den Heuvel boarded a plane in the Netherlands for the Caribbean. Ronald Plasterk, Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations was on the same flight on his way to the governors-consultation in Curacao. Van den Heuvel got the minister to pose for a picture with him. The image, snapped on August 16, surfaced yesterday on the website Geenstijl.nl.

The text that accompanies the photo assumes that Plasterk had no idea with whom he went on that picture. Geenstijl.nl labels Van den Heuvel as “the main suspect” in the Bada Bing bribery investigation and of course as the owner of the brothel. The main suspect is, in fact, independent MP Patrick Illidge.

Geenstijl.nl rehashes the content of the bribery-video that surfaced in March 2013 and remarks – erroneously –that the court handled the Bada Bing case on August 21. In fact, it was a pro forma hearing where Judge Koos van de Ven announced that, since his successor would only begin his tenure in St. Maarten on January 1, it would not be feasible to deal with the trial on January 14.

The Geenstijl.nl writer concludes his piece with the following remark. “We are not press officers (and they were clearly not in the plane with Plasterk either) but we would have advised the minister against having this photo taken with someone who is suspected of tax evasion, money laundering, trafficking in women and bribery on an island where everything and everybody is for sale. Is then really nothing going well with the minister ship of Uncle Ron?”

On Wednesday, Minister Plasterk answered questions from Socialist Party MP Ronald van Raak about the Bada Bing trial. Van Raak asked whether Plasterk agrees that it is “bad for the confidence of people in St. Maarten in politics” that the court case against MP Patrick Illidge “will not start until after March 2015.”

Van Raak then (erroneously) states that the investigation lasts already two years. In fact, the scandal broke in March 2013, so 1.5 year would be accurate right now. Nevertheless, Van Raak wanted to know whether this time lapse “confirms the opinion that in St. Maarten cases against politicians are shelved.”

Plasterk’s answers show that he prefers to steer clear of any particular investigation. “It is not up to me as Minister of Home Affairs and Kingdom Relations to judge the term which within the public prosecutor’s office and the Common Court handle criminal cases, no matter how significant the interest of timely handling may be.”

Plasterk furthermore answered that he has no information about citizens in St. Maarten that have been heard as suspects by the prosecutor’s office.

Van Raak furthermore asked whether Illidge could make use of the “generous retainer regulation in St. Maarten.” That’s for the competent authority in St. Maarten to decide, Plasterk answered.

 

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