Row over CID-regulation: Minister demands better cooperation from RST

POSTED: 08/24/15 11:38 AM

St. Maarten – Attorney-General Guus Schram informed Justice Minister Dennis Richardson towards the end of June about changes to the Criminal Intelligence Division (CID) regulation. The content of this regulation is not public, Norman Serphos, the spokesman for the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Curacao told this newspaper yesterday. “It is not a public document. It is for internal use and of a strategic and tactical nature.”

Based on a press release the justice ministry sent to local media yesterday – a day after it sent the same message to the Dutch media – Minister Richardson is of the opinion that the attorney-general should have consulted with him before implementing the changes.

In a reaction to the decision, Minister Richardson issued a “general instruction” to Schram’s office. That measure is under fire from the Minister of Safety and Justice Ard van der Steur. He has asked Richardson’s to withdraw his instruction – a request that has met with a refusal.

Minister Richardson motivated to Van der Steur why he does not intend to withdraw the instruction, the press release from the justice ministry states. “Up to three times the minister has indicated that he is prepared to be open for consultation with the attorney-general.”

Minister Richardson attached however a condition: “The cooperation between the Detective Collaboration Team (RST) and the police must strongly improve to increase the effectiveness of the fight against cross-border criminality.”

“Based on the proposed consultation, Minister Richardson has promised that he is prepared to decide on very short notice whether he will stick to his instruction or that he will abandon it.”

“If the attorney-general has good reasons for the regulation he amended, he must be capable to convince the minister of it. He must also be prepared to reach an agreement about the improvement of the cooperation between RST and police. In that case the minister will do what is necessary.”

This week, Minister Richardson is in the Netherlands for talks with Minister Van der Steur.

This newspaper asked the justice ministry for a copy of the CID-regulation, a detailed explanation of the minister’s objections to the changes the attorney-general has made and a copy of his general instruction to the attorney-general. Up to press time, we did not receive a reaction.

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