Shigemoto: home for Christmas

POSTED: 12/21/12 2:24 PM

St. Maarten – The Judge of Instruction suspended former Finance Minister Hiro Shigemoto’s custody from this upcoming Monday at 3.30 p.m. He will therefore be home for Christmas. The office of the public prosecutor agreed with the suspension, on the condition that Shigemoto keeps himself available for the investigation. He appeared before the judge of instruction yesterday morning. The National Detective Agency (Landsrecherche) arrested Shigemoto on Monday morning on suspicion of embezzlement, violating his own rules as a minister and forgery.

Chief Prosecutor Hans Mos said yesterday that the rules Shigemoto is suspected of having violated are linked to the accountability ordinance (comptabiliteits wet).

This legislation obliges members of the government to put projects that are worth more than 50,000 guilders (close to $28,000) up for public tender.

Shigemoto was led into the courthouse yesterday morning through the front door of the building, surprising photographers who were waiting near the side-entrance opposite Kangaroo Court where suspects who have an appointment with the Judge of Instruction usually get into the building. After the hearing, Shigemoto managed to surprise photographers a second time, now by disappearing into a waiting police car at lightning speed through that side-entrance, while the cameras were waiting for him at the front door.

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