St. Maarten’s Prime Minister wants to merge two integrity investigations

POSTED: 10/25/13 12:01 PM

St. Maarten –The integrity investigation Governor Drs. Eugène Holiday has been instructed to conduct and the investigation by a committee led by Justice Bob Wit should be merged into a single effort. Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams hinted at Wednesday’s press briefing at a way “to bring them somehow together.”

“It behooves St. Maarten – the governor and the government – to address this matter and come to an investigation, taking the autonomy of Country St. Maarten into consideration,” the prime minister said. “I think this is important, to have two integrity investigations basically covering the same areas and running simultaneously does not make sense.”

Wescot-Williams said that the government is thinking about turning the draft national decree that forms the foundation for its own integrity investigation into a ministerial decree signed by one or two ministers. “That will take away the issue of the governor being confronted with a national decree. We need then to decide collectively how we are going to have this particular investigation.”

The prime minister pointed to the “many checks and balances” that are already in place in St. Maarten and that the Kingdom Council of Ministers should have evaluated those laws first, before issuing its royal decree that orders the governor to commission an integrity investigation.

Wescot-Williams referred amongst others to legislation that regulates financial supervision, the Common Court of Justice, the Prosecutor’s Office, and the police and to institutions like the General Audit Chamber, the financial intelligence unit MOT and the civil code in general.

“The population is not sufficiently apprised of what these laws contain. We need English translations of these laws as soon as possible so that people are able to understand that we are not in the kind of banana republic situation that many people would like St. Maarten to be. We have more checks and balances than any other country in the Kingdom.”

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