Standard Trust attorneys will hear Marcel Loor as defense witness

POSTED: 04/15/11 12:25 PM

Money laundering appeal hearing moved to May 18

St. Maarten – The Common Court of Justice granted defense attorneys in the Standard Trust trial yesterday the right to hear former police Commissioner Marcel Loor as a witness before the Judge of Instruction. Presiding Judge Mr. J.R. Sijmonsma postponed the appeals hearing until May 18.
Standard Trust and its three directors have been sentenced in the Court in First Instance for money laundering and for failing to report certain deposits to the Reporting Center for Unusual Financial Transactions MOT in 2007. The irregularities came to light during the Marcel Loor investigation.

Judge mr. M. Keppels sentenced the company on December 13 of last year to a 90,000 guilders ($50,000) fine; she sentenced the three directors each to a 1-year conditional prison sentence with 3 years of probation and a 10,000 guilders (approximately $5,550) fine.

If the conviction holds up on appeal, the Central Bank may withdraw the company’s license to operate as a trust office.
Standard Trust directors Corinne de Tullio-Stamm and Jodi Lynn Garner appeared in court but the third director, Allard Stamm was absent due to medical reasons.
The attorneys for both parties – mr. R.M. Stomp and mr J.J. de Vrieze for De Tullio-Stamm and mr. M. Hofman-Ruigrok for Garner – had petitioned the court to hear several witnesses.
Solicitor-general mr. A.C. Van der Schans however pointed out that he had not received the requests within the timeframe prescribed by law, though later on it appeared that this only applied to Hofman’s request. The court judged the request by De Vrieze and Stomp based on the interest of the defense, while Hofman’s request had to meet a stricter requirement – that of established necessity.
In the end the result was the same, because the court rejected requests to hear Sanders-Hoytink, an attorney who was present during a house search at the Standard Trust office, the managers of the Reporting Center for Unusual Financial Transactions Van Leeuwen and Dambruck, and the founder of Standard Trust Maruch.
Van der Schans acknowledged that Marcel Loor could possibly shed some light on the operations at Standard Trust, the company he used to deposit large sums of money in his offshore company Santana. All the same Van der Schans said, “I do not see the need to hear any of these witnesses.”
But the three judges had a different opinion. “The defense will be put at a disadvantage if Loor is not heard as a witness,” mr. Sijmonsma said. The court rejected a request by mr. Hofman to hear the witness under oath. “That is not possible based on the law,” Sijmonsma said.
The attorneys may request from the solicitor-general to add certain reports from the Loor-investigation to the case-file. In case the solicitor-general objects, the court will take a decision on a case by case basis.

 

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