Still no Supreme Court ruling in Louie Laveist bribery case

POSTED: 06/22/11 11:49 AM

14 months and counting …

St. Maarten – There is still no ruling from  the Supreme Court in the Hague on the conviction of parliamentarian Louie Laveist.

On February 11 of last year the Common Court of Justice sentenced Laveist on appeal to a six-month conditional prison sentence, a 5,000 guilder fine and a 3-year ban from office for accepting bribes while he was a commissioner in the island’s Executive Council.

That sentence was a partial victory for the defense. Solicitor-General mr. A.C. van der Schans had demanded a 24-month prison sentence in January of last year, with 9 months suspended, three years of probation and a 5-year ban from the office of commissioner or any other function in the civil service. The Court in First Instance sentenced Laveist in 2009 to 18 months imprisonment, with 9 months suspended, a 5,000 guilder fine and a 5-year ban from office.

Laveist took his case to the Supreme Court in the Hague but so far, sixteen months after his conviction in the Appeals Court, the highest court in the Kingdom has not yet taken a decision.

When former Chief Commissioner Derrick Holiday was sentenced on appeal on March 26, 2009 to a 1-year suspended prison sentence with 2 years of probation, 180 hours of community service and a 3-year ban on holding a position in the police force, it took the Supreme Court just 14 months to confirm the ruling.

In the Marcel Loor case, the Supreme Court took from April 2008 until February 2010 – 22 months – before it came up with a first ruling. The Common Court had to try Loor again, and in July of last year found him guilty of money laundering; he was sentenced to 24 months imprisonment, with 6 months suspended and a 15,000 guilders (around $8,300) fine. Loor had already served his sentence at the time of the new ruling. His cassation against this ruling is still pending.


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