Vorst family vs St. Maarten: contested land deal court case cancelled

POSTED: 06/29/14 5:17 PM

St. Maarten – The much-anticipated lawsuit six members of the Vorst family brought against country St. Maarten over the purchase of property in Cay Hill at the location where former Minister of Justice Roland Duncan once envisioned his $100 million Justice Park, was cancelled yesterday morning.

Judge Katja Mans informed the media that parties had sent a message to the court early in the morning to announce that they were negotiating again and that therefore the lawsuit had become superfluous.

On Monday-morning parliament will discuss the land-deal. National Alliance leader William Marlin and MPs Laveist and Pantophlet requested this meeting to get clarity from Vromi-Minister Lake.

According to the National Alliance, Lake signed a deal to buy the property for $5.5 million, close to $495 per square meter. The party considers this price to be outrageous.

Prime Minister Wescot-Williams said on Wednesday however that the negotiations about the purchase were still ongoing, indicating that nothing is definite yet.

Duncan, as Minister of Justice in the National Alliance-led government, launched his plan for a Justice Park in Cay Hill in 2012. Independent MPs Romain Laville and Patrick Illidge, as well as National Alliance MP Louie Laveist supported the plan and even MP Johan Leonard – member of (at the time) opposition party UP was for it.

According to Prime Minister Wescot-Williams, Duncan’s signature is on the draft long lease contract for the land in Cay Hill. The long lease would have cost the state over time $8.5 million. Minister Lake wants to buy the property outright for $5.5 million – with $3.5 million coming from the capital investment program for 2014 and $2 million from the 2015 budget.

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