WILLEMSTAD/PHILIPSBURG–Curaçao’s Prosecutor’s Office said on Thursday that the prosecutor, during the handling of its financial claim case against former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte and his life partner Cicely van der Dijs had considered bringing charges against St. Maarten businessman Francesco Corallo.
The prosecutor said, “When the prosecution against Schotte for bribery started, of course we looked at the possibility of prosecuting Corallo. After studying the law and jurisprudence, it turned out not to be feasible. This had to do with old legislation and the fact that Corallo was not a resident of Curaçao. Furthermore, in the considerations for not taking Corallo for the time being, the circumstance that he is likely to face a long prison sentence in Italy.
The Prosecutor’s Office has also heard back from their Italian colleagues and were informed that the criminal case against Corallo will stand trial in Italy on November 14. “The fact that Corallo is free is because the maximum term of his house arrest expired. It does not mean that he will no longer be prosecuted in Italy.”
Corallo returned to St. Maarten last week Wednesday.
In the Babel claims case, the prosecution wants NAf. 1,861,692 from Schotte and NAf. 205,274 from Van der Dijs, or additional prison terms of three years for each.
Part of their respective payments of NAf. 382,549 and NAf. 205,274 received from one of Corallo’s companies had supposedly funded buses with solar panels, computers and free Internet to offer youngsters in poorer districts access to the World Wide Web.
“Smokescreens,” countered prosecutor Gert Rip. How the money is ultimately used in principle makes no difference as this was clearly a case of bribery for political influence, stated the Prosecutor.
Bron: Daily Herald