PHILIPSBURG–”Be expeditious and not drag out the case against Member of Parliament (MP) Theo Heyliger,” is the message Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin has for the Prosecutor’s Office.
Romeo-Marlin (United Democrats), in a statement to The Daily Herald, added the caveat that members of the Prosecutor’s Office should guard against becoming the villains themselves by not pursuing misinformation, rumours and falsehoods with the goal of making these fit a “non-existent reality.”
“Heyliger is not only a politician. He is a husband, a father, a community leader. He has a mother and a family. Justice in all cases, including this one, must take its course. That course should not be obstructed or affected by those attempting to build a case or any outside force,” said Romeo-Marlin, who expressed support and words of strength to her party leader.
From government’s end, a careful eye will be set on ensuring all procedures and due diligence are properly followed. “It should not be that rules are broken by those in the pursuit of truth. Seeking truth is a pure objective and should not be clouded by hearsay or assumptions,” Romeo-Marlin said.
There must be oversight of the prosecutor’s work to make sure there is fair treatment and no victimisation. “This is not to say government will interfere in the prosecutor’s work in any way. It means vigilance to make very certain the life of yet another citizen is not unduly affected year after year,” Romeo-Marlin said.
It is unfortunate that the community in general often judges people as guilty before due process and even pronounces its members are guilty with just word-of-mouth, she said.
“This dangerous practice only works against the building and support of each other as individuals and as a country. We are constantly watched by the outside world, be they our kingdom partners and those who form part of our economy. We do not live in isolation and it is high time we understand and accept that our remarks and sometimes banter has consequences,” Romeo-Marlin said.
On a personal note, Romeo-Marlin wished Heyliger “much strength” in this most trying of times. “I am keeping him and his family in my prayers. I pray that God gives him wisdom, knowledge and understanding as he fights this battle.”
The Joint Court of Justice on Tuesday granted the Prosecutor’s Office authority to prosecute Heyliger in connection with the Catfish investigation. The Catfish investigation started in March 2013 after former MP Romain Laville filed an official complaint of attempted bribery to “jump ship” to form a new government.
Bron: Daily Herald