PHILIPSBURG–The Prosecutor’s Office has decided not to appeal the August 24 decision of the Court of First Instance, in which the cases against the suspects in the so-called “Snowflake” investigation were declared inadmissible.
It has also been decided that a detective who was involved in the case will be prosecuted.And, linked to these developments in the snowflake case, the Prosecutor’s Office in Curaçao has decided not to prosecute the suspects in the so-called Benz investigation.
The Prosecutor’s Office together with the Kingdom Detective Cooperation Team RST learned that an official police report in the Snowflake investigation had been antedated. As soon as this was established and awaiting the conclusions the judge would draw from these findings, all suspects in this investigation, who were in pre-trial detention at that time, were released.
The same happened with the suspects in the “Benz investigation.” That investigation was linked to the Snowflake investigation.
A criminal investigation ordered subsequently against the detective involved was carried out by the Special Investigation Unit and as a result of that investigation the detective will be prosecuted and will have to stand trial in the Court of First Instance in Curaçao by the end of September.
During the Court hearing in the Snowflake case on December 14, 2010, defence at first demanded that the cases be declared inadmissible. The Court of First Instance at that time asked the Prosecutor’s Office to provide more information concerning the antedated report. During the March 23 court session, the prosecutor did just that.
Although the criminal investigation by the Special Investigation Unit into the antedated report at that point was not yet finished, the Prosecutor’s Office, based on its own preliminary investigation results, came to the conclusion that the discovered antedating did not necessarily have to result in the case being thrown out or discontinued.
This conclusion was based on the fact that the Prosecutor’s Office and police themselves had discovered the antedating in the report and had subsequently reported this to those involved, the interests of none of the suspects had been violated by the antedating, and no investigation had been started nor any investigative means used based on the contents of the antedated police report.
On August 24 the judge followed the initial judgment of the Prosecutor’s Office and declared the cases against all suspects inadmissible. The Judge considered that the detective who drafted the antedated report had played a crucial role in both the “Snowflake” investigation and the “Benz” investigation, and that the Prosecutor’s Office was unable to give an absolute guarantee that other reports by this detective did not contain any fraud.
The Prosecutor’s Office in St. Maarten will not launch an appeal against the judge’s decision. One reason is that any further discussion in this case will focus primarily on the police and the Prosecutor’s Office, whereas in the opinion of the Prosecutor’s Office, criminal cases should focus mainly on the suspects involved and the crimes for which they are prosecuted.
The Prosecutor’s Office also believes the general confidence in the Justice system as a whole would not be served by launching an appeal in this case.
Bron: Daily Herald