~St. Maarten is heading towards an apartheid state.~ MP Meyers
PHILIPSBURG:--- When you lay with dogs you will get fleas those were the statements of Member of Parliament Christopher Emmanuel made when he addressed the Minister of Justice Cornelius de Weever during a Central Committee Meeting on Wednesday.
Emmanuel told the Minister that it seems he is putting down his foot down with a size two shoes while the Dutch Government wearing size 12. Emmanuel told the Minister when he is prepared to stand firm against the atrocities that are taking place against the citizens of St. Maarten only then he would get his support. "Your nice statements here today does not impress me I did not grow up with you so you will have to do much more to impress me." . Emmanuel told the Minister when he is prepared to stand firm against the atrocities that are taking place against the citizens of St. Maarten only then he would get his support.
Minister of Justice Cornelius made some harsh statements about the Dutch Government that are very critical about the St. Maarten Prison (House of Detention). Several other MP’s including Frans Richardson, Luc Mercelina and Chacho Peterson congratulated the Minister for the statements he made regarding the Dutch Government who basically refused to give St. Maarten any type of financial assistance to better upgrade the justice system especially the Prison.
MP Emmanuel asked the Minister to give Parliament the list of names of persons that are holding management positions within the justice chain. He further asked the Minister to give parliament the name of the contractor that was awarded the contract to build the prison wall. The National Alliance MP asked who is that contractor and what is the cost of the contract for the prison wall.
He further asked the Minister to give parliament his opinion on the NAF 12.3.M contract that was given to Bearing Point. He said he is of the opinion that the money that is used for the Tax Department ICT upgrade would have been better spent on upgrading the Pointe Blanche Prison since that is a top priority for St. Maarten.
Emmanuel also asked the Minister of Justice to tell Parliament how safe is the Pointe Blanche Prison? He said he wants to know if the Prison Holding Cells in Philipsburg are in worst condition than Pointe Blanche Prison.
Emmanuel said that based on recent news articles the Dutch Government said they have 7 prisoners in the Netherlands that will not return unless the Pointe Blanche Prison is restored and can meet the human rights conditions. However, Emmanuel said that based on his count there are eight prisoners in prisons in the Netherlands because in his view MP Theodore Heyliger was taken to Bonaire an island that is part of the Dutch Municipality. Therefore, he asked the Minister to say whether or not Bonaire is part of the Netherlands. He also asked the Minister of Justice if he was not in a position to call the Prison Director and have MP Heyliger transferred to Pointe Blanche during his first 10 days in pretrial detention. Emmanuel also asked the Minister if the Dutch are planning to issue an instruction to St. Maarten. He said based on a newspaper article he read on Wednesday morning it indicated that a possible instruction is on its way. I want to know if you are aware and if so what type of instruction will the Dutch impose.?"
“I want to know Minister if you could not make that call as the Minister of Justice of St. Maarten. I want you to know I am a politician and I will beat up politicians politically because that is the game we are in but in this case, MP Heyliger is a St. Maartener and had he been held on St. Maarten his family including his children could have visited him while incarcerated.”
MP Rolando Brison warned the Minister of Justice and even Parliament by stating that very soon the idea will float where it would be best to privatize the prison system since St. Maarten neither the Netherlands does not seem to have the solution to better upgrade and restore the prison system. He said should this happen then more people on St. Maarten will be arrested and locked up in order for the possible investors to make their money back. “This is something I do not want to see happen on my island so here I am sounding the warning because this is the trend elsewhere.”
Brison also asked the Minister to explain Parliament if proper procedures were followed when transporting MP Theodore Heyliger to Bonaire. Brison said that Heyliger was transported with an American registered aircraft he said he wants to know if armed law enforcement officers accompanied Heyliger and he also wants to know if “the prisoner” was classified as to whether he is considered dangerous and if the FAA and TSA was informed that armed law enforcement officers were on board their aircraft as they escort a prisoner.
MP Ardwell Iron asked the Minister if the prison cells are supposed to be cleaned every week and if that was the case how was it stopped. He asked if inmates are denied basic human rights and if they are in mole invested cells. He asked how the prisoners are washing their clothing.
The MP even suggested that business or persons from the private sector could donate washing machines to the Prison. He asked the Minister why he did not ask the Minister of TEATT to surrender part of his budget so that the prison cells can be kept clean.
He asked the Minister how much money is currently in the crime fund and if this money cannot be used to repair the Miss Lalie Center. He further asked the Minister to address the constant rumor where it is said that the TBO officers were not sworn in prior to them working on St. Maarten and if he “Cornelius de Weever” is busy swearing in these TBO officers.
Iron asked the Minister if the former Chief of Police Peter de Witte is currently residing in the Netherlands while still being paid by the Government of St. Maarten. He also asked the Minister to tell Parliament if it's true that the Council of Ministers recently approved a payment to De Witte of close to NAF 500,000.00 in rent money that is owed to him and if there was any legal body that looked into this matter.
MP Franklyn Meyers also voiced his opinion on the influence the Dutch have on the justice system he said St. Maarten is heading towards an apartheid state. He said the Dutch said St. Maarten people are corrupt and thus they are pushing the people in the corner and one day they will stand up against the injustice.
As for MP Heyliger that was sent off to Bonaire Meyers said that this is a punishment given to Heyliger because of his late grandfather Dr. Claude Wathey. Meyers said the politicians in the Netherlands are deeper involved in corruption and when they are caught they are asked to resign.
The MP and deputy leader of the United Democrats said St. Maarten people are generally peaceful people until they are pushed in a corner. He said when that happens then all ‘hell will break loose’ he said this is not something he wants however local politicians has to stand up and defend St. Maarten and its people. This he said cannot be done while being oppressed.