Published On: Wed, Aug 31st, 2022

Details of Schotte’s agreement with Prosecutor’s Office remain confidential

PHILIPSBURG — The Public Prosecutor’s Office has made an agreement with Curacao’s former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte about the payment of 1.8 million guilders (a bit more than $1 million). The payment is part of Schotte’s conviction for money laundering and corruption, for which he served two-third of his 3-year sentence in the prison in Curacao. Schotte was released on November 27, 2020.

The prosecutor’s office confirmed the payment arrangement with Schotte in a brief press statement that did not reveal any details.

CJIB, the Central Judicial Collections Agency of the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Safety explains on its website how payment arrangements work. For fines that are higher than 4,000 euro ($4,012 at the current rate of exchange) the maximum number of monthly installments is 36. If, and only if, Schotte has not talked down the amount he has agreed to pay, this means that he will have to pay 50,000 guilders ($27,933) every month for the next three years.

One may well wonder where Schotte is getting all this money. In May he published a video message asking for donations to enable him to pay the prosecutor’s office. Non-payment carries an additional three-year prison sentence.

The agreement with Schotte seems rather peculiar, especially if the Dutch rules also apply in Curacao. One of those rules is that it is not possible to make a payment-arrangement if the prosecutor’s office is already using an instrument to enforce payment. And the court ruling against Schotte does contain such an instrument: the threat of another three years in prison if he fails to pay the 1.8 million guilders.

Schotte said in his video-message that one hundred donations of 18,000 guilders each would solve his problem. “God will double everything you donate for you and your family,” he said at the time.

Apparently, the fallen former prime minister did not receive a sufficient number of donations; hence the payment-arrangement with the prosecutor’s office.

Last week Schotte made an attempt to get sole custody of his children because his ex-partner Cicely van der Dijs, the mother of the children, is now serving her 9-month prison sentence for money laundering. According to media reports, Van der Dijs was not amused: she accused Schotte of abusing the situation in an attempt to stay out of prison himself.

The prosecutor’s office did not publicize details of the arrangement. “As long as Mr. Schotte lives up to the agreement, the prosecutor’s office will not execute the alternate custody.”

The prosecutors will not reveal any details about the arrangement, because this is “also not done with other citizens who make a payment arrangement with the prosecutor’s office.”