Published On: Thu, Feb 28th, 2019

Theo Heyliger still in detention cell at Philipsburg police station

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PHILIPSBURG — At the time of questioning on Thursday morning, communication’s officer for the Anti-Corruption Task Force TBO, Roderick Gouverneur, did not ascertain whether Theo Heyliger was still being held at the house of detention in Philipsburg at the main police station. It was rumored that Heyliger had been moved to the Point Blanche prison facility.

Another reason for the questioning, was the fact that a message was being broadcasted via Whatsapp that said that tomorrow morning between 8:30 and 10 there would be a silent demonstration in front of the courthouse as Theo’s case is being heard. Tomorrow morning being Friday, March 1, is the assumption.

The message went on to make a remarkable statement saying that the case would be heard in Curacao and that they will broadcast it via video conference here (presumably at the courthouse). The message concluded with the statement that “Theo won’t be attending though”.

When asked by StMaartenNews.com if this information was correct and if so, why in Curacao, TBO spokesman Gouverneur answered that he “can’t confirm.” However, subsequently, he did confirm that it concerned the LARIMAR case.

Heyliger was arrested at his home in the presence of his wife and children on the morning of Tuesday, February 19, 2019, in connection to the ongoing criminal investigation into the Larimar case. The TBO’s press release stated that additionally Heyliger home was searched. According to reports, this search took place for about six hours.

The Larimar investigation delves into corruption, money laundering and the acceptance and payment of bribes in the construction sector on St. Maarten. Several arrests and house searches have been conducted in the interest of this investigation, the press release concluded.

On the afternoon of Thursday, February 21, 2019, a judge ruled in a closed-door session at the courthouse in Philipsburg that the pre-trial detention of Theo Heyliger could be extended to 8 days while the prosecution awaited permission of the Common Court of Justice to prosecute Heyliger in the Larimar case. The permission to allow this was granted on the morning of Monday, February 25, 2019.

The confirmed ongoing detention of Theo Heyliger in a cell in the police station in Philipsburg is raising eyebrows. According to a press statement issued today, Thursday, February 28, by law firm Sulvaran & Partners’ Eldon ‘Peppie’ Sulvaran on the 9th of October 2018 the third section of the European Court for Human Rights (ECHR) condemned the circumstances under which a well-known citizen of St. Maarten was detained in the police cells in Philipsburg as a violation of article 3 of The European Treaty for Human Rights.

The complete text of this press statement can be read online here.

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