Published On: Fri, Mar 1st, 2019

Theo Heyliger transferred to Bonaire prison facility

Parliament & Courthouse Building 20180704 TR

~ The Judge of Instruction ruled today to keep T.H. in pre-trial detention for an additional 8 days ~

Press Release Communication’s Office Anti-Corruption Taskforce (TBO)

T.H. will undergo his pre-trial detention in the Judicial Institution Caribbean Netherlands JICN on Bonaire. This decision has been made based on the fact that the Point Blanche Prison has reached its maximum capacity of 70 and remaining detained at the Philipsburg police headquarters is not an option.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a new policy regarding the detention of inmates. This was also communicated to the general public. This policy aims to safeguard the proper adherence to basic human rights standards. As a consequence, a suspect can only remain at the Philipsburg police headquarters for a maximum of 10 days. Minors may not be detained for longer than 3 days, regardless of the crime.

The maximum capacity in the Point Blanche Prison has been set at 70 inmates and Prosecutors frequently scrutinize detention conditions. The Public Prosecutor’s Office had to release 3 prisoners last Friday, because overpopulation led to human rights violations. These 3 prisoners had already served most of their prison time and were set to be released in March.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office expects the capacity issues in Point Blanche to deteriorate further in the coming weeks, as Curaçao has announced it will be sending 7 prisoners back to Sint Maarten. While the situation at the Point Blanche Prison is not ideal for any prisoner, a differentiation is made between individuals with an irrevocable conviction and those in pre-trial detention. T.H. was held in pre-trial detention at the Philipsburg police headquarters in interest of the ongoing investigation.

Silent Potestors outside Police Station Prison Cells (2)

Public Prosecutor’s Office updates public why Theo Heyliger is being housed in Bonaire’s prison facility as a temporary solution

The Public Prosecutor has concluded that T.H. cannot stay longer at the police station as it would violate the human right to humane detention. Therefore as a solution, T.H. will be housed in Bonaire, which was the closest facility to Sint Maarten with sufficient capacity. This is a temporary solution.

Photo caption: Silent protestors outside the Philipsburg police detention center where Theo Heyliger was being housed up until this afternoon, Friday, March 1st, 2019, when he was transferred out to Bonaire. Photo contributed.

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