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Published On: Mon, Feb 1st, 2021

Supreme Court sends Buncampers case back to the appeals court

PHILIPSBURG — Member of Parliament Claudius Buncamper will have to go back to court for a replay of his appeal against his conviction for tax fraud. That is the conclusion of the Supreme Court’s Attorney-General D.J.M.W, Parideans who handled Buncamper’s cassation. According to Parideans, the Common Court of Justice “insufficiently motivated” in its verdict of October 15, 2018, why it found Buncamper guilty of “factually leading” the submission of incomplete and incorrect profit tax returns over the years 1009, 2010 and 2011.

The Supreme Court routinely follows the conclusion of its attorney-general. This means that the court will in all likelihood annul Buncamper’s conviction and that the case will be sent back to the Common Court of Justice. That court will have to handle Buncamper’s appeal all over again sometime in the future. On October 15, 2018, the appeals court sentenced Buncamper to a 25,000 guilders (almost $14000) fine and 240 hours of community service.

The case against MP Buncamper runs parallel to that of his wife Maria Buncamper-Molanus. (See for more details: Supreme Court’s attorney-general confirms conviction of former minister Buncamper-Molanus).

Buncamper’s attorney Claudia Reijntjes-Wendenburg argued to the Supreme Court that it is “unclear and incomprehensible why the Common Court is of the opinion that the proof appears from the evidence.”

The Supreme Court’s conclusion notes that both Maria Buncamper-Molanus and her husband Claudius were deeply involved with the bogus company Eco Green and that both were beneficial owners of that company. While Maria Buncamper-Molanus was the only contact for annual reports and tax returns, the appeals court considered it nevertheless proven that her husband was also responsible for the incorrect tax returns.

The Supreme Court states in its conclusion that ownership of Eco Green can “hardly be concluded from notary Francis Gijsbertha’s statement that the holder of the bearer share is the owner and that this share was given to Buncamper. Property without usufruct (the right to use something) is insufficient for labeling it as factual leading these tax returns.”

Citing a Supreme Court ruling from 2016 the attorney-general notes, that being the manager of a company is insufficient to link him to a crime committed by that company. The involvement often appears from “active and effective behavior.”

The appeals court acknowledged that Buncamper was deeply involved with Eco Green and with the establishment of a fiscal construction designed to pay as little taxes as possible and that  returning incomplete profit tax returns must be considered as factual leading. But the Supreme Court’s conclusion states that this decision by the court is “insufficiently motivated.”

The attorney-general therefore concludes that the verdict against Buncamper must be voided and that the Common Court of Justice will have to handle his appeal all over again.

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Related articles:
Supreme Court’s attorney-general confirms verdict against former Minister Buncamper-Molanus



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