Published On: Mon, Jun 17th, 2019

Theo Heyliger’s passport released to wife Grisha Marten

Grisha Heyliger-Marten with Theo Heyliger's Passport - 17 June 2019

PHILIPSBURG — The Prosecutor’s Office on St. Maarten finally released the passport of Theo Heyliger to his wife, Grisha Heyliger-Marten, on the afternoon of Monday, June 17, 2019. This was necessary in order for Heyliger to be able to travel to Boston, Massachusetts, in the USA for urgent medical treatment of his stage one kidney cancer.

Heyliger had to surrender his passport as one of the conditions for release from prison where he was awaiting trial on charges brought against him by the Prosecutor’s Officer in February of this year.

The Prosecutor’s Office initially said it had not received all necessary documents to allow for the release of the passport. Heyliger-Marten refuted this. “We sent them everything over a week ago: where he was going, how long, which hospital and even the doctor and the appointment date. Nothing was left out.” she said.

However, upon further review it turned out that indeed all documentation had been submitted and the oversight was attributed to an internal error due to miscommunication with the TBO’s office in Curacao where the Anti-Corruption Taskforce is located.

According to Heyliger-Marten, she and her husband will be traveling on Tuesday to Curacao for an appointment with the American Consulate in Willemstad to obtain a medical visa in order to travel to the USA as his ESTA visa waiver had been revoked.

As to the reason why the ESTA visa waiver had been revoked, it remains unclear whether this was due to the prosecution requesting it to be revoked or that this was done by the US authorities on their own accord.

Read the rest of full story below detailing Grisha Heyliger-Marten’s passport ordeal, the response of the TBO and the live interviews she gave to several media that were broadcasted on Facebook during the day on Monday, June 17, 2019.


Photo caption: The wife of suspended MP Theo Heyliger, Grisha Heyliger-Marten holding her husbands passport. Photo taken from Grisha Heyliger-Marten’s Facebook page.

Backstory, TBO and interviews

The story unfolded when on Sunday, June 16, 2019, Grisha Heyliger-Marten issued a release to the press stating that her husband, suspended member of Parliament and suspect in the Larimar investigation, Theo Heyliger, was being blocked from leaving the island for his cancer treatment.

According to the release, Grisha Heyliger-Marten saw this as a crystal-clear move by the Dutch colonial authorities to murder her husband – slowly and painful.

“His stage one cancer tumor and other aggravated health are tagged to extreme stress with his preexisting condition added to the mix. The stress is the factor and the pressure and blockage from medical treatment are the Dutch’s weapons to murder Theo” said Heyliger-Marten.

Heyliger has lost weight since his entire ordeal started in February. According to the release he has lost more than 30 pounds.

Heyliger was released from custody in May but had to surrender his passport to the Prosecutor’s Office and put up liquid cash as a guarantee. These were terms of his release and both and others were complied with.

His wife, in a plea for true justice, said her husband needs to travel to the United States for cancer treatment. This cannot happen without his passport. The Prosecutor’s Office has refused to release his passport. They have cancelled his ESTA necessitating him to apply for a US (medical) visa. The application cannot happen without his passport to enable him to travel to Curacao to complete the application.

The Dutch wants Heyliger to explain why he has to go for a month to Boston. “This is simply ridiculous. They have all the medical documents and the proof of the tumor in his right kidney. They are just continuing to torture him. An act for which they recently have been sentenced for by the European Court for Human Rights,” Heyliger-Marten said.

The Heyligers were booked to travel to the Boston this weekend on tickets they bought two weeks ago. Ever since their attorney has worked to get Heyliger’s passport released by the Prosecutor’s Office to no avail.

Heyliger-Marten said she checked on her husband’s ESTA in the meantime and found it was cancelled.

“I was prompted to double check Theo’s ESTA that was approved earlier in the year, prior to his detainment, and I was shocked to see that it was declined. So, we tried to get to the American Embassy in Curacao to get him a medical visa. Now the prosecutor is saying, since he cannot go to the US, they won’t release the passport,” she said.

Tickets cancelled; it is back to the drawing board to find another location for Heyliger to see a cancer specialist. “They don’t want to give him his passport to fix the issue. They will only give it to him if he finds another location other than the US,” said Heyliger-Marten, who is grappling to understand why the Dutch are so vehement against her husband going to the United States.

“Theo’s health and safety has been my number concern from day one. He fell ill later last year, and I forced him to do a general checkup. Late in November 2018, it was concluded that he had polyps in his colon, a sort of blockage in his colon and a kidney stone in his right kidney,” Heyliger-Marten said.

His detention as of February 19 and his later kidnapped to Bonaire on March 1 put additional stress on him, said his wife. “We were able to visit Theo in Bonaire on March 11 and, of course, the first thing I noticed was how frail he looked, again my concern was his health. His declining health was linked to the incorrect low dose gout medication they gave him in Bonaire. The meds were not strong enough and left his system to get weaker and weaker,” she said.

Heyliger was returned to St. Maarten and put in the medical ward of the Pointe Blanche Prison a month after his transfer to Bonaire. Then after another month back and forth, he was able to see a urologist at SMMC. The urologist re-ran tests conducted in November.

The doctor determined that the kidney stone had doubled in size. He later noticed a lesion on the right kidney. The focus was to first get rid of the kidney stone. A week after the operation, the doctor instructed that Heyliger be transferred to the French side for an MRI. The conclusion from that was the lesion is a three centimetre malignant tumor, in other words stage one cancer.

“That tumor was never there in November. It came this year and it got there through stress.

Because his tumor is right in the middle of his right kidney, the doctor suggested to do a special procedure that cannot be performed in St. Maarten nor Colombia. He suggested either Holland or the US. Of course, given his situation with the Dutch government, we automatically chose to go the US.” said Heyliger-Marten. That option is now squashed without the release of this passport.

Statement TBO spokesperson Jeroen Kuipers

In response to the statements by Grisha Heyliger-Marten, the Prosecutor’s Office issued the following statement on behalf of the spokesperson for the TBO, Jeroen Kuipers:

“The Anti-corruption taskforce (TBO) has taken note of comments regarding Mr. Heyliger. More specifically, some alleged that TBO is frustrating Mr. Heyliger’s attempts to travel to the US for medical treatment and even that TBO is responsible for revoking Mr. Heyliger’s ESTA visa waiver. Those suggestions are not true. They are false.

TBO doesn’t run the ESTA waiver program; that is the sole competence of the U.S. Government (see https://esta.cbp.dhs.gov/esta/). The U.S. government’s decision to revoke Mr. Heyliger’s ESTA is not for TBO to comment on, so we will not.

TBO will of course not prevent Mr. Heyliger, or any other suspect, from traveling to another country if medical treatment is necessary. In accordance with and in order to be able to execute the Courts decision however, we do need a specific and concrete request, that contains necessary details such as an admission date  in a medical facility and proof of allowed travel. That information has thus far not been provided fully, and Mr. Heyliger’s lawyer has been informed about that as early as Wednesday June 12th, 2019.

We therefore still wait for the necessary details to be able to release Mr. Heyligers’ passport for the purpose of medical treatment. No further comments will be made at this time.”


In the meantime, Grisha Heyliger-Marten, was on a media blitz campaign starting with her Monday morning appearance on SOS Radio St. Martin 95.9 Billy D’s radio show.

The Billy D interview was broadcasted live and can be watched online at https://www.facebook.com/devondrejonessxm/videos/2225717530799372.

Later in day Heyliger-Marten announced during a live interview with Gromyko Wilson (721news.com) outside of the offices of the Public Prosecutor’s Office on the Emmaplein in Philipsburg that she was prepared to visit the Prosecutor’s Office every hour on the hour until her husband’s passport was released giving her husband the possibility of applying for a medical visa for the United States. She explained that he must apply for a visa because his ESTA was revoked.

The interview with 721news was broadcasted live and can be watched online at https://www.facebook.com/721news/videos/417005952489412.

Heyliger-Marten also gave an interview to Andrew Dick for his Late Night with Andrew Dick show wherein she reiterated her demands to visit the Public Prosecutor’s Office until she receives the passport.

Grisha Heyliger-Marten’s interview with Andrew Dick:

In the afternoon the perseverance of Grisha Heyliger-Marten paid off when she finally received the passport of her husband Theo Heyliger.

721news was live on the scene to record when Heyliger-Marten exited the Prosecutor’s Office with the passport. The recording of the live broadcast can be seen online here: https://www.facebook.com/721news/videos/1158109047711713.

Heyliger-Marten thanked everyone for their prayers and support in this passport ordeal. “Now, my focus is getting his health back on track and save the legal battle for after.” she said.

To the just under two dozen people who showed up to support her at the Prosecutor’s Office, Heyliger-Marten said: “I want to thank each and every one of them for standing with me at this crucial time. We need to stand together against injustice.”


Cartoon caption: Grisha Marten depicted as “Captain Marten” after Marvel Comic’s Captain Marvel. Click on image to enlarge.

Continuation: The saga continues here:
Including a new press release from the Heyliger family explaining what happened at the US Consulate in Curacao: Theo’s passport had been reported as stolen with Interpol.