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Published On: Sat, Mar 6th, 2021

Jamaloodin gets on appeal 30 years for ordering Wiels-liquidation

WILLEMSTAD – The Common Court of Justice sentenced former Minister of Finance George Jamaloodin on Friday on appeal to 30 years of imprisonment. The court found the defendant guilty of ordering the assassination of Pueblo Soberano founder Helmin Wiels on May 5, 2013, and of forgery.

The time the ex-minister spent in extradition detention in Venezuela will be deducted from the sentence. Attorney Eldon Sulvaran, who defended Jamaloodin together with Stijn Franken, said after the ruling that his client will take the case for cassation to the Supreme Court in The Hague.

The court awarded Wiels’ son and daughter 4,815 guilders ($2,690) in material damages but denied a claim for 45,185 guilders ($25,243) in immaterial damages.

The court qualified the murder as liquidation but it has not been able to establish the real motive for the crime. “Many think of this as a political murder but the criminal investigation has not established a clear motive.”

The Court in First instance sentenced Jamaloodin on August 16, 2019 to 28 years for his role in the liquidation, but the appeal court has now added another two years to the verdict.

Throughout the trials Jamaloodin has denied any involvement in the liquidation. But in its 37-page ruling the court notes that there are a lot of indications that the murder was committed “to order” and that other suspects in the case had links to organized crime.

The court ruling dissects all arguments of the defense against the reliability of the witnesses the public prosecutor used to build its case. The court concludes that there is enough evidence to find Jamaloodin guilty as the architect of the liquidation.

Wiels’ brother Aubert had mixed feelings about the court ruling, the Antiliaans Dagblad reported: “I can finally breathe easy a bit because the principal for my brother’s murder has been sentenced. On the other hand, the reason why he was murdered remains unknown. That’s bothering me.”

The court acquitted Jamaloodin of co-committing the liquidation: “It has not been established that the defendant actively contributed to the execution of the murder.” The court found Jamaloodin however guilty of provoking the crime.

Jamaloodin was Minister of Finance in the Schotte-government from 2010 until 2012. When it became clear that he was a suspect in the Wiels-liquidation he fled in 2016 to Venezuela. He returned to Curacao in 2018.

The court furthermore found Jamaloodin guilty of predating a summons based on article 39 of the tax ordinance. The objective was to validate an attempt of his half-brother Robbie dos Santos to make use of the so-called inkeerregeling, an option offered to citizens to declare previously unreported income without consequences.

Jamaloodin also embezzled 450,000 guilders from a foundation that had received these funds for the renovation of a sport complex. But because the prosecution had only charged the defendant with abuse of power (and not with embezzlement) and because the court found no evidence that Jamaloodin had had the money in his possession, it acquitted him of this charge.

Retribution is important considering the nature of the crime, the ruling states. The court looked at Jamloodins involvement – provocative and in the background – but because the defendant’s attitude during the trial “it is not possible to include insights of the defendant into the seriousness of his actions in the question about a fitting punishment.”

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Photo Jamaloodin taken from Antilliaans Dagblad
Press release Common Court of Justice (in Dutch)




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