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Published On: Sat, Feb 20th, 2021

Borderline criminal (part 1)

By Hilbert Haar

Blogger Bibi Shaw is a borderline criminal. At least, that is the inevitable conclusion if statements attributed to Sharine Daniel in a media report about Shaw are truthful.

Shaw is only a criminal if both observations are correct, but they cannot both be incorrect. If Daniel is lying Shaw cannot also be a criminal. If Daniel is telling the truth, Shaw cannot be innocent.

But the unhealthy odor that Shaw’s infamous blog has been emitting for years suggests that Daniel is most likely telling the truth.

What is this all about?

Daniel explained to the supervisory board of utilities company GEBE on December 7 of last year that Shaw had demanded $1,800 per month from GEBE for media services. Otherwise she would start “blogging about me.”

Lo and behold, on Februari 3 Shaw began to publish negative stories, not about Daniel, but about the supervisory board of GEBE and its legal advisor. That day the supervisory board learned that Daniel had signed a contract with Shaw for media services that paid her $1,500 per month.

I learned this from a report in a local media outlet that I consider correct. If it isn’t, I stand corrected.

So what does all this add up to? And what other questions does it raise?

First of all, it seems to me a case of extortion: you pay me or I’ll destroy you. If you pay me, I’ll destroy your opponents. This comes from a blogger who only recently wrote that she would not compromise her integrity by revealing her sources for the GEBE-stories. What a joke.

Daniel’s domestic partner reportedly told the supervisory board that Daniel had agreed to the media service contract because Shaw had threatened to file a complaint against her with the Prosecutor’s Office.

This does not exonerate Daniel. It looks like she is victim and perpetrator at the same time. Shaw blackmailed her but she used money that belonged to GEBE to get herself out of trouble. It would have been smarter to report Shaw’s threats to the relevant authorities.

I am not a legal expert and I have no idea if Daniel’s decision to sign a contract with Shaw on behalf of GEBE constitutes a crime, but her employer cannot be happy with what she did. Using company-funds to solve a personal problem is seldom a brilliant idea, but it seems to me that GEBE could have solved this issue internally.

Apparently Shaw whatsapped GEBE’s legal counsel, suggesting that a criminal complaint should be filed against the supervisory board for not addressing criminal acts allegedly committed by Daniel. This shows that Shaw has no clue about how the criminal justice system works, but that’s another story.

GEBE’s supervisory board has now apparently done the right thing: it has put all documents relevant to the case in the hands of the Public Prosecutor’s Office. A spokesman for the Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that it had received an email from GEBE and that prosecutors are now “taking their time to review.”

It is interesting to note what the Criminal Code of St. Maarten has to say about Shaw’s nefarious activities.

Article 2:254 describes the crime of threatening someone with libel, lampoon or false accusations with the objective to do something, not to do something or to tolerate something. It carries a maximum prison sentence of two years and a maximum fine of the fourth category (25,000 guilders, or $13,966).

Article 2:295 describes the crime of threatening someone with libel, lampoon or revealing a secret. This carries a maximum prison sentence of 4 years and a maximum fine of the fourth category. The court also has the freedom to hand down additional punishments for this particular crime. They are regulated in article 1:64 and include a ban on holding certain jobs, a ban on practicing certain professions and a ban on the right to be in St. Maarten.

So that’s a peek preview at Shaw’s future. It all depends on three things: whether the Prosecutor’s Office has time to deal with the case and if it does, how it will qualify the crime and whether it will result in a conviction.

With two murders on their hands and a lot of other stuff, don’t hold your breath. But maybe the scope of such an investigation should not be limited to what Shaw did to GEBE. The question now arises who her advertisers are and under which conditions these entities decided to pay Shaw.

One could also wonder why the government gives her access to the weekly press briefings from the Council of Ministers (COM). Last time I looked, (admittedly, some time ago), journalists had to fill out some questionnaire and prove that they were residents of St. Maarten and for which publisher they were working. Shaw happens to live on the other side of the border. With all the damages she has inflicted on government-owned companies and other entities (like SVZ, when Daniel was working there) one may well wonder whether the government is also paying her off in exchange for positive publicity.

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