Published On: Mon, Jun 24th, 2019

Sarah: Parliament requests investigation into “integrity of our passport system”

President of Parliament Sarah Wescot-Williams intro on passport issue - 24 June 2019

PHILIPSBURG — President of Parliament, Sarah Wescot-Williams, during the opening of the budget presentation on Monday morning, June 24, 2019, as a notification, informed Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin that Parliament will be sending her a letter regarding the issue of the passport of suspended member of Parliament, Theodore Heyliger.

The Prime Minister was present for the budget presentation in Parliament as she waited to take the word to give her elucidation on the budget of the ministry of General Affairs.

“I wish to use this opportunity, considering in my opinion the urgency of the matter, to inform the Prime Minister that she will be receiving a letter with respect to the latest media reports surrounding the issue of the passport of Mr. Theo Heyliger.” the Chairlady of Parliament Wescot-Williams stated.

“The reason I consider this matter so important is because from different reports it would seem as if the integrity of our passport system, in general, has been compromised.” Wescot-Williams continued. “Whether these reports are true or not, it behooves the government of St. Maarten to investigate the exact occurrences surrounding the passport of Mr. Heyliger.”

The President of Parliament was alluding to the reports that Heyliger had found out in Curacao at the US Consul in Willemstad, that his passport had been reported as ‘stolen’ to Interpol. As a direct result of this, Heyliger could not obtain a medical visa to travel to the USA for treatment of his stage one kidney cancer.

The President of Parliament, in her notification, explained that “The passport, our passport, is the property of the Dutch Kingdom under the European Union. Citizens are holders of these passports.”

“I would request that a report to the Parliament on the matter be made. As I mentioned, the Prime Minister will be receiving these formal questions because, again, I think it touches the core of our citizenship and our identification that is used to travel to other countries and which should be respected and be held in the highest esteem by those countries. Hence, my used of the term the “integrity of our passport system” but to the Prime Minister that is just an indication that this would be coming and I would implore you to respond to Parliament as soon as possible with respect to same.”

This was the comment the President of Parliament made during the notification round of the opening of the meeting of Parliament before going over to the agenda point of the meeting.

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Theo Heyliger’s passport released to wife Grisha Marten