PHILIPSBURG--The Prosecutor of St. Maarten held a hearing with the Joint Court of Curaçao, Aruba and St. Maarten on Tuesday seeking permission to bring criminal charges against Member of Parliament (MP) Theodore Heyliger. The behind-closed-doors hearing was postponed last month and took place Tuesday, when Heyliger appeared.
The Prosecutor’s Office declined to comment, as it concerned a case behind closed doors. However, The Daily Herald understands that the case has to do with vote-buying.
The Prosecutor’s Office needs permission from the Joint Court to bring criminal charges against a sitting MP. Heyliger has never been arrested, but he was interrogated by National Detective Agency (Landsrecherche) officials on August 7, 2017, in connection with the criminal case “Catfish.”
The Catfish investigation started in March 2013 after former MP Romain Laville filed an official complaint of attempted bribery to “jump ship.” A number of witnesses have been interrogated and important documents analysed. The leader of United People’s Party was interrogated for about five hours.
The Joint Court will decide within two weeks on whether the prosecutor gets the green light to move ahead with the case. If there is not enough evidence, the Joint Court can decide that there is not sufficient cause for prosecution.