Grisha Heyliger-Marten and her husband Theo Heyliger.
PHILIPSBURG--Grisha Heyliger-Marten, the wife of suspended Member of Parliament (MP) Theo Heyliger, on Sunday questioned the move of the Prosecutor to appeal the acquittal of her husband by the Court of First Instance in the “Catfish” case concerning alleged vote-buying.
“While I acknowledge the right of the Public Prosecutor to appeal the judge’s decision, I cannot but ask why? What does the Public Prosecutor really want?” asked Heyliger-Marten, who is contesting the January 9, 2020, snap parliamentary election as a candidate on the United People’s (UP) party slate.
She called the reason given by the Prosecutor for appealing the judgement “simply frivolous.”
The Prosecutor said in a press release that it “would like to hear the assessment of the Court of Appeal concerning the meaning of ‘a promise’ in criminal law.”
“If the Public Prosecutor does not know the meaning of ‘a promise’ in criminal law, let them Google it, nuh,” she said. “Do they have to waste more money and prolong the agony of my family over that?”
She said the Court of First Instance had ruled on November 14 that there was insufficient evidence to substantiate the charges against her husband.
“The only witness who also said Heyliger offered money to [Romain – Ed.] Laville said he got his information from Laville, so from the same source,” Heyliger-Marten said the judge had indicated. “Has the Public Prosecutor now found more witnesses after six long years?”
In her opinion, this is part of a larger scheme to “criminalise our very existence. They are criminalising our very existence. For them, it is criminal to be a St. Maartener.
“And if you think I am wrong, check the list: Claude Wathey, Ralph Richardson, Al Wathey, Frank Arnell, Crastell Gumbs, Rene Richardson, Louie Laveist, Maria Buncamper and Claudius ‘Toontje’ Buncamper. Not to forget Patrick Illidge, Chanel Brownbill, Silvio Matser, Mark Mingo, Regina Labega, Edward Dest, Hiro Shigemoto, Michael Dijkhoffz, Frans Richardson, Etienne ‘Tochie’ Meyers, Brenda Brooks, Theo Heyliger and Christophe Emmanuel. And I could go on and on.
“What do all of them have in common? They are all St. Maarteners. In a population of about 50,000 people, from some 120 nationalities, only St. Maarteners are criminals? Who is the Public Prosecutor accountable to? How much has been spent on all these investigations? Who is paying for them?
“A prisoner was murdered while serving time and awaiting his appeal in Pointe Blanche in 2016 yet no one has been held for this crime. Instead, the focus of the Public Prosecutor is on prominent St. Maarteners. Why? These and many more questions must be asked,” she said.