Today Newspaper St Maarten

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The daily newspaper for Country St. Maarten
Updated: 41 min 58 sec ago

Demand 5 years for beating up little girl

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 06:48

St. Maarten – Prosecutor Tineke Kamps demanded 5 years imprisonment yesterday against 37-year-old Angelo P. for attempted manslaughter on a 9-year-old girl on May 15 of this year. Of the demand, 2 years are conditional and the prosecutor asked the court to impose 3 years of probation. Kamps also wants the court to order the defendant’s admission for a period of no more than 12 months to the Mental Health Foundation for psychiatric treatment. Judge Koos van de Ven will pronounce his verdict on September 17.

While the community was shocked in May when it learned of the severe ill-t ... Read more

St. Maarten Government publishes reaction to Wit-report: Parliament gets to play its part in integrity actions      

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 06:47

St. Maarten – The Council of Minister published yesterday its reaction to Doing the Right Things Right, the report from the Wit-Committee about Integrity in Public Administration. The reaction shows indeed that the government has embraced the report’s recommendations. The execution of five of the forty recommendations require the cooperation of the parliament.

The government writes in its reaction that it will establish a progress committee tasked with monitoring the execution of the recommendations.

The recommendation to establish a public register for paid and unpaid add ... Read more

Prosecution appeals class justice ruling

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 06:46

St. Maarten – The prosecution filed an appeal yesterday against the ruling in the 2010 election fraud case (the so-called Masbangu investigation). On Monday, the court declared the prosecution inadmissible in the prosecution of three suspects who are accused of selling their vote to the United People’s party and one suspect who gave these suspects money on behalf of the UP. The court ruled that the decisions the prosecutor’s office made in this investigation –excluding the UP and its party leader Theo Heyliger from the investigation – have “the semblance of class justice.”

... Read more

Investigation at Prosecutor’s office

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 06:45

St. Maarten – Justice Minister Dennis Richardson will consult with the chairman of the Law Enforcement Council– former Lt. Governor Franklyn Richards – about a possible investigation into the practice of class justice within the Public Prosecutor’s Office in St. Maarten.

The initiative follows on the heels of the court ruling in the Masbangu-case that revolves around selling and buying of votes before the 2010 elections. The Court in First Instance declared the prosecution inadmissible in this case and remarked in its ruling that, by not investigating the role of the United P ... Read more

Opinion: UP Party causes real estate bubble

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 06:42

Dear Editor,

The UP led government has created a real estate bubble that will burst and hurt many real estate investors. Let us take a look at the real estate transaction by Minister Lake of the UP party from an auditor’s view:

Before a minister can sign a document or contract that binds government financially he has to obtain at least 3 approvals from different control units:

  1. He has to obtain the approval from the minister of finance, because the minister of finance has higher supervision on all the ministries in government.
  2. He has to obtain the approv ... Read more

Court allows hearing additional witnesses in Bada Bing case

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 06:37

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance granted yesterday morning close to all requests defense attorneys made last week in the run-up to the Bada Bing bribery trial that is scheduled to take place in the spring of 2015. The court referred the case back to the Judge of Instruction for hearing witnesses the defense had asked for.

Judge Koos van de Ven dismissed the argument of public prosecutor Gonda van der Wulp, who said during the pro forma hearing last week Thursday that the defense should have notified the prosecutor’s office three days before the hearing about the witnesse ... Read more

UP party inadmissible in quest for complete voting register

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 06:35

St. Maarten – The Court in First Instance declared the United People’s party and its president Sylvia Meyers-Olivacce inadmissible yesterday in a lawsuit that the party filed in an effort to obtain a full copy of the voters register.

The UP, represented by attorneys Peggy Ann Brandon and Brenda Brooks, filed the lawsuit against the Minister of General Affairs and the Government of St. Maarten. Judge Katja Mans ruled in summary proceedings however that the minister and the government are not legal entities and that it is not possible to involve them in a legal procedure. “Only t ... Read more

Party leaders avoid Laser 101 debate: Rhoda Arrindell (UP): “Stupid grievances downed first Wescot-Williams cabinet”

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 23:06

St. Maarten – Party leaders declined to take part in what would have been the last political debate before the elections on Friday yesterday. Radio station Laser 101 had invited UP-leader Theo Heyliger, DP-leader Sarah Wescot-Williams, NA-leader William Marlin and USp-leader Frans Richardson. First Heyliger declined, then Richardson and Marlin pulled out and that was finally the reason for Wescot-Williams to pass on the debate as well.

The replacements were Rhoda Arrindell (#14, UP), Silveria Jacobs (#3, NA), Roy Marlin (#3, DP) and Rueben Thompson (#4, USp).

Rhoda Arrindel ... Read more

Gaming industry hardly subject to controls: Casinos owe millions to treasury

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 23:05

St. Maarten – Casinos owe the treasury approximately 11 million guilders ($6.15 million) in arrears for casino controller fees. The Wit-Committee writes this in Doing the Right Things Right, its report about Integrity in Public Administration.

The committee notes that there is a problem with collecting these fees. “Reportedly the ordinance is incorrect and there are several civil procedures ongoing in court. “It is unclear why the concession fees are not increased, so that the controllers-compensation can be abolished without diminishing the total revenue,” the report states ... Read more

Integrity report presents scathing assessment – St. Maarten Parliament under fire

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 03:22

St. Maarten – Many within and outside of Parliament doubt whether the important task of this institution is currently executed adequately. That is the mildest remark in the integrity report of the Wit Committee about the functioning of St. Maarten’s Parliament. The report contains a scathing analysis of the way the fifteen parliamentarians do their job. Unnecessary trips abroad and absence from meetings are only a tip of the iceberg.

The Wit Committee notes that evaluating the Parliament is not a specific part of its task, but it adds that integrity in the public administration ... Read more

Two more handguns confiscated

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 03:20

St. Maarten - Police confiscated two more illegal handguns yesterday as they continue to execute their plan of action to remove all illegal weapons from the streets and to prosecute those responsible. During a search of two suspect vehicles the pistols were found and confiscated. One pistol was found in a hidden compartment in the ceiling of a grey Mitsubishi Outlander with license-plate M-2535.

One of the police K-9 dogs used in the search indicated that there was an illegal object in that part of the vehicle. The investigating officers then did a manual search of the ceiling in th ... Read more

Report in Atlanta Business Chronicle: Tropical Shipping paid kickbacks to foreign port

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 03:18

St. Maarten – AGL Resources Inc., the largest national gas distribution company in the United States, sold Tropical Shipping for around $220 million to a subsidiary of Saltchuk Resources Inc., a privately owned company in Seattle. The sales follows on the heels of a report by AGL to the Securities and Exchange Commission and to the US Department of Justice that it had started an investigation into payments Tropical Shipping has made over the years “to local officials and other persons” at a foreign port the company is using. While AGL has never revealed which port it was referring to ... Read more

DP wants risk assessment by Central Bank – Harbor’s legal team calls Zebec N.V.’s $100M claim “frivolous”

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 03:13

 St. Maarten - The Harbor Group of Companies says that the $100 million claim from Zebec NV against it is “wholly without merit” but the Democratic Party said in a press release that it is “seriously concerned” about the matter. Zebec claims damages from the harbor over the Harbor Village project that it was going to develop. The project stalled, according to Zebec, because Harbor CEO Mark Mingo kept throwing up obstacles.

The Harbor stated in a press release this weekend that it would “vigorously” defend itself against the claim in court. “The harbor ... Read more

Opinion: Incomprehensibility

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 03:03

Dear Editor,

I will quote from the Daily Herald paper regarding the Daily Herald and the report of the Integrity Committee (your paper from last Friday) and you may tell the public (in a note under this article) that what is quoted by your paper and the mentioning of the name of my client while her name was never mentioned in the report.

May be is not “Incomprehensibility or Integrity” but just a shame to blame a hardworking citizen…..

The Report: “The committee notes that the airport (just like the harbor and other public enterprises) as vital infrastructure a ... Read more

Call to register for 21st FCCA cruise conference

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 03:02

St. Maarten - The business community is encouraged to register for the 21st Florida Caribbean Cruise Association (FCCA) conference and trade show from October 6-10.

The process to start registering for one-on-one meetings with cruise executives has started. These meetings are first come, first serve, and requests will be sent based on the time of registration at https://www.regonline.com/fccastmaarten

Participation in the event is pricey though. The FCCA charges $3,500 for what it calls on its website a “standard hardwa ... Read more

St. Maarten Government reaction to Wit-report still missing

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 02:59

St. Maarten – Up to yesterday, the government still had not released its reaction to Doing the Right Things Right, the report from the Wit Committee about Integrity in Public Administration. The report’s publication together with the government’s reaction was originally scheduled for Friday, August 15. Prime Minister Wescot-Williams however, informed the committee that the reaction was not ratified yet in the Council of Ministers and that this would take place last week Tuesday. The publication of the report and the reaction would then follow the latest last week Friday.

Howev ... Read more

Ministers are indecisive, Minister Lake says

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 02:58

St. Maarten – V.R.O.M.I. Minister Maurice Lake says the indecisiveness within the Council of Ministers is costing government money and sending the wrong message to the youth.

“A case in point is Denicio Richardson, former Head of Postal Services St. Maarten, a national company providing services to the community. This young gentleman has been taken to court by government four times, and during the last case the judge ruled in his favor,” Lake stated in a press release. “I am a part of government, but the postal services fall under the minister of General Affairs who is also ... Read more

National Alliance: focus on realistic achievements

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 02:54

St. Maarten – The National Alliance (NA) plans to focus on responsible, attainable and realistic achievements for residents by addressing the issues that directly affect the people of St. Maarten in the next governing period, the party said in a press release yesterday in the wake of its public meeting in Cole Bay on Saturday evening..

Addressing the issues in health care; working towards an increase in the minimum wage and pension; the construction of a Center for the Performing Arts, an initiative first pursued by Deputy NA Leader Silveria Jacobs while she was minister; the creat ... Read more

Zebec sues Mingo for $100 million over stalled Harbor Village project

Fri, 08/22/2014 - 04:19

St. Maarten – Zebec Development NV filed a $100 million claim against the Harbor Group of Companies and its Chief Executive Officer Mark Mingo for breach of contract, the company stated in a press release. “While we regret having to resort to this measure we feel we have no alternative but to seek remedies in court,” stated Zebec’s Managing Director Luis Gioia, who also developed the Blue Mall in Cupecoy.

Zebec speaks in its press release of “long term efforts to reach a satisfactory solution with its development partners.” The claim stems “from the harbor’s repeated ... Read more