Published On: Mon, Jul 6th, 2015

Sint Maarten blogger J.R. remains in pre-trial detention for a few days

judith-roumou-blogster-sint-maartenPHILLIPSBURG - The 40 year old suspect J.R., who was arrested at her home in Sint Peters, last Tuesday, June 30, 2015, had to appear before the judge of instruction last weekend. The judge of instruction judged the arrest and pre-trial detention as lawful insofar as it relates to stalking. According to the judge of instruction there is no reason to release the suspect immediately.

The blogger was arrested after several people pressed charges against her for various offenses in the period from January 2014 until now. The reports cover not only slander, defamation and insult, but also threat, harassment (stalking) en extortion. These offenses were committed both through social media and in person (“face to face”).

Given the particular circumstances in this investigation, namely the activities of the suspects and the limited resources and manpower of KPSM to conduct an investigation into “cybercrime”, a mediation process, rather than a criminal investigation, was initiated. During this mediation officials from as well KPSM as the Public Prosecutors Service spoke to the suspect, amongst to others.

After several months, it has shown that the agreements made during the mediation were not respected by the suspect. Above that, new statements against the suspect were done. Eventually, the Public Prosecutor was forced to proceed to arrest J.R. After her arrest, on June 30, a house search took place in her home in Sint Peters. Various data carriers (such as phones, laptops and computers) were confiscated for further investigation. Animal Welfare was called in to provide care for the dog and cats of the suspect.

During the pre-trial detention of J.R. it turned out to be very difficult to find a lawyer, who was available to assist the suspect. Ultimately, the judge of instruction had to appoint a lawyer. This measure has been necessary since J.R., just as any other suspect in pre-trial detention, is entitled to legal assistance.

The Public Prosecutors Service expects that the investigation of KPSM needs a couple of additional days to interrogate the suspect on all charges against her. During this investigation J.R. remains in pre-trial detention. Finally, no abuse of J.R. took place during her detention.

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