Gerard Spong withdraws charges against weblog Knipselkrant Curaçao
THE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD – Dutch Defense Attorney Gerard Spong has withdrawn his lawsuit against the popular weblog Knipselkrant Curaçao. Spong did that on behalf of casino boss Francesco Corallo, whi filed a lawsuit against the blog in April 2015, because the editors had called him a mafia friend.
It appears now that Spong had withdrawn the lawsuit in January this year. This was reported in the Dutch morning newspaper Antilliaans Dagblad.
Lawsuit against Dutch MP Ronald van Raak
Last month it appeared that Spong had filed a lawsuit against the Dutch MP for the Socialist Party (SP), Ronald van Raak. The reason was for his column on the website ThePostOnline where he called Corallo a mafia boss. The Public Prosecutor in The Hague has kept itself silent on that lawsuit. Van Raak also said that he hasn’t heard anything about that lawsuit. The MP says that he has long been concerned about the relationship between lower and upper world in Curaçao and Sint Maarten.
Van Raak spoke to the Sint Maarten newspaper The Daily Herald and said that the process to tackle corruption and to remove “bad money” from politics in the Dutch Caribbean was off to a good start. He mentioned the trial against former Curaçao Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte, the investigation into the persons who gave the order to murder Pueblo Soberano Leader Helmin Wiels in May 2013 and the international, large-scale investigation into the alleged ties between the underworld and the upper world, specifically the gambling industry and government, in St. Maarten and Curaçao.
Corallo came in the spot light again last month during the trial of the former Prime Minister of Curaçao Gerrit Schotte. The Public Prosecutor in Curaçao demanded three years in prison against the former prime minister. The prosecution alleges that Schotte has received money from Corallo, and thereby become a "puppet" of a man being linked by the government of Italy to the Mafia. Schotte tried to appoint Corallo in 2011 as a member of the Central Bank.