OM awaits appeal ‘Babel’; Schotte not in prison for now
WILLEMSTAD – As expected the former Prime Minister of Curaçao, Gerrit Schotte and his life partner Cicely van der Dijs appealed against the verdict in the Babel case. The judge ruled this morning.
Schotte and his lawyer, Eldon Sulvaran immediately indicated to the court about their decision to appeal. In an appeal usually the verdict is suspended to await the appeal. The Public Prosecution (OM) did indicate this morning that they will await the decision of the court of appeals. Here three judges will examine whether the evidences presented to the judge in the court of first instance was proven and they will also examine the sentencing. According to an expert, this decision is a gamble, because the court of appeals can also increase the years that the former Prime Minister will have to serve in prison.
The judge sentenced Schotte to three years in jail for forgery, corruption and money laundering. He was also deprived of the right to stand for elections for five years. The court indicated that Schotte by his actions seriously damaged the trust the citizens in an honest government.
In an interview right after the court’s decision, Schotte said that the voters will still be able to vote for him as the leader of his party in the coming elections this year, because the sentencing of passive suffrage is also suspended.