Published On: Tue, May 27th, 2014

Schotte released but remains a suspect

Schotte2WILLEMSTAD - Former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte was released tonight. The court decided in a summary proceeding, after attorney Eldon Peppie ' Sulvaran had filed for the immediate release this morning.

“The magistrate indicated that in view of the extensive content of the file and the fact that Mr. Schotte does not know who the witnesses, who have yet to be heard are, the continuation of the detention is not necessary,” spokesman Guillano Schoop of the Public Prosecutor said. Schotte will cooperate with the investigation, as promised this afternoon.

The former Prime Minister remains a suspect in money laundering and forgery, as well as his partner Cicely van der Dijs. She was already released on Thursday. The MFK leader was arrested last Tuesday at the television studios of CBA, after he had given an interview. Van der Dijs was arrested at home not much later.

About thirty supporters of the MFK, including Van der Dijs and father Hendrik Schotte, were present to support Schotte this afternoon at the Public Prosecution’s office. With whistles, bells and microphones they supported the MFK leader, who appeared briefly at the window, with loud applause. During the last eight days Schotte was being held in a police cell at Barber.

Last week's raid on a house in Italy was in connection with the Babel case. Several witnesses were also heard in Italy, St. Maarten and Curacao. This case relates to the 52 unusual transaction reports that Schotte would have been involved with, including through the bank account of Van der Dijs.

This money came from casino magnate Francesco Corallo, who comes from Italy and owns several casinos in St. Maarten. Corallo was on the wanted list of Interpol, but he turned himself in at the Italian authorities.

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