Published On: Wed, Aug 15th, 2018

Candidate buyers former Curaçao house in The Hague lose court proceedings against the government

Curacao house in The HagueTHE HAGUE, WILLEMSTAD - The government of Curaçao has been completely vindicated by the Court of Appeal in The Hague in a lawsuit filed by two Amsterdam real estate traders. The two, Wieglia Beheer and Forreal Investments, demanded the monumental buildings on the Badhuisweg in The Hague where the Curaçao House was located before the move to the Prinsegracht and the associated former official residence.

In addition, they claimed a compensation of up to approximately 3 million euros.

The project developers invoked a 'draft sales agreement' which they concluded in September 2015 with Marvelyne Wiels, the former Minister Plenipotentiary of Curaçao, who was then authorized to do so. The document made the reservation that the buildings would only be delivered after Parliament had agreed to this.

The agreed sales price of 2.9 million euros raised questions. A few years earlier, the three city villas still valued at more than double. Immediately rumors circulated that the already very controversial Wiels - against her several investigations for alleged fraud and misconduct - had made a deal that would be very beneficial for her.

Successive governments did not submit the sale for the approval of the MPs and the draft agreement was renewed time and again, the last time was June 15, 2017. To avoid the risk that the government could be forced to hand over the premises, the current minister Plenipotentiary Anthony Begina annulled the agreement. Promptly the prospective buyers went to court. In September, parliament superfluously took the decision not to approve the draft contract that was unfavorable for the country.

At the Court of Appeal, Wieglia and Forreal demanded that the 3 properties would still be transferred for the agreed purchase price (2.9 million) and that Curaçao would have to pay a fee of 8,625 euros per day from August 23, 2017. However, the Court has ruled in favor of the Curaçao government. The plaintiffs had agreed to the ruling. In addition, Wiels had gone far beyond her authority with the conclusion of the sales contract. The realtors could have known that because, according to the Court, she was not a minister, but a civil servant.

The realtors have been ordered to pay Curaçao a small 9,000 euros for costs incurred. The government can now decide in all tranquility what it will do with the superfluous buildings. Since the conclusion of the provisional sales agreement, the prices of real estate in the Netherlands have increased by many tens of percent.

The process was one of the unpleasant surprises with which the successors of Wiels were confronted. Another is the expensive bad purchase of the current Curaçao house at the Prinsegracht for which architectural advice has not been obtained in advance.

By Rene Zwart

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