Day of truth for flamboyant former Prime Minister Schotte
WILLEMSTAD - Alleged links with the Sicilian Mafia, financial mismanagement and corruption. The accusations against Gerrit Schotte continued to accumulate over the years. This Friday the flamboyant former Prime Minister of Curaçao will hear his sentence.
Earlier the Public Prosecutor demanded three years in prison against him for, among other, bribery, forgery and money laundering.
The Member of Parliament and leader of the opposition party MFK, was appointed in October 2010 as the first Prime Minister of the newly formed country Curaçao. The two-year period in which he held the position, was full of political turmoil. Schotte was able to play the media and public with a clever marketing. He spread during elections many T-shirts with his name and kept free performances by popular bands.
However, the attention that ultimately fell on him, was of an entirely different order. Alleged contacts with an Italian mafia boss with Dutch passport, Francesco Corallo, a disastrous financial situation of the island after two years of government and accusations of bribing voters led to many negative headlines in a row.
Looming large financial deficits eventually prompted the Dutch government to force the government of Curaçao with cuts to bring its budget in order. In September 2012 Schotte was forced to clear the field as a group of his own coalition members split off and formed a new government. Schotte labeled this as a coup sponsored by The Hague.
During the court proceedings, Schotte spoke of character assassination. The life partner of Schotte, Cicely van der Dijs, will also hear her verdict this Friday. The prosecution demanded eighteen months in prison against her, of which nine are conditional, for her involvement in forgery.