Knoops: “Investigation against Schotte was unlawful”
WILLEMSTAD – “Something in the dossier tells us that the case Babel is not right.” Words of Dutch top lawyer Geert-Jan Knoops during the pre-trial of the appeal. “There are a lot of coincidences.”
Knoops is the Dutch lawyer hired by Gerrit Schotte and his partner Cicely van der Dijs. In a three-hour speech, he took an advance on the substantive treatment during the pre-trial. On November 16, the court will decide whether Knoop's investigation needs will be met and when the trial of the appeal takes place.
'Threat established order'
According to the lawyer, who was assisted by his wife and fellow lawyer Carry Knoops, there is blackening by political rivals and Schotte was already at the beginning of his political career a threat for the establishment. The legal team that replaced Eldon 'Peppie' Sulvaran, have been in charge of the case for two months now and is performing an internal investigation. Knoops indicated that he needs four months for his investigation and hopes that judge Radder will grant him the needed time
“There was no basis for a judicial inquiry into Schotte. Of the two complaints, one was anonymous. Fundashon Akshon Sivil (FAS) recruited people who wanted to file a complaint against Schotte. A criminal investigation may never start with an anonymous complaint unless serious threats have been made but we do not know because the Public Prosecution did not investigate this. The two complaints are based on the leaked Unusual Transaction (MOT) reports. While in 2011, there were no reports of suspicious transactions.”
Knoops argues that the MOT reports came from the safe of the Intelligence Service Curaçao (VDC) and were leaked to the media. This could have only been done by VDC itself. Knoops thinks former VDC head Edsel Gumbs must be heard in this case.
Gerrit Schotte was sentenced in March to three years unconditionally for money laundering, forgery, possession of cell phone jammers, false declaration of losing his diplomatic passport and corruption. He should be denied from standing for election for five years. Cicely van der Dijs got eighteen months, nine months’ probation.
Photo: Knoops talking to the media (credit: Anneke Polak)
Reporting by Anneke Polak for Caribisch Netwerk (Caribbean Network)