Published On: Wed, Jul 26th, 2017

The Netherlands is conducting a ‘political process’ in Curaçao, according to lawyer of bank director Tromp

Tromp (1)WILLEMSTAD - The Netherlands is again conducting a 'political process' in Curaçao. That was the statement of the lawyer of Emsley Tromp, the director of the Central Bank of Curaçao and Sint Maarten, on Tuesday.

According to the Public Prosecutor's Office, Tromp has committed tax fraud and "the country of Curaçao" has been affected by about almost 3 million dollars.

The court session of Tuesday was a so-called pro forma session. The substantive treatment of the charge against Tromp (57), who has been in charge of the Central Bank for a quarter of a century, will be discussed later. Nevertheless, Tromp's lawyer Niels van der Laan spoke in his preliminary defense of "huge interests" in the case.

According to the lawyer, it is a political process, "driven by higher powers"

According to the Public Prosecution (OM), Tromp intentionally did not declare all incomes he received in his job for the period 2006 to 2014 for his pension to the tax. His defense claims that Tromp has to do that just after his retirement.

But under this substantive disagreement is a deeper issue, which was also discussed in the process against the Curaçao’s former Prime Minister Gerrit Schotte at the end of last week. According to Emsley Tromp's lawyer, there is a political process, "driven by higher powers".

Marionette of the Netherlands

Bank director Tromp is also known as 'the lower king of Curaçao'

The name was given by the Dutch government. Curaçao has been an autonomous country in the kingdom since 2010. Foreign Affairs and Defense are taken care of by the Netherlands. But many people see the OM as a puppet of the Netherlands that wants to keep influence on what it regards as effective or ineffective public administration.

Those who do not fit the Dutch system are being attacked, Gerrit Schotte complained last Friday about his conviction in appeal because of official corruption and money laundering. The defense of Central Bank Director Tromp, also known as the "lower king of Curaçao", followed a similar line on Tuesday.

'Unfair, Negligent and Hastily'

Striking is that Schotte and Tromp are rivals

Earlier, the defense called the prosecution against Tromp 'improperly, negligently and hastily'. The OM did not do its homework carefully, so attorney Van der Laan made clear on Tuesday. His words formed an echo of what Geert-Jan Knoops, the lawyer of Gerrit Schotte, suggested earlier.

It is remarkable, however, that Schotte and Tromp are rivals in Curaçao. In the period 2010-2012, when Schotte was the first Prime Minister of the autonomous island, he attempted to replace Tromp with a political fellow. But many accusations have been expressed against Tromp’s power and influence in the recent years but this is the first time he has been prosecuted.

He called Emsley Tromp 'not a dictator'

The defense of attorney Van der Laan seemed to be aware of the show on Tuesday. He called Emsley Tromp 'not a dictator', but someone who has done '25 years of great work '. According to him, the question is whether or not fraudulent retention of income is a matter for the taxpayer and does not deserve any criminal treatment at all.

The defendant wants the judge Van der Spoel to declare the OM inadmissible.

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