The Public Prosecutors Service has decided not to appeal against the verdict of the Court in the so called investigation “Piranha”.
Philipsburg, Sint Maarten — On May 28, 2015, the Court acquitted the suspects Gibbs and (former Minister) Shigemoto of fraud and forgery (amongst other crimes).
The Public Prosecutor accused the suspect Shigemoto of performing acts, as a civil servant (“Directeur Middelen”, Secretary-General, Minister of Finances) in a way that suspect Gibbs got paid while in fact, in the vision of the Public Prosecutors Service, he was not entitled to get paid. During the two days court hearing, on May 6 and 7, both suspects gave alternative explanations for these actions and explained why, in their vision there was a right to payment.
The Court judged that it doubts the vision of the Public Prosecutor and acquitted both suspects. Given the contents of the criminal file, the Prosecution sees insufficient ground to dispel those doubts after appeal. Above that, the lack of adequate legislation of Accountancy Rules provides little possibilities for a conviction.
Note: Accountancy Rules legislate the rules which the government and civil servants should follow regarding the payments of outstanding invoices. On October 10, 2010, these rules expired, while no new rules replaced them.