PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten –– 721news got this EXCLUSIVE statement from Ms. Zylena Bary who is Judith Roumou (JR), Lawyer:
My client, Ms. J.R., wishes first and foremost to thank all of her family, friends and supporters for their unwavering encouragement during this unfortunate time.
As her attorney, I must say that I find the circumstances surrounding her arrest extremely bizarre. First of all, of the four (4) persons mentioned in her case file, all persons have motives for insisting that this matter was taken to the extreme of arresting my client. Secondly, my client too, has complaints filed against at least two (2) of these persons [between 2013 and 2014], yet inexplicably, no one was detained to my knowledge.
This is peculiar considering one of the charges filed by my client was for assault. In other words, and without any real explanation by the Public Prosecutor’s office, (among other things) a physical attack on my client by an assailant turned complainant was not deemed reason enough to lead to an arrest, but my client blogging about her horrific and painful experience was somehow (a year and change later) enough to justify arresting my client, seizing her computers, etc (coincidentally and simultaneously effectively disarming my client from being able to defend herself against these same charges) and detaining her for several days.
There are many more seemingly lopsided interpretations of this case that deserve mentioning, but I choose to save those observations for a trial, if and when the Public Prosecutor decides to let it go that far. Coincidentally, the position taken by the Public Prosecutor’s office to not object to a suspension of (or release my client from) a pre-trial detention which was requested by the same Public Prosecutor’s office; a pre-trial detention that was not needed but conveniently rids my client of her laptops, etc, only raises more questions.
Equally convenient in this light is the fact that now that my client is suspended from pre-trial detention, the Prosecutor’s office can attach certain conditions, which could be construed as placing a muzzle on the mouth of understandably upset person. Finally, I do see a need for bloggers and satirists in a country that claims to be based on democracy, freedom of speech and equality.
At its core, this case is as much about these last mentioned fundamental issues than anything else being alleged by the Public Prosecutor’s office.