Laville still under investigation


By Today Newspaper

St. Maarten – Former Member of Parliament Romain Laville is not off the hook yet as the Public Prosecutor’s Office still considers charging him for gun possession and two cases of gun threats. Officers of the National Detective Agency arrested the former politician on Thursday March 26 at his home but they released him the same day.

“The case is still under investigation. A decision will be taken within a couple of weeks,” press prosecutor Karola van Nie said. There is no decision yet about charging Laville with the threats he made against former UP-MP Jules James on June 11, 2012 and against Isidore York on November 28 in the same year. During the search at his house, officers confiscated two firearms and interrogated the suspect.

The bad blood between Laville and James stems most likely from the debate in November 2011 about the now former Pelican Resort (currently Simpson Bay Resort &Marina) where James was general manager when after a takeover many employees lost their jobs or had to accept less favorable conditions for continued employment. Laville was at the time the faction leader of the United People’s party to which James also belonged. He made a passionate plea in support of the employees and submitted a motion that condemned James role. The motion was voted down and the faction forced Laville to change his tune. In the end, he left the parliament and did not vote on his own motion. Later he left the UP-faction to become and independent Member of Parliament.

James filed an official complaint at the police station and the prosecutor’s office started its investigation. Many questioned the time-line of the alleged threat however the lack of man power at the prosecutor’s office can be one reason why it took so much time before the arrest was made this year. This newspaper understands that Laville only had a permit for one of the guns confiscated by the National Detective Agency. The ball is now in the court of the Public Prosecutor’s Office that will make a decision before the end of August about this case.