By Today Newspaper
GREAT BAY – Attorney Jairo Bloem pleaded during the Eco Green trial to declare the prosecution inadmissible, but his arguments fell on deaf ears with Judge Peter Lemaire.
The defense used the botched house search on June 26, 2015, to make its point. During that search, prosecutor Gonda van der Wulp photographed documents that fall under the attorney-client privilege. The pictures were removed and Van der Wulp was taken off the case and replaced by prosecutor Dounia Benammar.
Bloem said during the trial that he could not substantiate that his clients’ interests had been affected without revealing the documents.
The prosecution acknowledged it had made a mistake and – to preserve its integrity – asked the court to declare it inadmissible in the second summons against the Buncampers. This summons dealt with the charge of money laundering.
The court ruled that the Buncampers have not been disadvantaged by the pictures. It also dismissed the prosecution’s request for inadmissibility, saying that the integrity-argument is “insufficient.” The court furthermore ruled that it has no reason to doubt the position of the current case officer that she has not seen the pictures.
Other arguments to declare the prosecution inadmissible also fell flat. The defense mentioned the start of a parallel investigation (not prohibited, the court ruled), and violation of the ban on randomness, the equality principle and the principle of expediency.
The court ruled that the prosecutor’s office has “a broad authority to assess whom it prosecutes and whom not” and that the procedural violation by the previous prosecutor must remain without consequences for both summonses against the Buncampers.