Boasman: All the facts have to be weighed

Minister of Justice Raphael Boasman


PHILIPSBURG – In Wednesday’s, January 18, Press Briefing, Minister of Justice Raphael Boasman elaborated on the appointment of Regina Labega as policy advisor at the Ministry of TEATT.

“The situation was that she was on a leave of absence and as such could have returned to government,” he said.

“Civil servants while often, and rightfully so, are on higher scrutiny by the public because of the nature of their work. They are also human beings, and also have their rights. I believe that in the case of Miss Labega,” he continued.

“We are talking about the investigation that started on six years ago.  And for those six years persons’ lives have been turned inside out, and I still want to believe in the whole premise, and the fact that one is innocent until proven guilty…and sometimes during the process, they pay more than may be the verdict,” Boasman explained.

He clarified that there has to be a determination as to whether or not that person should be suspended. “All of the facts have to be weighed against each other.”

“Besides the right to privacy that person has, just like any one of us. The regulation is clear. I am busy looking at all of the facts involved, and weighing those facts in order to make a decision on the situation. I would like for the media and the public to rest assured that this is not a matter of anyone covering for anyone. We tend to quickly jump to those conclusions, but these types of decisions pertain to people’s lives, and I think they should be taken with the necessary care and caution,” he cautioned.

He also said that the law makes a distinction pertaining to what persons are being investigated for.

“I want the public to rest assured that it has my full attention. The situation at the prison has my full attention, but it’s going to be done responsibly, and not in any kind of a witch hunt,” he assured.

He remarked that any decisions would be made in consultation with those doing the investigation, “without me as minister getting into actual investigation.” The investigating police and the prosecutor have the sole authority to decide who will or will not be prosecuted, and “I have no intention on infringing on those authorities or those entities,” Boasman concluded.