No criminal investigation against Van Putten

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Oranjestad, Sint Maarten — The Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) BES will not conduct criminal investigations in response to statements by the politician of Sint Eustatius, Clyde van Putten, on Curaçao on October 9, 2017. This decision was taken by the Chief Prosecutor, Henry Hambeukers. The successor of the declarant was informed of this decision.

The policy of the Public Prosecutor’s Office in political statements is that extreme
reticence must be taken. Not only because of the state of the law but also the point of
departure that what is said in the political arena must be done in the same arena. The
Public Prosecutor’s Office has formulated this premise in an internal instruction
incorporating the weighting factors for the assessment of a political report.

Persecution will only take place in cases where a threat is such that the threatened
person should seriously take into account that the threat would be carried out, or
when raging words actually caused riot with major social damage. This is not the
case in this case.

The Public Prosecutor sees no reason to deviate from her policy in this case. In
addition, it is important that the circumstances surrounding this statement give a
different picture of the purpose of this statement than is shown in some media. And
the way in which Van Putten has meanwhile removed this statement confirms that
again. He now denies the statement and says that is was taken out of context.

Prosecution will unjustly draw attention to the statement that is now out of date, this
given the qualifications put by Van Putten himself and the apologies he made. Van
Putten’s defaulting behavior has been socially received in an appropriate manner and
has thus been put in perspective.

The Public Prosecutor’s Office deplores the statements made by Van Putten. A criminal prosecution has however no added value.

If not in agreement with the decision of the OM, a complaint can be filed before the
Court concerning Article 15 criminal proceedings (strafvordering).