PART # 1: THE CONSPIRACY TO RUIN MP CHRISTOPHER EMMANUEL

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Dear Editor

QUOTE: “There is no current policy for the selection of persons for the assignment of land in long lease; this has been the case for a long time … In the meantime, as long as there is no policy in place, it has always been the discretion of the Minister of VROMI to ultimately decide to whom available parcels of (land) can be issued in long lease. The selection of the individuals is not (very) transparent, but this is no different than has always been the case and approach of the Government.”

Louis Brown, Secretary General of the Ministry of VROMI – August 23, 2016

Begonia Plant

On October 22, 2019 MP Christopher Emmanuel and his former Chief of Staff were arrested in the so-called Begonia Investigation. According to statements released by the Prosecutor’s Office, they were arrested for ‘unlawfully long leasing government land to acquaintances at the end of their tenure in 2017, resulting in other applicants being disadvantaged’.

In this series of articles, I [writer] will bring to light the conspiracy that was launched to bring down an up and coming leader on this island, because he dared to go against the powers that be and work wholeheartedly for the people of the island instead. As well as the efforts to destroy his chief advisor.

In the cultural history of Sint Maarten, storytelling was the manner in which information was shared amongst the people. This tool was misused during the 2018 elections to paint a negative picture of the tenure of Member of Parliament (MP) Christopher Emmanuel. The story, once told, was used to trigger a politically charged criminal investigation.

Today however, storytelling will be used to bring to light the truth about the workings of government as it pertains to the awarding of long lease land. It will be used to unravel the plot orchestrated against MP Emmanuel. At the end, I am convinced that you will come to the same conclusion I did: the United Democrats and the Leona Romeo-Marlin 1 government lied to us the people. The government lied to the National Detectives and the Prosecutor’s Office. Then Acting Head of Domain Affairs, Raeyhon Peterson lied to his superiors and the judicial authorities. While the Secretary General Louis Brown, allowed it all to happen I order to get revenge against his former minister, and therefore was also party to the lies.

I have waited close to two years with the hope that someone would come out and speak the truth, as the facts are known within the government circles and by all seasoned politicians, across all parties. Today I have decided to be that someone.

The Players

Let me introduce you to the players, who all had a role to play in the orchestrated take down of MP Emmanuel.

The United Democrats, comprising of a merger between the UP Party and the DP Party

The Leona Romeo-Marlin 1 Cabinet

Leona Romeo-Marlin as Prime Minister

Miklos Giterson as Minister of VROMI

Michael Ferrier as Minister of Finance

Cornelius de Weever as Minister of Justice and TEATT

Emil Lee as Minister of Public Health, Social Development and Labor

Jorien Wuite as Minister of Education, Culture, Youth and Sports

The Secretary General of VROMI Louis Brown

The Acting Head of Domain Affairs Raeyhon Peterson, now a candidate on the Party For Progress

The Story

Just days before the parliamentary elections in February of 2018 StMaartenNews.com owned by Terrence Rey, now a candidate on the Christian Party, and the Daily Herald carried a story based on so-called leaked documents sent by Minister Giterson to the Council of Ministers. The story alleged that Minister Emmanuel at the time gave land in long lease to 11 persons, including three members of his cabinet and to friends and family.

It was also stated that the minister did not follow proper procedures at the time.

The document presented to the Council of Ministers was spearheaded by then Acting Head of Domain Affairs, Raeyhon Peterson, who openly expressed his disdain for both Emmanuel and his Chief of Staff and bragged about bringing him down, to anyone who would listen.

I waited in vain to hear then Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin, or any of the ministers, call for an investigation into the so-called leaked document. Instead there was silence, followed by calls for an investigation.

Then it became clear that what was being said on the road was in fact the truth. This was the time bomb that had been bragged about during the election by the United Democrats and their closest supporters. The bomb that would slaughter Emmanuel and bring the election home for the United Democrats.

The Facts

I have heard Emmanuel on various occasions explain that he was within his right to issue the long lease. On the road the stalwarts from within the United Democrats have confirmed that he did nothing wrong, however to come out publicly would not be in their benefit. Today begins the ‘war with the pen’, to bring the truth to the people about this entire case.

I will be taking you back to 2016 during the tenure of then Minister Angel Meyers.

Minister Meyers was put forward as minister by recommendation of then Member of Parliament Maurice Lake. In August of 2016 Meyers decided to grant parcels in long lease to an estimated 50 people in the Over the Bank area. You will be surprised by my findings, when reflecting on the actions taken against MP Emmanuel!

The Over the Bank saga: The Minister decided who would receive land

On August 8th, 11th, 22nd and 29th, 2016 then Minister of VROMI, Angel Meyers sent a memo with the subject title ‘application letter and forms for domain land’, containing in total a list of 50 names to the Department of Domains Affairs.

Minister Meyers stated the following:

“… you are hereby requested to further process the decree and advice for the following persons …”

“The decree and advice for the abovementioned persons will be sent to you via e-mail.”

The list of persons included:

– Mr. Sandro Garcia, Chief of Staff of Minister Meyers

– Ms. Karine K. Meyers, Niece and Public Relations Officer of Minister Meyers

– Ms. Marla Chemont, mother of the children of then Member of Parliament Maurice Lake

– Etienne Lake, the brother of then Member of Parliament Maurice Lake.

– Mr. Mark Williams, Policy Advisor to the Secretary General of VROMI Louis Brown

– Emmalexis Velasquez, the Public Relations Officer working in the Staff Bureau of the Secretary General of VROMI Louis Brown

– Sergio Dias, a family member of then Member of Parliament Maurice Lake

– Mariska P. Dias, a family member of then Member of Parliament Maurice Lake.

– Timothy Baly, an employee of the Permits Department of VROMI

– Mr. Michael Regales, an employee of the Permits Department of VROMI

From this list it is evident that Minister Meyers instructed the Department of Domain Affairs to further process the necessary documents to grant a parcel of land to his family member (niece), his staff (Chief of Staff and Public Relations Officer), staff of the Secretary General Louis Brown (his Policy Advisor and Public Relations Officer), staff within his ministry (employees from the Permits Department) and family members of the Member of Parliament who proposed him as minister Maurice Lake (his brother, mother of his children and two others).

In the email dated July 27th, 2016 from the then Head of Domain Affairs, to Minister Meyers, his Chief of Staff Sandro Garcia, with a copy to Raeyhon Peterson and his colleague Bert Deuzeman, it is stated that it is agreed that Domain Affairs would provide an example of the advice and decree to the Cabinet and that the division of the parcels will be executed by the Cabinet of the Minister.

No red flags went up in the ministry at the time! No complaints were expressed by Louis Brown, Raeyhon Peterson or Miklos Giterson! There were no statements of ‘conflict of interest’, nepotism or anything of the sort!

Why? Because as Louis Brown stated in a detailed memo to then Minister Angel Meyers on August 23rd, 2016:

“There is no current policy for the selection of persons for the assignment of land in long lease; this has been the case for a long time … In the meantime, as long as there is no policy in place, it has always been the discretion of the Minister of VROMI to ultimately decide to whom available parcels of (land) can be issued in long lease. The selection of the individuals is not (very) transparent, but this is no different than has always been the case and approach of the Government.”

So I ask my first question to all involved, especially to you Louis Brown, Raeyhon Peterson and Miklos Giterson:

Given the fact that there still was no policy in effect during the tenure of Minister Emmanuel, why did you present a case to the Council of Ministers and by extension the National Detectives and Prosecutor’s Office, that Minister Emmanuel did not follow the procedures?

Former Minister Meyers

The applications

The application letters and forms were in possession of the minister and/or his cabinet. They were being sent to the Department of Domain Affairs, which implies that the department did not have these applications prior.

What is evident from the contents of the memos is that the advices and decrees, which are generally drafted by the department, were instead drafted by Minister Meyers and/or his cabinet.

The approach taken by Minister Meyers, in sending names to the department and drafting advices and decrees within the cabinet, is not solely tied to the Over the Bank area, as on September 2nd, 2016 Minister Meyers sent another memo to the Department of Domain Affairs, stating:

“In addition to the list of names that were submitted to you regarding Over the Bank, you are hereby requested to further process the decree and advice for the following persons listed below for Belvedere”

“You will receive the decree and advice for the above mentioned persons via e-mail.

This triggers me to ask my second question:

Why is MP Emmanuel a suspect for having requested the Department of Domain Affairs to execute their task, by drafting the necessary advices for issuance of long lease, whereas Minister Meyers worked on them himself within his cabinet? Was this in line with regular procedures?

I think we can all answer the second part of the question ourselves:

As Louis Brown indicated, there is no policy in place.

Sign by:

“To be Continued……!!”

Editor Note: Below is a set of Documents send by the writer “To be Continued….!!” to back the statements of this Letter to the Editor.

MORE DOCUMENTS TO BE UPLOADED……