PHILIPSBURG, Sint Maarten — The Aquamarine investigation was launched in September 2016 and runs under the responsibility of the Central Team of the Prosecutor’s Office of Curaçao, Sint Maarten, Bonaire, St Eustatius and Saba. The investigation was conducted by the Recherche Samenwerkingsteam (RST).
In this investigation, Sint Maarten lawyer B. was suspected of committing fraud, forgery and money laundering. Searches were conducted in B.’s home and her law firm in late 2018 and early 2019 under the direction of the supervisory judge (RC).
During these searches, various documents and digital data were seized by the RC. A complaint was filed by B. and the law firm against this seizure at the Court of
First Instance, alleging that her right to privilege as a lawyer had been violated.
In the complaint procedure, which has run from the end of 2019 to the present, it has emerged that several irreparable (formal) errors were made by the prosecutor’s office, the RC cabinet and RST in the seizure and further handling of the potentially privileged documents and data of B. and her law firm.
After careful consideration of all the facts and circumstances, the prosecution concluded that this not only infringed the (derivative) right to privilege to which B. and her law firm were entitled, but also potentially violated her right to a fair trial.
The prosecution believes that the mistakes made by the prosecutor’s office, the RC cabinet and RST are so serious that the prosecutor’s office considers itself inadmissible in the further prosecution of B. The criminal case against B. has therefore been dismissed.