AG withdraws Supreme Court Appeal in case against Regina LaBega, Fabian Badejo, and other defendants



GREAT BAY, St. Martin — The Attorney General (AG) of St. Maarten, Curaçao, Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba has withdrawn the appeal to the Supreme Court in cassation in the long-running case, code-named “Colade,” involving Regina LaBega, Fabian Badejo, and other co-defendants. 

A deed to that effect (“AKTE VAN CASSATIE”), was drawn up and signed on November 15, 2023, according to court documents directed to the defendants.

LaBega said she was overjoyed when her lawyer informed her that the case was now closed. “It’s been 13 years of a nightmare I don’t wish on my worst enemy,” she said, “But thank God it’s over now.”

The Attorney General had filed the appeal in cassation following the decision of February 17, 2022, of the Joint Court of Justice of Aruba, CuraçaoSint Maarten and of BonaireSaint Eustatius and Saba, which favored the defendants. 

The case concerned allegations of fraud, embezzlement, and belonging to a so-called “criminal organization” when LaBega was head of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau (STB) in 2010. Following her stint at STB, LaBega went on to become one of the most successful managing directors of SXM Airport between 2011 and 2016, securing an unprecedented Moody’s rating of Baa2 and several international awards for the territory’s airport. 

“I want to thank my family and friends who stood by me throughout this ordeal and believed in my innocence. I am also very grateful to my lawyer for the excellent job she did,” LaBega said. 

For his part, Badejo said he was ecstatic about the news. “It’s the best news I’ve heard in years. God is good. The prayers of my 91-year-old mother in Nigeria have been answered.” Badejo is a senior St. Martin journalist, media consultant, and author.

Attorney Safira Ibrahim who represented Badejo explained that “The case is now closed, and the judgement rendered by the Joint Court of Appeal stands and has become irrevocable.”

“That means you have been acquitted of all charges lodged against you by the Prosecutor,” stated Ibrahim in her letter to her client. 

“I am very pleased with this outcome and happy that it has come to a definite and favorable decision, finally. Well deserved!” said the attorney.