The law protects government criminals – PM Sarah Wescot Williams explains student about intigrity investigation

TDH – THE HAGUE–St. Maarten students were very interested to learn more about integrity issues from Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams during the session they had in The Hague on Tuesday evening.
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”They don’t care about the SXM people” Independent MP Romain Laville says he is going to leave Government

romaine laville

GREAT BAY – Independent MP Romain Laville announced his departure from politics during yesterday’s closing of the 2012/2-13 parliamentary year. “This may be my last speech in parliament for this period,” Laville said, suggesting that he will sit out the rest of his term until next year’s elections.

“I do not want to do another four years, and I do not consider another run in 2014.”

Laville said that he presented more motions (during the budget debate in April) “than the whole parliament combined” and that he had done his utmost during the past three years to make sure “that our people are taken care off.”

Like Independent MP Frans Richardson, Laville lamented that no action had been taken on the motions, except for the legislation to regulate pawnshops. He referred to his motion to power all government buildings with alternative energy sources. “That would have reduced the enormous cost of electricity we have to pay every month. That money could have gone into social programs, like a breakfast program in schools,” Laville said, “I have come to the overwhelming conclusion that we do not care. The changes in government were not for gain but because I made an oath to the people. I gave up my career for this, but we have failed. In 2014 maybe we do not need a change of government but a change of players.”

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Rush Planning forced Cause Way round about to be adjusted

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Vromi Minister Maurice Lake

TSXM – GREAT BAY – Vromi Minister Maurice Lake was present to observe the test run by a 40-foot container truck at the causeway roundabout near the border on Tuesday.

The outcome of the site visit will lead to some changes being made to the current design of the roundabout.  The new sketches need to be ready by Friday morning for discussion.  Adjustments will also be made to the roundabout on the Simpson Bay side of the causeway.

The test run was carried out in the presence of Minister Lake, Inspector Benjamin Gout, Traffic Division from the National Police Force, John Richardson, John Richardson Jr., Ruud Goossens of Volker, Chris Schuurman of Windward Roads Infrastructure, Clyde Blackett, driver, Michelangelo Richardson, driver of Intermar, and members of the ministers cabinet.

“I have had experience in the past where it concerns the design of round-a-bouts.  In this case I brought in one of our local experts John Richardson.  Going back to basics also includes using local expertise for different things.  I always go back to basics when it comes to decision-making and consulting local experts,” Lake said.

“We need to come together for the best interest to move our country forward.  I am a very realistic person willing to work with any organization or group that has the interests of the country at heart,” Minister Maurice Lake added.

William Marlin tries to set the record straight about Airport Asphalt

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TSXM – GREAT BAY – Former Vromi-Minister and National Alliance leader William Marlin defended the decision to have milled asphalt trucked from thec to the owners of private roads at no cost for the material in a statement he made last Friday on the Lloyd Richardson radio show.

“Minister Lake makes it appear as if his predecessor William Marlin did a horrible job and that everything I seemingly touched was wrong,” Marlin said in an almost nine minutes long monologue that was not interrupted by a single question. “He made it look as if I had agendas and that I signed off on things without authority or without a budget and that in the process I destroyed some local people as well.”

Marlin commented extensively on the issue of the milled asphalt that truckers removed from the airport, but he did not comment on the Foga-infrastructure project, where a contractor started executing the job while there is no budget available for it – at least, not yet.

The former minister confirms in his statement earlier claims by one of the truckers, Leroy La Paix, that the decision about the milled asphalt was more or less sabotaged by Claudius Buncamper, currently head of the infrastructure management department.

“When the recapping of the airport runway was announced we were in touch with the airport’s managing director. It was agreed that the Government of St. Maarten would get a substantial amount of the milled asphalt that they would remove from the runway. One will not use that asphalt to pave the Pondfill road or the Cole Bay Road, but it can be used to pave dirt roads in the districts,” Marlin said.

“The head of the maintenance department, (Claudius – ed.) Toontje Buncamper had to prepare a list of the roads that the government would pave with this asphalt. He also had to submit the advice to have the truckers that operate at the airport deliver the milled asphalt to the holding area – the public works yard – on Pond Island. I left office, and Toontje Buncamper never submitted the advice.”

Marlin suspects that there were powers at work beyond his control. “It was clear that they were playing their politics, stalling, so that they would have certain things ready for the new minister.”

The former minister said that he received several phone calls and was also approached by private road owners who had attempted to obtain some of the milled asphalt but that they were getting nowhere. “They asked me if I would be able to give them access to some of the material. I said, I don’t think it should be a problem.”

Marlin said that he discussed the solution he conceived for the milled asphalt with the ministry’s acting Secretary General Louis Brown. “Instead of having the government paying truckers to take the material in the night to the depot at the public works yard and then have to go out and pay a contractor to pave whatever private road – something the government has done on numerous occasions, particularly before elections – I came with the idea to give the milled asphalt to the private road owners. They would have to pay the trucker to move the asphalt from the airport to their property. Brown agreed. It is legal, there is nothing wrong with it and it can be done.”

However, in the last days Marlin was in office as a member of the second Wescot-
Williams cabinet, he said he operated by necessity on a day-to-day basis. “You never knew when the change of government was going to go into effect. In only found out officially about the swearing in of the new government on the morning of the day this happened. That is when I received a letter from the Governor’s cabinet indicating that the same afternoon the new government would be sworn in. I was not told beforehand.”

Marlin referred to the political issues that played at that particular time: he had asked the governor to dissolve the parliament and to call new elections. “The governor put the decision about the formation of a government on hold until a decision was taken about this. When we resigned, the governor took our resignation in consideration but in the meantime he asked every minister to stay and to work in the interest of St. Maarten. The governor did not say: you cannot sign resolutions, or you cannot sign contracts or permits.”

The National Alliance leader emphasized that he had “full authority and responsibility” as long as no decision was taken to replace the ministers. “Politically there may have been agreements, but constitutionally William Marlin and all the other ministers had the same rights and authority they had on the day they were sworn in. I want to make that crystal clear.”

After the meeting with Louis Brown, Marlin decided to go ahead as intended. “We contacted the property owners that had asked for the asphalt and told them the conditions. “Once you are willing to pay have the asphalt delivered, it will be at no cost. We are not selling it to you. We are giving it to you, but you have to pay for the transportation and for leveling your road. That is what happened.”

Marlin accused his successor Minister Maurice lake of “singling out one trucker as the one who illegally removed the asphalt” while there are seven different truckers working at the airport.

The former minister acknowledged that trucker La Paix approached him about the issue. “He told me he had been asked to provide the proof that he was allowed to remove the asphalt. I did not respond to his query in time, but I will do so over the weekend. He will have a copy of the letter.

Marlin also wrote a letter to Louis brown, Minister Lake and legal affairs explaining what had happened. “The government has paved private roads in the past,” he said. “We did it in parts of Dutch Quarter and all the way back in 94, we also did it in Cay Hill. What we did now was a cost saving measure for the government. That is what happened.”

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The youths of St Maarten call for Prime Minister Sarah Wescott Williams to resign IV

sarah-wescott-williams-resigns-ilandvibez-stmaarten-agricultureA wolf in sheep’s clothing is one thing, but to miss lead a whole country for decades is plain out ungodly . We are not all religious people  but we believe there is a creator for everything, what others choose to call the one they know created the earth is up to them.  We believe in life and Love which come from the lifestyle of the  Rastafarian culture, our conscience and common sense guided us to this point, the only way that truly made since to us up to this point. As youths of St Maarten we are  very disappointed in the way we are represented by our so called ministers and government representatives. To not know something is one thing, but to know and still lead people a stray is now a matter of disrespect towards the people that put their faith in you to lead them in the right direction. Understanding how politics work  we came to a conclusion that the rich and famous high and mighty families  that have installed and secured their authority within our society has always had one main plan, to conquer and control by any mean necessary.  It’s not hard  to justify the difference between good and bad or right and wrong  based on the gods  giving gift of  common sense or your conscience. Your common sense helps you to decide if the decisions you are about to make are good, bad, right or wrong. To override  that gods giving gift  you must install a few ungodly  features within your lifestyle :

Religion – Based on miss education, religion plays a big role in the way our common sense works towards one another. Because one might believe in the miss educated concept of religion:  allah, Rastafarianism , Buddhism and Christianity ect ( with Christianity sectioned  in different classes  such  as Catholic, Seventh day, Anglican,  Mormons  ect ), we tend to simply treat our brothers and sisters  different  because of our different beliefs ,this also played a big role in bringing racisms alive and even that  played its role on  altering the way our common sense works and  helping us justify  which groups of people were superior  to others, when we were all equal to one another  to begin with. To strengthen our  theory just put a few different races of babies (African, Caucasian , Indian, Chinese ect )  in a room and watch what happens ” MAJOR PLAY TIME” .  Left to grow up with one another without the miss educated concept of religion only results in brotherly bonds and lifelong friendships.

Miss Education – It is unfortunate to be miss educated! The factor can be based on a wide scale, so wide that if we  don’t try keep what we are  about to explain limited, we may end up talking about miss education throughout this whole letter . Right now I explain  about miss education based on a lack of outlets for our youngsters. If one does not  have a outlet to express ones creativity  in a positive way the only way left is to find an outlet that allows you to express yourself in a negative way . Now common sense  should tell you if you start building more jails instead of schools, you only create a negative institution platform for youngsters to enroll  into, the government  spends  how much millions on the prison while the St Marten University is in desperate need of help . What does that say about you as a leader who has their own share of common sense installed? History also allow us to find ourselves, we believe ” you got to know where you coming from  to know where you going” this plays a big role in allowing our youngster to know what our grandparents and great grandparents worked hard for , to honor , preserve, uplift ,  carry on and to know that valuing hard work is something to be proud of.

Lack of jobs and poverty  – This alters our decision making based on common sense on a day to day  basis. If people have to fight to provide for their family ”let’s take animals in the wild as an example”, Common sense directs them into a state of mind called ” survival of the fittest” by any means necessary they adapt  and do what’s needed according to the situation their in. People adapt to negative situations when they are not able to pay their bills or give their family a plate of food to eat , at that moment  their survival instinct kicks in and they do what they have to do in order to provide either  good or bad, and if there is no good what’s left ? We can come up with a solution that may decrease both these problems by a substantial  amount, it won’t solve it as it is too far long gone for saving , but we can do a great deal with hope that  by educating and occupying our youngsters they will carry on a tradition that they can be proud of and teach their kids the same. The solution  is ”AGRICULTURE”  or you rather continue seeing us just  clean the sides of the roads as educated as we are ? Or out  of work like all those hard working people at pelican that were planning their kids futures. What does your common sense or conscience tell you ? We’re sure it doesn’t feel good inside ! Most politicians learn to control this emotion because they and their families are well taking care of and mostly want for nothing.

Politics –  This play a great role in understanding how the masses of a  country is manipulated by just a few inhumane rich greedy people that just want more and more  not realizing they the cant go to hell with it. Common sense also tells you that we are a island under Holland, in simple terms (we don’t need all the complicated big words ect which most of us don’t understand any way cause we are miss educated), not a country. By now as we can see every country  that fought  for freedom or independence paid with their lives or the integrity of their land  and would end up in poverty ( Guyana, Jamaica ect ). It’s ok if we are under Holland, everybody can use some help once needed but with good intentions, but stop miss leading the people, after all if you believe they put you their why not serve and protect them as leaders should!

By seeing  every great leader throughout history that was put in place to carry out the inhumane duties  of the greedy  rich families on the grounds of politics (who are scared themselves to step out in the open because of their own guilty conscience and hide behind other to protect  the fortunes they stole from others  )  and instead with their own conscience telling them to do the right thing went ahead and  fought for the freedom of a country or it’s people ended up  DEAD( Kennedy, Lincoln, king, Malcom X and the leaders  that brought havoc on nations, Bush, Hitler, Slave traders ect),  you know the list, you are a well educated person! Now with no disrespect,  if you were Carrying out the works of the people and not the works of the high and mighty shouldn’t you be dead, in exile somewhere or without that decision making job like President Clinton?  Now  common sense only brings  us to one conclusion , you are not truly working in the interest of the POOR AND AVERAGE people! Politicians and rich people mostly  live above the law, which clearly shows us that laws are installed to control the poor and less fortunate. Most of St Maarten politicians were involved in some kind of scheme or crime but yet still keep their seat with respect to their family names when you dig deep behind the scene. Most buildings, landmarks  and estates  ect have family ties  to peoples grandchildren and great grandchildren who are also some of our no good politicians in government  today who were placed their not by vote but by inheritance which doesn’t qualify them to be leaders.

Now there are many more factors we can cover under having a conscience and  common sense but you are well educated person and already know all the points we expressed, we choose to keep it limited or else we would be typing forever . By having this knowledge it helps keep the miss educated under control . I expressed  the points above so that others may be educated on the matter and have a more open mind set  towards and building and communicating  with one another and a slight idea of how politics work .

Now by  the laws of conscience and common sense we the youths of St Maarten ask you to step  down and give your seat to a woman  like Ms Nicloe de Weever  . HOW DARE YOU, YOU MIGHT SAY, but common sense shows  what sort of passion this young lady truly has which is inspired by a vision a with a plan for our children’s future, she cannot do it alone but I am sure she is willing to listen, learn and execute what needs  to be set in place to make sure our kids have a sustainable future.  Looking and what Nicole did with so little money  was extra ordinary compared to a government  who has a budget they can play with and still provided no way out but a youth detention center. How about investing half of that money into  the University of St Maarten and teaching  our kids not to not to end up in a jail cell . NOW THAT SOUNDS LIKE A PLAN , DOESNT IT?

As  we get older and advance into adulthood, we realize that the responsibility of having kids isn’t easy , but fortunate enough to be here on the island of St Maarten where things isn’t all as bad as many other countries in the world , so for that we are grateful. How can you be in a position to make a change knowing  that the path we are heading  down is not a healthy one for our children and not try implement  a solution?  Why not try to put things  in place that may provide some sort of security ? The big guys don’t want it huh ? So you play the game like a queen on a chess board knowing that if you don’t try protect the king he would offer you up for slaughter?  Well in that case I guest its survival of the fittest right ?

We have a plan that is sure to work if giving the support of government . The plan is based on AGRICULTURE and for some reason it’s been a very touchy subject since in the OLD MAN DAYS (Claude Wathy). Why is Agriculture such a big deal with our government  knowing the fact that food is always on demand and we depend on only importation of our stocks and food supply. Without any of the features above installed your conscience and common sense should tell you this would be a right move to make knowing we don’t have platform for agriculture. What are you guys protecting, the rich guys that make money on the taxes that come in on these goods constantly?  Come on, their are masses of people suffering because of you guys selfish ways of living  while you are the minority  amounts us . I guess the satisfaction of watching us suffer is enough to sooth your sorrows. But turn the tables around 180 degrees . Would you like this end of the stick? That answer  you just gave yourself says allot about the person you are inside verses the role you are trying to play.

The Plan – An Agriculture station and Market place  would be a perfect solution to start working towards solving our food problems, it will  not only provide food but also jobs, education, increase revenues that may be beneficial to government, increase tourism, benefit the environment and motivate people to  produce whatever  they are culturally capable of producing which will keep them occupied , out of trouble and proud of themselves . Look how Low lands Community Gardens , Hillside adventures and many other little organizations and foundations are striving  on their own within agriculture while there is a budget of about 600,000 guilders from USONA towards agriculture and government  decides to build a detention center instead, ok that’s cool build the detention center, that had its own budget, but the money is still there for agriculture, so why are you guys not doing something about it? Is government going to wait till a hurricane or some disaster comes  and we run short on food supplies to realize that we needed to install some sort of foundation of agriculture? It’s not genius it COMMON SENSE !

Based on the God giving Law of Common Sense and Conscience and  with the knowledge of even  the Preamble of the Constitution ( placed below) that you as government do not uphold or respect, we the youths of St Maarten with all respect, we cannot call you Hon. Prime Minister  Sarah Wescott Williams because there  is no honor in what we see happening  on our island, we would rather say Honorable Nicole de Weever  because she makes our children  smile and give them something to live for. Don’t under estimate yourself Nicole we believe you can once you plan not to follow in the oppressors footsteps.

Youths of St Maarten

 

PREAMBLE of the constitution of St Maarten

WE, THE PEOPLE OF SINT MAARTEN CONFIRMING that we recognize the guiding principles of Almighty God as the core of our values;

INSPIRED by the exercise of our universal right to self-determination as manifested in the referendum dated 23 June 2000, when we freely opted for the status of Nation within the Kingdom of the Netherlands;

BEING DETERMINED to work with each other, with our partners in the Kingdom of the Netherlands, with our neighbors in French Saint Martin and with all peoples of the  world  on  the  basis  of   freedom,  equality,  peaceful  coexistence,  and  international solidarity;

DECLARE that we are a people that believes in the principle of democracy, the rule of law, the principle of separation of powers, the dignity and value of the individual, and the entitlement of all individuals to the fundamental rights and freedoms;

BEING DETERMINED to care for the perpetual maintenance of nature and the environment;

DECLARE   that   we   wish   to   create   a   constitutional   order   based   on   an   open   and approachable government;

AND THEREFORE, in order to record these objectives and convictions, the following provisions shall enjoy the force of law as the Constitution of Sint Maarten.

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IS ST MAARTEN ON THE LINE – Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte says “If you want out, give me a call”

MARK RUTTE-SXM GOVERNMENT - ILANDVIBEZ-ST MAARTEN HOLLAND

GREAT BAY – Telegraaf-journalist Ruud Mikkers, who toured the Antilles last week with Prime Minister Mark Rutte and a trade mission caused quite a stir in the Netherlands on Saturday with a front-page story under the ominous headline “Antilles on the line” (Antillen op de wip) that suggested that as far as Rutte is concerned the autonomous countries and the BES-islands could severe their ties with the Netherlands immediately if they wanted to.

Mikkers reported that Rutte made the remark “behind the scenes” and that island-politicians had looked at him rather surprised when they heard his opinion. “If you call me tomorrow that you want out, we will immediately take care of it,” the Dutch Prime Minister was quoted as saying.

The story triggered more than 300 reactions on the online edition of the newspaper; quite some readers pointed out that it is up to the islands to take a decision about their status within or outside the Kingdom. Others cheered the statement and demanded that the Netherlands “stops the development aid” and that if the countries want to be independent they have to stand on their own feet. In reality, Rutte said already at a press conference on Wednesday, that the book on debt relief (perceived as development aid in the Netherlands) is closed.

Tom-Jan Meeus brought Rutte’s statement with the correct nuance. “Prime Minister Rutte told the islands in Caribbean Netherlands this week behind the scenes that if they wish to do this, they are able to leave the Kingdom at any moment: “they looked at me with surprise. I said: if you want out, and a majority of your population supports that, then it is possible. Then you give me a call and we arrange it.”

On Wednesday, Rutte said at a press conference in Philipsburg that he does not want to talk about constitutional reform anymore. Meeus quoted him as saying: “I said in private: if we ever talk about policy, I’ll only do it if you want to get out of the Kingdom.”

The Dutch daily Trouw picked up the story and quoted a reaction from D66-leader Alexander Pechtold, who once told this newspaper that St. Maarten is “not on the radar” of politicians in The Hague. Pechtold told the NOS that Rutte’s statement is “for a historian improper, and for a prime minister not very diplomatic.” According to the D66-leader, Rutte’s words were meant for the home front “because he knows people like to hear this.”

The Netherlands has a history of 400 years with the islands and the prime minister has a duty to put his thoughts carefully into words ad something like this about Limburg, all hell would have broken loose.”

NRC Handelsblad reported that Rutte saved his harshest criticism for St. Maarten where he “made agreements about a thorough investigation into the government’s integrity.” The story fails to report that Rutte appreciated the fact that Prime Minister Sarah Wescot-Williams had already taken the initiative to contact anti-corruption Watchdog Transparency International for a national integrity assessment.

Tom-Jan Meeus furthermore writes that the minister of justice had to step down “because he turned out to be the manager of several brothels.” It also appeared, Meeus wrote, that the island’s parliamentarians have a monthly salary of €9,000 ($10,800), “the highest in the Kingdom.” According to Meeus Rutte recommended that the parliament reopen the debate about this issue. However, at Wednesday’s press conference, Rutte emphasized that it was not up to him to comment on the salaries. Today already revealed the salaries shortly after the territory obtained country status in October 2010.

Pre Trail Custody still remains for Middle Region Stabbing Suspects

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TSXM – GREAT BAY – The Court in First Instance adjourned the trial of Shanieska Alisia B. and Eric Jonathan J. to October 23. The two 17-year-old suspects in the fatal stabbing of Kimberly Illidge on March 23 will remain in pre-trial custody until the trial – though there is a real possibility that the court will grant Eric J. a suspension of his detention at the beginning of the new school year.

The diminutive Shanieska B., who is suspected of stabbing Illidge in Middle region, was the first one to appear in court yesterday afternoon. Prosecutor Karola van Nie announced that she would request an adjournment because the report from the Dutch Forensic Institute NFI is not available yet and that she is also awaiting a report from a youth psychiatrist about the defendant.

Attorney Shaira Bommel asked the court to terminate or suspend her client’s pre-trial detention. “The detention situation at the police station is unacceptable for a minor,” she said.

Two cells at the police station have been designated as youth detention facilities at the police station by the Justice Minister. According to Bommel her client does not get her day-program, because sometimes teachers are not available. “On June 23 three detainees escaped and from the day after that there is no opportunity to air anymore. My client is entitled to airing twice a day for an hour, but the police say they have no choice.”

Attorney Bommel said that het teenaged client is detained among adults and that there is constant contact, also with adult detained men. “She has to be kept strictly separated from adults. This is unlawful and this situation has to be terminated. There are other options available, like house arrest.”

Prosecutor Van Nie referred to a ruling by the Common Court of Justice that states that the detention situation is acceptable. “It also states that the day program must be offered as much as possible,” she said. “It is annoying that I hear only in court that something is not right with that program. If I am informed about it earlier I am able to do something about it. But we are talking about a serious crime here. A girl was stabbed to death. We have to look beyond the interests of the suspect. The interest of the society carries more weight than the interest of this suspect who is a minor. But I am always prepared to look at what can be done about her situation.”

Judge Tamara Tijhuis withdrew to her chambers to think about her decision. “I have thought about this for a long time,” she said when she returned to the courtroom. “This is about the principle. The problem is the way St. Maarten deals with young inmates. It is easy to say that the country has the obligation to take good care of people, also when they are suspected of serious crimes. The Common Court of Justice has recently ruled that the detention situation is not unlawful. It is acceptable, though it could always be better, nobody doubts that.”

Judge Tijhuis followed the position of the Common Court that the situation is acceptable for the defendant. At the same time, she indicated that the country St. Maarten and the House of Detention have to make sure that the defendant gets what she is entitled to: a day program and airing time.

The judge rejected the request to terminate the pre-trial detention but she also overruled the term “as much as possible” from the Common Court’s ruling about the day program. “That has to be followed,” she said and, addressing attorney Bommel: “You have to sound the alarm the moment this is not so. Then we can discuss whether there have to be consequences.”

Co-defendant Eric J., who allegedly provided Shanieska B. with the knife she used to stab Kimberly Illidge, has a better chance to obtain a get-out-of-jail card.

“October 23 is far away,” his attorney Geert Hatzmann observed. “He is a very young suspect and nobody had expected that Eric would get involved in something like this. He was doing well in school. It is sad to see that he is now detained at the police station and that nothing cokes of his education. Is that justified? He must get the opportunity to pick up his life again.”

Like attorney Bommel before him, attorney Hatzmann told the court that the day program for his client at the police station is not functioning. “You cannot call this decent youth detention. It is incomprehensible. No matter how serious the charges are, my client should not become the victim of this. There are contacts between minors and adults in the cells. This situation is no longer acceptable.”

Prosecutor Van Nie objected to Mr. Hatzmann’s request to terminate his client’s pre-trial detention, but she admitted that he had a different role in the crime. “He is not the one that stabbed the girl. Possibly a suspension of his detention at a later moment is reasonable.”

The prosecutor said that she would want to formulate specific special conditions for a suspension of Eric J.’s pre-trial detention. “One of the moments this could happen is the start of the new school year. He does not have to wait until October 23.”

Attorney Hatzmann wondered why the suspension could not happen immediately if it is imminent anyway.

Judge Tijhuis maintained that there are sufficient serious objections to the suspect’s release. She referred to the Common Court ruling about the detention situation: “It is not unjust and I do not see circumstances that give me reason to rule otherwise.” The judge therefore rejected the bid for an immediate suspension, meaning that Eric J. will remain detained for the time being, pending a psychological evaluation and the formulation of conditions linked to a future suspension.

“A suspension comes into the picture when your personal interest carries more weight,” the judge added. “That will be the case when it is about your studies. In that case the balance will sway your way.”