Sint Maarten: Theo Heyliger acquitted in the "Catfish" case, but still prosecuted ...


Last Thursday, Theo Heyliger was acquitted of the charges which weighed on him, within the framework of the investigation baptized "Catfish". The deputy, currently suspended, risked a sentence of one year in prison, including six months suspended, as well as a five-year ineligibility sentence.

According to the accusations, Theo Heyliger and another person, JMS, had attempted to corrupt former deputy Romain Laville. The two accused were accused of having offered Laville money, a ministerial post and a plot of land. In exchange, the member had to withdraw his support for the second government chaired by Sarah Wescott-Williams. Following these proposals, Romain Laville had filed a complaint for attempted corruption.

The court of first instance considered that the proposal for a post of minister is part of the political functioning in a democratic country, where coalitions can be formed to achieve majorities. The Court considers that there is no evidence concerning the proposal for payment and that it has not been proven either that Romain Laville was promised a parcel of land. The court therefore decided that there had been no attempt at corruption.

However, if Theo Heyliger was whitewashed in the “Catfish” case, his legal issues are not over since he now faces charges in the “Larimar” case, where he is implicated in corruption offenses , money laundering and the payment of bribes to public officials and officials in Sint Maarten. Bakshis disbursed by construction companies for the allocation of large projects. Theo Heyliger is accused of having received around US $ 4 million over a period of fifteen years. A period during which he occupied the posts of minister, member of the Council of Sint Maarten and deputy to the Parliament.


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