Oranjestad- PLP-leader and Island Councileman Clyde van Putten will not be prosecuted for statements he made last month during a conference in Curaçao. During the conference Van Putten was heard saying in his speech that if The Netherlands were to send marines to St. Eustatius, they would be ‘killed and burned in the streets’.
The statements made by Van Putten were met with disbelief and dismay, both on St. Eustatius and in The Hague. Former Minister of Kingdom Relations, Ronald Plasterk, said he thought Van Putten had a screw loose in his head and said he would file a complaint against the politician.
Van Putten later distanced himself from his own statements, which he said to regret and he himself also considered out of place. Van Putten also apologized for the statements made, which had also been condemned by coalition partner Reuben Merkman.
In a short statement today the Public Prosecutor’s office stated that Van Putten would not be prosecuted for the statements made. The press officer noted that in general the Prosecutor’s office was hesitant to prosecute politicians for things they stated in a political context. “What is said in the political arena should preferably stay in the political arena”, according to the statement sent out by the Prosecutor’s office. The Prosecutor’s office also pointed out that Van Putten had, in the meantime, withdrawn the statement and offered his apologies. Also, according to the Prosecutor’s office, Van Putten had clarified that his statements were taken out of context.
The Prosecutor’s Office office also wrote that state secretary Raymond Knops, as successor of minister Ronald Plasterk -who had filed the complaint- in the meantime was informed of this decision.