By René Zwart©
Oranjestad – The lawsuit that five St. Eustatius politicians, under the leadership of PLP leader Clyde van Putten, have filed against the Dutch Government has started today. The case was also immediately suspended again. The matter of the lawsuit is the question whether the decision of the Dutch government to send home the elected government of the island, was lawful or not.
It was long unclear whether the State would show up or not. Up to Friday, the Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations insisted that they had not been summoned to appear for today’s hearing. At the last minute however, the court was informed that the Sint Maarten branch of the law firm HBN Law would be present as attorney on behalf of Dutch Government. The request, on behalf of Dutch Government to suspend the treatment so that the lawyers have the time to draft a defense, was granted by the judge. The session was adjourned until 20 November, 2018.
In the afternoon, the Ministry of BZK was able to shed some light on there was so much confusion in the run-up to the session. “Inquiry tells us that the bailiff has had the documents served the summons to the wrong authority, namely at the office of the Public Prosecutor of the BES on St. Eustatius. It should have been served to the public prosecutor’s office or to the Kingdom Representative, “according to a BZK spokesman.