CURAÇAO – Patrick Illidge, parlementariër in Sint Maarten, is vandaag aangehouden op verdenking van omkoping, witwassen en deelname aan een criminele organisatie. Dat meldt het Openbaar Ministerie (OM) in Sint Maarten. Op dit moment wordt hij verhoord. Het OM doet geen verdere mededelingen.
Het onderzoek genaamd Orca is in maart gestart naar aanleiding van het verschijnen van een filmpje waarop was te zien dat Jaap van den Heuvel, eigenaar van bordeel Bada Bing, stapeltjes bankbiljetten overhandigde aan Illidge. Van den Heuvel is vorig jaar reeds aangehouden. Zijn voorlopige hechtenis is inmiddels opgeschort.
Bron: Versgeperst, Curacao
MP Illidge arrested, questioned by police
TUESDAY, 21 JANUARY 2014
PHILIPSBURG–Member of Parliament Patrick Illidge was arrested yesterday morning by National Detectives (Landsrecherche) on suspicion of bribery, money laundering and being a member of a criminal organisation, according to a press release from the prosecutor’s office. The allegations refer to Illidge’s alleged role in the Bada Bing case, also known as Operation Orca.
It is understood that National Detectives had shown up at Parliament during the budget debates last week in an attempt to speak to Illidge, however he was not in the building.
Illidge attended Philipsburg Police Station on appointment in the morning of January 20, where he was taken into custody for questioning.
The Prosecutor’s Office confirmed that they gave the go-ahead for the arrest after a Joint Court of Justice gave permission for Illidge to be prosecuted on December 30, 2013 following a closed hearing as a result of the “Landsverordening Vervolging Politieke Gezagdragers” (Ordinance Prosecution Political Authority), which came into effect on 10-10-’10 and which states that a hearing must be held to determine if a person of political authority, including a Member of Parliament such as Illidge, can be prosecuted.
Independent parliamentarian Illidge was caught on camera, allegedly accepting a bribe in the Bada Bing case. The case revolves around strip club owner Jaap van den Heuvel, who is at the centre of a corruption probe. Van den Heuvel was arrested last year. His pre-trial detention has been suspended.
Whilst the video suggests that the payment was for arranging permits, Illidge had said in earlier media reports that it was repayment of a loan. Both Illidge and Van den Heuvel had said subsequently that United People’s (UP) party leader Theo Heyliger had asked the strip club owner to make the video to blackmail Illidge into helping the UP, which was at that time in opposition, back to power.
Source: The Daily herald, St. Maarten