Restrictions remain in place for MP Silvio Matser

POSTED: 03/13/16 7:22 PM

St. Maarten News – The Common Court of Justice rejected on Wednesday the request of MP Silvio Mater’s attorney Cor Merx to lift the restrictions that currently apply to his client’s detention. The reason for the rejection is that others are still being detained. In that sense, Merx said, there is no double standard in comparison with the detention of former MP Patrick Illidge in the Bada Bing case.

Officers of the National Detective Agency NDA arrested Matser last week Wednesday. On Friday the court put him for eight days in police custody.

The restrictions that apply to Matser’s detention mean that he has no access to radio, television, internet, phone or newspapers and that he is not allowed to receive visitors.

Today the judge of instruction will take a decision about the extension of Matser’s custody. If the court imposes another eight days behind bars, Matser goes into pretrial detention. In that situation he will be suspended by law as a Member of Parliament.

Matser is a suspect in the Octopus investigation; the prosecutor’s office suspects him of vote buying during the 2014 elections but it has also accused the MP of membership of a criminal organization. In the course of the investigation, seventeen suspects have been heard; seven of them are already in prison. With Matser, three other suspects are currently in police custody. Six others have been interrogated and subsequently released. They remain suspects in the case.

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