CURACAO: Tromp’s trial said political

Tromp’s trial said political

WILLEMSTAD–The defence team representing Central Bank of Curaçao and St. Maarten (CBCS) President-Director Emsley Tromp called the Safire case against him a “political trial” during Tuesday’s first session.

A purely fiscal issue is being handled by a criminal judge, while the alleged damage to the national treasury was estimated at NAf. 5.5 million without involving the tax authorities, argued attorney Niles van der Laan. He called this situation highly unusual, suggesting political motives had played a role in the decision to prosecute.

Accompanied at the hearing by local colleague Mirto Murray, the Dutch lawyer also said the investigation, which started in April 2016, was based solely on media reports published years ago and wanted to know why it had taken so long. He said tax on income of Tromp’s pension fund was only due after his retirement, “so it’s not if taxes must be paid, but only about when.”

According to Van der Laan, there is no proof Tromp’s actions were meant to benefit him fiscally, so there is no question of tax fraud. He claimed it is no coincidence that Attorney-General Guus Schram emphatically asked St. Maarten’s Finance Minister Richard Gibson for a security screening of Tromp, but wanted to keep this request secret.

It turned out Tromp had also filed a complaint against Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Norman Serphos for inappropriate comments, but this was dismissed.

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