|Summer Bliss gold robbery case will come up in court in June|
|Thursday, 4 April 2013 09:54|
WILLEMSTAD — The investigation in to the gold robbery from fishing boat Summer Bliss was still in progress in November 2012. Judge Maria Paulides adjourned the case yesterday afternoon and requested the Public Prosecutor’s Office to do its utmost in having the dossier ready – as regards contents – before June 28th. The pro-forma case against the five suspects for money laundering and receiving of goods came up in court yesterday afternoon. The officer of Justice submitted the case but requested the judge for adjournment in anticipation of the current investigations. The officer chose not to elaborate on the investigations. She mentioned investigating correspondence between the suspects through Black Berry messenger and experts reports not being ready. The officer also indicated the case would take a full day in court but that this day of session wasn’t available before June.
All lawyers filed a request to release the suspects from custody considering it would take several months before the case came up in court – as regards contents. According to the lawyers, the personal interests of their clients preponderate those of the public interest, certainly considering the huge gaps in the investigation. The Public Prosecutor’s Office constantly speaks of an organized crime although it’s not clear if it regards a fake robbery or not, or that the gold bars confiscated actually came from the boat and if indeed once could speak of receiving.
With their requests the lawyers particularly mentioned the hearing of the captain of the fishing boat Summer Bliss. This captain told the police he’s been smuggling gold to the island for over ten years. It’s a thorn in the flesh of the lawyers that the captain was released while the other suspects are still in custody despite the lack of evidence. Furthermore, they are now to wait until June.
Lawyer Anthony Eustatius believes that the current investigations are not related to the charges against his client and reminds the court that custody is not meant as advance on possible imprisonment. However, the officer emphasized the Public Prosecutor’s Office needs more time to clarify all doubts of the lawyers on the investigation. She is convinced these investigations will reveal the modus operandi of the men – from preparing the robbery to channeling the gold via Fedex.
The judge needed several minutes to conclude there were no grounds to release the suspects for the time being.