In the past month, Police and The Public Prosecutor’s Office investigated two serious violent crimes on Saba. In the last case, concerning a serious violent act in The Bottom on January 31st, the suspects are still in preventive custody. Last Friday they were transferred to the house of detention on Bonaire. It regards M.G.H and L.H.
In the first case, concerning a case of domestic violence on January 19th, the suspect was released by the examining judge (rechtercommissaris). This was subject to conditions. The initials of this suspect are P.H-N.
There are differences between these investigations of violence. In the case of P.H-N. The Public Prosecutor’s Office did request that the suspect be held in custody longer, however this was not allowed by the court appointed examining judge (rechtercommissaris). However, so long the investigation was still ongoing, his passport was withheld.
The suspect had to remain on Saba during the investigation. Particular in this case is that the suspect as well as his victim did not want to remain on Saba but return to Canada. The victim left the island shortly after the violence and with that the chance for recurrence was small. Meanwhile, the investigation has been completed and the suspect has left the island. There are indications that the authorities in Canada are now also actively involved with the matter. There, the most focused efforts can be made to prevent repetition and for any assistance. Moreover, the suspect has been indicted to appear before a judge on Saba on 16 June upcoming.
In the case of M.G.H. and L.H., the excessive violence has taken place on the public road. As a result, the impact on the feeling of security is far greater. In legal terms, there is a greater infringement of the rule of law than with violence in a relationship. That infringement may be a major reason for remand. The police investigation also learnt that there has been a long-running conflict. That makes the chance of repetition or continuation of the violence much greater. That too is a reason to detain the suspects. One of the suspects was already convicted for assault.
Finally, the violence used was of such that, a prison sentence longer than the time that the men are in custody is obvious. And the effect of punishment is the largest if that penalty immediately follows the violence. In the past month it pertained violent cases, but these differ so much that they actually are not comparable.
Press release Public Prosecutor’s Office 19 February 2015