The judge of instruction ruled today Friday March 01 2019 to keep T.H. in pre-trial detention for an additional 8 days.
T.H. will undergo his Pre-trial detention in the Judicial Institution Caribbean Netherlands JICN on Bonaire. This decision has been made based on the fact that the Point Blanche Prison has reached its maximum capacity of 70 and remaining detained at the Philipsburg police headquarters is not an option.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office issued a new policy regarding the detention of inmates. This was also communicated to the general public. This policy aims to safeguard the proper adherence to basic human rights standards. As a consequence, a suspect can only remain at the Philipsburg police headquarters for a maximum of 10 days. Minors may not be detained for longer than 3 days, regardless of the crime.
The maximum capacity in the Point Blanche Prison has been set at 70 inmates and Prosecutors frequently scrutinize detention conditions. The Public Prosecutor’s office had to release 3 prisoners last Friday, because of overpopulation led to human rights violations. These three prisoners had already served most of their prison time and were set to be released in March.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office expects the capacity issues in Point Blanche to deteriorate further in the coming weeks, as Curacao has announced it will be sending 7 prisoners back to St. Maarten. While the situation at the Point Blanche Prison is not ideal for any prisoner, a differentiation is made between individuals with an irrevocable conviction and those in pre-trial detention. T.H. was held in pre-trial detention at the Philipsburg police headquarters in interest of the ongoing investigation. The public Prosecutor has concluded that T.H. cannot stay longer at the police station as it would violate the human right to humane detention. Therefore as a solution T.H. will be housed in Bonaire, which was the closest facility to St. Maarten with sufficient capacity, this is a temporary solution. The Prosecutor’s Office also mention the moment Space become available at the Point Blanche Prison T.H. will be transported back to St. Maarten.