St Maarten PM ‘shocked’ at MP’s arrest in corruption crackdown

March 20, 2023 in Regional

St Maarten Prime Minister Silveria Jacobs said she was “shocked and concerned” about the arrest of Member of Parliament Rolando Brison as part of a corruption and bribery probe.

Brison, who is the leader of the United Peoples Party (UP), was arrested on Friday as part of an anti-corruption operation called “Lissabon” but he was later released.

The St Maarten Prosecutor’s Office said Brison, who is suspected of taking bribes and abusing his position, “remains a suspect in the ongoing criminal investigation”.

In a statement today, Jacobs said she was “very happy to learn of the MP’s release on Saturday evening”.

“I have a great deal of sympathy towards the MP and his family; matters such as these leave very little room for the privacy of those close to the affected individuals within our small island society. It is my hope that they find strength during this time of turmoil,” said Jacobs.

“I trust our legal system will ultimately deliver a fair and just outcome for all involved. I urge the public to not jump to conclusions and to be patient”.

She continued: “It is uncanny that these investigations surface at times when they can negatively alter local political stability, and it begs the question if it is indeed geopolitically or locally instigated. However, we remain committed, as a coalition, to focus on handling the budget in the coming week, which is of utmost importance to the people of this country.”

She said her government coalition, which includes the UP, remains focused on the island’s affairs, which includes next week’s budget.