BOB-law adopted with 11 votes in favor and 2 dissenting votes

WILLEMSTAD - The Parliament of Curaçao finally adopted the Law on Special Investigative Authorities (BOB) this morning, with a minimum majority of eleven votes in favor (of which seven from the PAR) and two dissenting votes.

Five parliamentarians were absent, coalition party MFK abstained from voting, while Dean Rozier had voted negatively.Minister of Justice Elmer ‘Kadè’ Wilsoe (PS) was present in the Parliament. He stated once again that a campaign would be launched to inform the citizens before the law is published. There was the usual squabbling on the good or bad interpretation of the regulation of order prior to the roll-call and 2-minute voting motivation. Chairman of the Parliament Ivar Asjes clashed once again with Anthony Godett of one-man opposition party FOL. Godett categorically disagrees with the law that allows the use of tracking methods such as wire-tapping to combat cross-border crime and money laundering. He says the law is controversial and destructive for the society because it violates the privacy of citizens. Last month Godett suggested hearing the Bar’s opinion on the law. However, the Bar said this wasn’t necessary considering several committees had already studied the law. The process had started over four years ago and Wilsoe had had jurists study and adjust the draft as regards privacy aspects.

Nevertheless, Godett sticks to his viewpoint that as far as he is concerned there is no guarantee that the privacy of citizens is not violated. He refers to cases where the privacy of politicians Bennie Demei, Ben Komproe, the Claret-family and himself was violated.

The MFK-party created the most controversy this morning. Dean Rozier first wanted to know why Chairman of the Parliament Asjes had given Minister Wilsoe the floor this morning and not the Minister of Public Health Jacinta Scoop-Constance (MFK) yesterday. Asjes explained that it regarded a Central Committee yesterday and a public meeting today. A disappointed Asjes said he regretted the angry letter from Scoop-Constancia, in which she accused the Chairman of contravening the Constitution, but that he had certainly not violated the rules. Rozier subsequently stated he would give a dissenting vote on the BOB-law, not because the party has a problem as regards contents but as a signal to the Minister of Justice that approval doesn’t allow for abuse of power.

Interim Chairman of the Parliament, Amerigo Thodé (MFK) said he hadn’t voted negatively as a form of protest. Citizens must be protected against violation of privacy. During the voting motivation, fellow party-member Gilmar ‘Pik’ Pisas said he opposes the BOB-law for aforementioned reasons but that he would agree in sympathy with his police colleagues entrusted with investigating cross-border crime. “This is a very dangerous law for the society, but for the welfare of my colleagues I will vote in favor. Nevertheless, the police corps must be well equipped to implement the law otherwise the Criminal Investigation Team will make off with it.” However, when it was put to the vote, Pisas and Thodé had already left the conference room.

Helmin Wiels and Jaime Cordoba from Pueblo Soberano also voted in favor in the public interest, although they had their objections on the implementation. It means the Parliament will have to keep its eyes open when it comes to violating the privacy of citizens. Eunice Eisden from the MAN endorsed this.

Almost the entire PAR-party voted in favor. Magali Jacoba says she’s not concerned about violations of the privacy; after all the series of articles that was added to the law after the revision are to guarantee this.

Aruba and St. Maarten, who had voted in favor of the law last month, will be informed that Curaçao has adopted the BOB-law. Curaçao had already adopted the law preliminary in November last year. International reports had urged Curaçao to adopt this law so the country could keep step internationally as regards justice and financial service.

Download here the Law on Special Investigative Authorities (BOB) >>

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