Ad in Ultimo calls on liable to punishment handling

If a police officer considers the invitation of Ultimo Noticia to be paid for giving information to the paper, he or she runs the risk to be convicted to four years imprisonment.

In an ad in his news paper, director of Ultimo Noticia, ‘Chicho’ Jonckheer, offered ‘employment opportunity’ to ‘one or more police officers’. Also the person or instance that makes such offers is not indemnified from punishment.
Ultimo Noticia assumes that for three years already Vigilante is paying police and justice officials for being the first to get news about police actions. “How do you explain that most of the time the photographer of Vigilante arrives before the police at the address of the raid”, wonders Jonckheer. What he wants to achieve with his ‘vacancy’ is that ‘all the media receive the same news from the authorities’.

Minster David Dick (Justice, PAR) is of the opinion that if Jonckheer can proof that Vigilante gets her information in an illegitimate manner, he should report it. “A leakage among government officials is being investigated for quite some time already – thus not only among police officers. If that’s the case, we have reached the lowest level, whether payment of money is involved or not. The ad in Ultimo Noticia is already leaning towards bribery and corruption, but I see it also in the context: Jonckheer wants more or better news coverage from the police.”

Dick also wants to get off his chest that the union representation of police officers ‘is remarkably quiet in this matter’. “If it was the minister that said that police officers are feeding the media with information, you would have immediately heard from the union, but the union doesn’t say a thing now.”
Anonymity is guaranteed in the ad in Ultimo Noticia. “We guarantee that you will operate in secret and that your superiors will never hear of your identity. We offer 2000 guilders per month and hundreds of guilders in bonuses if the news is extra confidential or is kept secret by the Justice-minister, the Public Prosecutor, the Lt. Governor, or the chiefs of police.” The ad mentions a telephone number in Miami where Jonckheer can be contacted.

Vigilante-director Lilo Sulvarán sees ‘Jonckheer’s desperation’ in his ad. “For years he has been accusing us of bribing police officers. His problem is that he cannot stand the idea that every day we have police and judicial news that he doesn’t have. He must just accept that his editorial office doesn’t have the same quality and dedication as ours.”
Sulvaran explains that Vigilante has picked out this news sector that is worth four million guilders per year. We have five editors that only write about police and judicial news. We therefore do not follow political issues so close. We follow criminal issues very deeply. We regularly discover facts before the police have these. Our picture file is more extensive than that of the judicial chain.”

Vigilante is a professional organization, where working hours and other logistic matters run very well. Everything can be looked up and every morning verified with the police.
“When doing this for 15 years, you become so proficient that certain things can be anticipated. We are therefore often the first or only newspaper on key locations. And that galls the competition. But in stead of becoming personal and low, the competition must also make choices and invest in these kinds of news. We have heard that Jonckheer is looking for two Chuchubi’s (police radios, red.). ‘We have two air guns in our editorial office. He can borrow these to go hunting for these birds.”

Imprisonment possible
Three articles in the Criminal Code of the Neth.Antilles are coming on as a result of the ‘vacancy ad’ in Ultimo Noticia. The first article can be applied to those that placed the ad, and the other two to the government official that answers the ad.

In title VIII ‘Crimes against the public authority’, article 183 (Bribing government officials) is stated:
Those convicted to a maximum of two years imprisonment or a maximum of 300 guilders fine are:
1. those that give a civil servant a gift or make a promise with the purpose to get him to do or fail to do something in his work that violates his duty;
2. those that give a civil servant a gift consequence to or as a result of what this official has done or failed to do in his work that violates his duty.
In title XXVIII ‘Official offences’, articles 378 and 379 (accepting bribes without respectively with violation of official duty):
• (without): A civil servant that accepts a gift or promise, knowing that this is done to get him to do or fail to do something in his work, without violating his duty, is punished with a maximum of three months imprisonment or a maximum of 300 guilders’ fine.
• (with): The civil servant punished with a maximum of four years imprisonment is:
1. He/she who accepts a gift or promise, knowing that it is done with the purpose to get him to do or fail to do something in his job that violates his duty.
2. He/she who accepts a gift knowing that it is done as consequence of or as a result of what he/she has done or failed to do in his job that violates his/her duty.

When a suspect receives a maximum of four years imprisonment, he/she can be arrested immediately. The examining magistrate can extend that custody till the case appears in court.

(Source: National Newspaper Amigoe)

July 29, 2008



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