Openbaar Ministerie-Curacao-Sint Maarten-BES Islands

FAQ

Belangrijke afkortingen binnen het OM Curacao

Wilt u ons beter leren kennen?
Dit zijn de belangrijke afkortingen die wij vaak binnen het Openbaar Ministerie gebruiken:
WSrC (Wetboek van Strafrecht Curaçao)
BES (Bonaire, Sint Eustatius en Saba)
GEA (Gerecht in Eerste Aanleg)
GemHof (Gemeenschappelijk Hof van Justitie)
NFI (Nederlands Forensische Instituut)
OM (Openbaar Ministerie)
OPV (Oproepingsproces-verbaal)
PG (Procureur-Generaal)
AG (Advocaat-Generaal)
HovJ (Hoofdofficier van Justitie)
OvJ (Officier van Justitie)
RC (Rechter-commissaris)
RG (Relationeel Geweld)
RHV (Rechtshulpverzoek)
TOD (Technische Opsporingsdienst)
WVV-C (Wegenverkeersverordening Curaçao)
XTC (Ecstacy – straatnaam voor MDMA, synthetisch hallucinerend middel)
TBS (terbeschikkingstelling)
RAIO (Rechterlijke Ambtenaar in Opleinding)
KMar (Koninklijke Marechaussee)
HvB (Huis van Bewaring)
GVO (Gerechterlijk Vooronderzoek)
WIM (Wet Internationale Misdrijven)
RC (Rechter Commissaris)
AVAS (Afwezigheid van alle schuld)
VI (Voorwaardelijke Invrijheidstelling)
ET (Electronisch Toezicht oftewel enkelband)



What does the Public Prosecution Service do?

What does the Public Prosecution Service do?
What does the Public Prosecution Service do exactly? The Public Prosecution Service is an organization that is tasked with the enforcement of criminal law, on behalf of a country.   Everything the Public Prosecution Service does, and is permitted to do, is written in the consensus Kingdom Act Public Prosecution Service.
The chief task of the Public Prosecution Service can be divided into three smaller ones: The investigation of criminal acts, the prosecution of criminal acts and the supervision of the implementation, the execution, of criminal sentences.
The Public Prosecutor of the Public Prosecution Service decides if and for which criminal acts a suspect has to appear in court. If a case goes to court on behalf of the Public Prosecution Service, the suspect appears in The Court of First Instance.
A suspect or the Public Prosecution Service can lodge an appeal if the suspect or the Public Prosecution Service disagrees with the judge’s sentence in  the Court of First Instance.
In an appellate court, the Public Prosecution Service is represented by the Attorney General  or, on his behalf, the Solicitor General. The Attorney General and the Solicitor General  both work at the Public Prosecutor’s  Office.

Why does the Public Prosecutor wear a robe?

Why does the Public Prosecutor wear a robe?
Judges, Public Prosecutors , clerks and lawyers  in the courtroom each wear a black robe with a white jabot during court proceedings. According to historians, wearing a robe in the courtroom dates back to  the period of emperor Napoleon who precisely prescribed, in his laws and decrees, how magistrates and lawyers  were obliged to dress.
The robe serves to prevent distinctions in clothing, religious signs and descent. Each Public Prosecutor, judge and lawyer wears  a robe during a court proceeding  to ensure that a particular party does not benefit  or isn’t disadvantaged  by the quality of clothing worn by the Public Prosecutor, the judge or the lawyer, or by the expression of a religious belief by one of the aforementioned.  All of them  are equal in terms of appearance.  The colors white and black weren’t chosen randomly. Black symbolizes the rejection of vanity; the jabot’s white color stands for neutrality.

What is a dismissal?

What is a dismissal?
A dismissal is a decision of the Public Prosecution’s Office not to prosecute a criminal act. Based on the so called prosecutorial discretion, the Public Prosecutor’s Office can decide for many reasons not to proceed with a prosecution.
Often, a dismissal  ensues  in regards to smaller criminal offenses. It is also possible that the prosecution of a case ceases due to a lack of sufficient proof.
A dismissal can also be granted under certain conditions. This is often used  in the hope of preventing the offender from acting similarly in the future. This is called a conditional dismissal.
If one disagrees with the decision to dismiss, one can appeal against that decision.  On Curacao this is arranged in Article 15 of the Criminal Code Dutch Antilles. In this case a complaint can be submitted to the Common Court of Justice. If the court declares this complaint founded, the Public Prosecutor’s  Service will, nonetheless, have to  proceed with a prosecution.
A dismissal is not necessarily the end of a prosecution. It  is not a final verdict of a judge. The Public Prosecutor’s Service can  nonetheless decide to proceed to prosecution, insofar  criminal proceedings are  admissible.

What are the duties of the Public Prosecutor?

What are the duties of the Public Prosecutor?
A Public Prosecutor  is tasked with the prosecution of criminal acts. He summons suspects and acts as a Public defender in the courtroom.
Whenever a criminal act is committed, it gets investigated by the police. The ultimate responsibility  for the investigation lies with the Public Prosecutor’s Office and the Public Prosecutor who is tasked with  this case. The Public Prosecutor monitors the investigation to ensure that it is conducted thoroughly and in accordance with the law.  When the investigation is completed, the Public prosecutor can decide to present the case to the court. The Public Prosecutor ensures that the defendant is summoned. A summons is a letter that contains the accusations against the suspect.
The Public Prosecutor is the Public defender in the court room. This means that he represents the state and the community  in accusing the suspect. The Public Prosecutor always wears a black robe with a white jabot in the courtroom. This robe serves to prevent any distinction in regards to attire, religious signs and descent.
During court proceedings  the Public Prosecutor  states the accusations against the suspect.  Thereafter the judge interrogates the suspect about the case. The Prosecutor is also allowed to post questions, just as the lawyer of the defendant.  Afterwards  the Prosecutor performs his closing speech.  This is an argumentation in which he expresses his point of view to the judge in regards to the case and which penalty he demands.  This can be a fine, community

What does a Solicitor General do?

What does a Solicitor General do?

The Solicitor General generally  has three duties:
Attending to criminal cases in the Appellate Court.
Providing a contribution in quality.
Providing a contribution in policy.

In a constitutional state, the suspect and the Public Prosecution Service both have the right to present a case to a higher court when disagreeing with the initial verdict. The Solicitor General represents the Public Prosecution Service in an Appellate Court.

Due to limited resources choices have to be made continuously in criminal justice. Sometimes these can be difficult ones. The right cases have to be presented to the criminal judge and these cases have to be dealt with in a correct manner.

Since it is more likely in the heavier cases that a higher court will be enlisted, the Solicitor General has a good overview of the criminal justice practices of the Public Prosecution Service.
From that position he can lend a contribution in selecting which cases will be presented to the criminal court ( the policy contribution) and in the handling of these cases in a correct manner ( the quality contribution).

What are the duties of the Attorney General?

What are the duties of the Attorney General?
The Attorney General of Curacao, Sint Maarten and the BES- islands is responsible for the policy and management of the Public prosecutor’s Office.  This means, among other things: Ensuring an effective and efficient organization, tailoring priorities of the prosecution, providing internal guidelines, so all Public Prosecutors, as much as possible, demand the same penalties in comparable cases.

Furthermore, the Attorney general provides advice with respect to legislation that is related to prosecution.

Oath or affirmation

Oath or affirmation
A person who is called upon as a witness by the court, the Public Prosecutor, or a lawyer in court proceedings , has to take an oath or make an affirmation. This also applies to interpreters and experts.
When taking the oath, this person has to say the words: “So help me God almighty” with the index and middle fingers of the right hand raised.
When making an affirmation, the words “This I promise” are spoken. The abovementioned is described in Title X, Article 46 of the Criminal Code.

The sentence in the courtroom

The sentence in the courtroom
The Public Prosecutor’s Service may/ can, in accordance with Article 1:11 of the Criminal Code Curacao, demand a penalty for a suspect. This can be several different types of penalties. The Public Prosecutor’s Service can choose from imprisonment, ( at least 1 day, at the 30 years or a lifelong sentence), detention (at least 1 day, at the most 1 year), community service, (in the form of unpaid labor, and/ or a training order) and a fine. As an additional measure, the Public Prosecutor’s Service can demand deprivation of certain rights and forfeiture of money and/ or goods. The Public Prosecutor’s Service can , finally, also choose to demand an acquittal. It is ultimately the judge who decides which penalty the defendant will receive.

Custodial coercive measures

Custodial coercive measures
What happens when a person is taken  into custody by the authorities? The police can take a person to the police station for a duration of 6 hours. This is called “staande houden” (apprehension)  and it serves to check documentation, name, birthdate, etc.
After that an assistant prosecutor, a highly ranked police official, can decide to detain this person for 2 times 24 hours in relation to the investigation. Before the 2 times 24 hours expire, the suspect must be presented, by the Public Prosecutor’s Service, to an Investigative Judge who will evaluate the detention while the Public Prosecutor decides whether this person will be kept in custody for 8 more days for the period of prolongation  of the remand in custody , this in relation to the investigation.
Before the 8 days expire, this person has to be presented, again, to the investigative judge  for another period of remand in custody of 8 days.  With the approval of the investigative judge, another 8 days follow for the period of prolongation of the remand in custody.
Because of the investigation it can be necessary to keep the suspect in custody for a period of 60 days as part of the prolongation of the remand custody. This is determined by the  investigative Judge. This period can be extended with 30 days  of remand in custody. If necessary, this can be prolonged  with  another 30 days.

What is an Assistant Public Prosecutor and what does one do?

What is an Assistant Public Prosecutor and what does one do?
The Assistant Public prosecutor is a high-ranking police officer within the police force who has completed a special course and has special competencies and who has an advanced position in the Public Prosecution’s Service when it comes to investigations and prosecution.
An Assistant Public Prosecutor, in terms of competencies, is positioned between the Police and the Public Prosecutor.

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