Openbaar Ministerie-Curacao-Sint Maarten-BES Islands

Organisation

Persons suspected of committing an offense, have to deal with the Public Prosecution Services. The Public Prosecution is the only instance which can bring suspects to the Criminal Court. The Public Prosecution ensures that criminal offenses are investigated and prosecuted.

Hereto there is cooperation with the police force and other investigative agencies. The Public Prosecutor leads the investigation. The Public Prosecution also monitors the proper execution of the sentence given by judges; fines must be paid, imprisonment served, community service well executed. Along with the Judges, the Public Prosecution is part of the Judicature.  The Public Prosecution therefore is not a ministry in the usual sense of the word.

The countries of Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands with regard to Bonaire, St. Eustatius and Saba (BES), each have their own Public Prosecutor's Office. Those three independent Public Prosecutor's Offices each have a Public Prosecutor in first instance under the leadership of a Chief Prosecutor. At the head of the Public Prosecutors is a joint Attorney General, with offices in each country. The Office of the Attorney General resorts under Article 3 paragraph 1 of the Kingdom Act for Public Prosecution located in Curaçao. The Attorney General finds himself in a position where he is accountable to the ministers of (safety) and Justice of Curaçao, St. Maarten and the Netherlands.

On appeal, the Public Prosecutor is represented by the Attorney General or on his behalf by the Advocate General, who also works in the office of the Attorney general.  Besides a department that deals with appeals in criminal cases, there is a department which is responsible for managing all offices at the Office of the Attorney General. This Operations Office supports the Public Prosecutor's offices in first instance so that these can mainly focus on the primary process, namely the enforcement of the criminal law. A third task of the Office of the Public Prosecutor is a policy driven task. The Office of the Public Prosecutor  coordinates the joint approach in particular of the cross-border crime and creates and oversees the performance agreements that have been made in the context of planning and control with the Offices of the Public Prosecutor's Office in first instance.

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