WILLEMSTAD – “The truth is, I have nothing to do with Wiels’ murder and I have done my best to make this clear through my defense.” This is according to former Minister of Finance George Jamaloodin on Friday at the end of the appeal that has taken place at naval barracks Suffisant over the past two weeks.
Jamaloodin was convicted in 2019 for involvement in organizing the murder of Helmin Wiels in 2013. He then appealed.
At the start of the treatment, Jamaloodin has told the judges that he runs the risk of being in prison for 28 years for something he did not do. Since he is 52 years old, he considers that sentence to be a life sentence.
“In the first instance, I counted on it that the judge would see through the incompleteness of the prosecution’s investigation and would therefore rule that the file could not lead to a conviction. I was clearly mistaken,” said Jamaloodin.
The former Minister of Finance said on appeal that he did not want to run that risk again. Jamaloodin: “I believe that I am entitled to have you commit justice based on an overall picture, and not just based on a selection of impressions that the Public Prosecution Service presents to you. It does not seem fair to me that the Public Prosecution Service determines what the judge will or will not see. The defense must be granted full access so that it can combat the image created by the Public Prosecution Service,” said Jamaloodin.
“I have engaged three Dutch experts and a criminal investigation agency to ensure that the presentation is professional and responsible. With all the information available about the case, we can convince the court that I have nothing to do with the murder of Wiels.”
At the end of the appeal last Friday, Jamaloodin was given the opportunity to address the judges one last time. Jamaloodin began his speech by saying that he is very grateful for court’s willingness to allow further investigation and also to listen to the findings of his defense.
According to Jamaloodin, his defense team has given a good overall picture of the events. He therefore said that he left the hearing with the reassurance that the court had read the file carefully and that all information had been properly absorbed.
“However, this does not mean that I will soon leave this room with peace of mind,” said Jamaloodin. “Not only because I now have to wait for your judgment, but also because my concern was heightened during the hearing. While I mocked at first instance that I did not understand why I was on trial for the murder of Wiels, during this hearing I was struck with fear. The more I listened to the statements and arguments, the more I wondered how I got into this situation. What aspect of my life could be the reason why I was associated with Wiels’ murder?”
Jamaloodin goes on to say that the late Helmin Wiels never harmed him. And that Wiels has in no way made his life any less pleasant. “I had known him long enough not to lose sleep over his criticism of my functioning as a minister,” says Jamaloodin. “He criticized everyone. Just look at how many ministers of his own party he has deposed. But he has also stood up for Robbie (Dos Santos, ed.) and me against the Public Prosecution Service. But not only that, Mr. Wiels was a person loved by my mother,” said Jamaloodin.
“When the OM raided my mother’s house, he publicly criticized it. His brother Aubert and I are friends. We grew up together.” For all these reasons, Jamaloodin does not see how he is accused of having planned and even paid for the murder of Helmin Wiels.
Jamaloodin says he is a hard worker. He never misses opportunities to do business and he is always very serious, but he also loves the good life. “As far as I’m concerned, every day can be a party.”
According to Jamaloodin, he is now in court because of his friendship with Burney “Nini” Fonseca. That is why the former Minister of Finance calls on the judges to take into account that Curaçao is a small community and people have various roles in it.
Jamaloodin: “You can interact with someone, for example as a childhood friend or neighbor, without also being involved in other aspects of that person’s life. I therefore express the hope that you will be able to make that distinction in my relationship with Mr. Fonseca.”
Finally, Jamaloodin says he is aware of his mistakes. “I cannot blame anyone who disagrees with my lifestyle. But where I am wrong, I accept the consequences. I do not want to repeat what I have already said about the charge in the Germanium case. But judge me by my own behavior; not on the behavior of people I associate with.”