PHILIPSBURG–News travelled quickly of business owner Francesco Corallo’s release from pre-trial detention in Italy on August 16. He was escorted home by police, according to media reports from that country.
Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Norman Serphos said the Prosecutor’s Office has no reaction to Corallo’s release or to the criticism of the manner in which he was detained and later extradited.
“This is standard procedure. The request by Italy was arrest and extradition. St. Maarten as a country complied. We have no reaction,” said Serphos this weekend.
Real estate executive and Corallo’s close friend Frances Hernandez told The Daily Herald on Sunday that St. Maarten’s prosecutors should be ashamed of themselves. The country in which he is wanted in released him until the court hearing and yet St. Maarten found it necessary to keep him behind bars like a criminal, according to Hernandez.
He said he is surprised how St. Maarten treats its investors. “What happened to ‘innocent until proven guilty’? He is an upstanding businessman for over 30 years and this looks like more of a witch hunt than justice. He has contributed to the development of St. Maarten and has always been a good corporate citizen. Why did he have to spend close to nine months in prison? Who wants his businesses to close down and benefit from the closure?” Hernandez asked.
Corallo was arrested in December last year and the local Prosecutor’s Office seized all his casinos, a yacht, boats, watches and apartments. This newspaper requested clarification about the seized assets and Serphos said, “All seized assets remain confiscated and when we hear from the Italian authorities, we will then comply with the verdict.”
Hernandez said Corallo employs close to 400 workers and what the Justice System did to him should never happen to anybody else. The case has yet to be called in Italy and Corallo can remain home until the hearing. Legal experts predict that it will take months before the case is called.
Bron: Daily Herald