PHILIPSBURG–The mystery seems to be deepening surrounding the passport of suspended Member of Parliament (MP) Theo Heyliger, whose passport was listed as “stolen.”
Justice Minister Cornelius de Weever told MPs on Tuesday that the Prosecutor’s Office has indicated that Heyliger’s passport was reported as “lost or stolen” more than five years ago, on January 22, 2014. De Weever was at the time responding to questions from MPs on the issue.
At least two MPs questioned the date that the passport was reported stolen or missing since they were both sure that Heyliger would have travelled between then and recently when the passport issue surfaced.
De Weever said he is also sure that Heyliger had travelled extensively since 2014, and said the speculations of MPs were understandable, but he indicated that he and Prime Minister Leona Romeo-Marlin had looked into the issue and that the passport was not reported stolen at the Department of Civil Registry, the police nor Interpol and this is the information that he has to go by.
He said also that this did not involve any regular passport. “It involved a diplomatic passport. That is why an independent investigation has been requested in this matter.”
However, United Democrats (UD) MP Franklyn Meyers provided the issue and expiry dates of Heyliger’s last two passports. He said Heyliger had a passport which had been issued on May 4, 2010, and expired on May 4, 2015. Heyliger received another passport issued on January 20, 2015, which was set to expire January 20, 2025. Meyers said this is the passport that was tagged as stolen, even though it had been issued after the January 22, 2014 date that De Weever said the Prosecutor’s Office indicated the passport had been reported as stolen or missing.
“It doesn’t add up,” Meyers said, noting that it seems the passport had been “reported stolen a year before it existed.”
De Weever had said in a recent press release that a preliminary inquiry had taken place into how the passport could have been reported “stolen” with the United States Consulate in Curaçao, while this passport was in the hands of its bearer at the time. He said in the same release that no report had been received by the St. Maarten Police Force or the Census Office regarding Heyliger’s passport being stolen or missing.
It was also not reported missing or stolen with the Interpol Bureau in St. Maarten, Curaçao, the Netherlands, Washington nor the head offices in Lyon, France. To ensure that no undue influence by any local judicial entity had taken place, the Minister of Justice contacted the Attorney General to engage the National Detectives to conduct an independent investigation, the recent release had stated.
Heyliger and his wife Grisha Heyliger-Marten flew to Curaçao recently to attend an interview at the United States Consulate in an attempt to obtain a medical visa for Heyliger to seek medical attention in the US. Heyliger requires a visa because his Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA) was cancelled after the Prosecutor’s Office confiscated his passport when he was in pre-trial detention in February.
The medical visa was granted to Heyliger by US authorities, however, to the family’s surprise, Heyliger’s passport was listed as “stolen.” The Prosecutor’s Office held Heyliger’s passport from February 19 to June 17, and his diplomatic passport was surrendered in late May when the verdict for his release was issued on the condition that he surrender his passports.
Heyliger’s regular passport was returned to him recently. He was expected to have since applied for a new passport.
Bron: Daily Herald