Gerrit Schotte, former prime minister of Curacao, has been found guilty of corruption and sentenced to three years in prison. The judge also ruled that Schotte cannot stand for election to public office for five years. The penalty corresponded to that sought by the Public Prosecutor (OM).
Schotte’s life partner, Cicely van der Dijs (owner of the gas stations VanDis) was also found guilty. She was sentenced to 18 months in prison, of which nine is conditional. This means that she will only stay in prison for nine months.
Schotte was accused of several other offences including money laundering and forgery. The judge said that he abused his position as prime minister.
According to the OM, Schotte received funds from the Italian mafia linked St Maarten casino boss, Francesco Corallo, to establish his political party. As prime minister, Schotte, as alleged by the OM and found proven by the judge, abused his power in favour of Corallo.
Schotte was prime minister of Curacao from 2010 until 2012. He was the first prime minister of the new country Curacao, after the Netherlands Antilles was abolished. He also founded the political party MFK, which is now the largest opposition party in parliament.
As expected, Schotte announced through his defence lawyer Eldon Sulvaran that he will appeal the judge’s decision.