Sentencing of former Minister S. in the Avestrus case

Ex Minister S. Condena Den Caso Avestrus

The Court of First Instance today sentenced Aruba’s former Minister of Infrastructure and current member of parliament O.B.S to a partial suspended prison sentence (12 months, of which 6 months suspended) for bribery and embezzlement. The probationary period is three years. The Court also held that S. was deprived of the right to vote and hold office for a period of five years. The Court considered that by accepting the bribe S. had seriously shamed and undermined confidence in an administration acting with integrity. The disclosure of this bribe will cause serious damage to Aruba’s image and may deter investors from doing business with Aruba. S. has also used his political foundation for his own financial gain, which undermines public confidence in politicians.

In addition to suspect S., six other suspects were sentenced to partial non-parole periods.

The suspect, P.T.A.S., a former DOW official, was sentenced to two years, one of which was suspended, for actively bribing the former secretary and money laundering. The special condition the court places here is that defendant S. may not apply for or obtain options on commercial liens himself or under any name for a period of three years. The Court considers it appropriate to declare forfeit the sum of USD 1.3 million seized from a bank in Curaçao and derived from active bribery.

The defendants M.L.A., C.R.M., E.R.W. and N.D.N. were sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment for defrauding the State of Aruba, 12 of which were suspended and a three-year probationary period during which they were not allowed to obtain options on inheritance leases under any name. In addition, the judge fined M.L.A. AWG 50,000 and the defendants C.R.M., E.R.W. and N.D.N. AWG 25,000. Defendant H. was sentenced to 80 hours of community service and fined AWG 15,000 for bribing the former minister.

The court acquitted five other suspects.

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