PHILIPSBURG:--- Independent suspended Member of Parliament Claudius Buncamper's conviction was upheld by the Appeals court on Thursday morning in the Ruby case. The criminal case was handled by the Prosecutor's Office since December 2021 when a guilty verdict was rendered by the Court of First Instance.
The NOW party deputy leader was suspended from Parliament and was replaced by MP Channel Brownbill formerly of the United St. Maarten party.
The court convicted the civil servant to 32 months imprisonment and has banned him for a period of 7 years as a civil servant, while his wife Maria Buncamper Molanus has been sentenced to 10 months of conditional prison sentence. According to his Facebook page post he stated on Thursday, "I just received my verdict and it didn’t go the way I expected. Together with my lawyer, we will take a few days to analyze the verdict. We immediately appealed the case at the Supreme Court. I will share more details shortly.
I will continue to stand up and fight for this country even though certain powers don’t want that. I am the # 2 candidate NOW more than ever.
The suspicion against Buncamper was focused on corruption during his tenure as Head of Infrastructure at the Ministry of Public Housing, Spatial Planning, Environment, and Infrastructure (VROMI) and the misuse of public funds for personal purposes. Buncamper was found guilty of requesting and accepting bribes of over 600.000 guilders in a period of 2,5 years in relation to the tendering procedure for management contracts of the landfill on Sint Maarten. The bribes included lucrative contracts for his wife and son. He was also convicted for forging invoices related to the sewage plant in order for VROMI to pay for personal expenses for his family and the Lions Club.
Buncamper was acquitted for the abuse of power related to the relocation of business premises operated by his family members on a parcel in Kim Sha Beach.
Co-suspect Maria Buvcamper Molanus was sentenced to 12 months of unconditional imprisonment. She was found guilty of taking bribes in association with her husband MP Buncamper. The Court took into account that Molanus was previously convicted for fraud. The Court ruled that the behavior of the Buncampers in particular inflicted damage to the trust of the people of Sint Maarten and damage to the integrity of the public