Blogger J.R. remains in pre-trial detention for a couple of days
PHILIPSBURG: --- A handful of people decided to show up at the Vineyard Building on Thursday afternoon holding up green posters with the words “Free Judith”. Since Roumou was arrested on Tuesday several persons exploded on Facebook claiming that the justice system has arrested the blogger because she was exposing corruption within government. Some stated in their Facebook posts that they now have to watch what they write on their Facebook page because they too might get arrested like Roumou was on Tuesday when police showed up at her St. Peters home and arrested her while they conducted a search. Many persons expressed outrage as to how the police and prosecution executed the arrest of the blogger who have destroyed the lives of many families on St. Maarten. Some even said that they heard that Roumou was manhandled when she was arrested early Tuesday morning. What several of Roumou’s supporters do not know is that Roumou was called in by the prosecution in the presence of a detective over a year ago and she admitted to writing false articles and posting photo-shopped photographs of several persons and their children on Facebook and her blog sites. During that meeting Roumou agreed to remove the articles and photos she posted, some of which she did remove but days later the articles reappeared on social media and her blog sites and her attack on private citizens became worse.
Police Officers were often attacked, cursed at when they are executing their duties, some of whom are her own relatives. Several Ministers and Members of Parliament became victims of Roumou’s internet terrorism. Former Minister of Justice Roland Duncan and the editor of one newspaper appeared in a photo-shopped photo showing the most lewd actions. SMN News reporter and her children are the worst victims that Roumou terrorized through the internet. She would even send private messages to her victims showing them what she has done to them on the internet. Roumou also created Facebook pages in other people’s name one being Julian Rollocks, Theodore Heyliger, and Bibi Hodge Shaw all of which she managed. Linkedln accounts and Twitter accounts were also created in the Hodge- Shaw name. Besides those mentioned the editor of one of the main stream media on St. Maarten was also victimized for a long period of time through the internet. Some of the same persons that are voicing their opinion and are calling for Roumou’s release condemned her actions but yet they felt that because she is a St. Maartener she has become a target.
Some persons contacted SMN News and said that they personally spoke to Roumou about her actions and told her what she was doing is not right but they too become her enemies because she felt they were taking sides with the persons she terrorized on the internet. Some of those same persons said that while they know that Roumou have been doing wrong to many people they still believe that the police and prosecution could have acted differently because in their opinion arresting her the way they did could back-fire on the justice system.
Roumou was taken before the judge of instruction on Friday morning, she spent almost two hours in the court house but up this moment the decision of the judge of instruction is not known.
Blogger J.R. remains in pre-trial detention for a couple of days
The 40 year old suspect J.R., who was arrested at her home in Sint Peters, last Tuesday, June 30, 2015, had to appear before the judge of instruction this morning. The judge of instruction judged the arrest and pre-trial detention as lawful insofar as it relates to stalking. According to the judge of instruction there is no reason to release the suspect immediately.
The blogger was arrested after several person pressed charges against her for various offenses in the period from January 2014 until now. The reports cover not only slander, defamation and insult, but also threat, harassment (stalking) en extortion. These offense were committed both through social media and in person (“face to face”).
Given the particular circumstances in this investigation, namely the activities of the suspects and the limited resources and manpower of KPSM to conduct an investigation into “cybercrime”, a mediation process, rather than a criminal investigation, was iniated. During this mediation officials from as well KPSM as the Public Prosecutors Service spoke to the suspect, amongst to others.
After several months, it has shown that the agreements made during the mediation were not respected by the suspect. Above that, new statements against the suspect were done. Eventually, the Public Prosecutor was forced to proceed to arrest J.R. After her arrest, on June 30, a house search took place in her home in Sint Peters. Various data carriers (such as phones, laptops and computers) were confiscated for further investigation. Animal Welfare was called in to provide care for the dog and cats of the suspect.
During the pre-trial detention of J.R. it turned out to be very difficult to find a lawyer, who was available to assist the suspect. Ultimately, the judge of instruction had to appoint a lawyer. This measure was necessary since J.R., just as any other suspect in pre-trial detention, is entitled to legal assistance.
The Public Prosecutors Service expects that the investigation of KPSM needs a couple of additional days to interrogate the suspect on all charges against her. During this investigation J.R. remains in pre-trial detention. Finally, no abuse of J.R. took place during her detention.
Blogster J. R. blijft nog een aantal dagen in voorlopige hechtenis
De 40-jarige verdachte J. R., die afgelopen dinsdag 30 juni 2015 werd aangehouden in haar huis in Sint Peters, is vandaag voorgeleid voor de Rechter-Commissaris. De Rechter-Commissaris heeft de rechtmatigheid van de aanhouding getoetst en de inverzekeringstelling (ten aanzien van de verdenking voor belaging) goed bevonden. Er is geen reden om haar met onmiddellijke ingang in vrijheid te stelen.
De blogster werd aangehouden nadat er in de periode van januari 2014 tot heden meer personen aangifte hebben gedaan van diverse strafbare feiten. De aangiften betreffen niet alleen smaad, laster en belediging, maar ook bedreiging, belaging en afpersing. Deze strafbare feiten zijn gepleegd zowel via social media als in persoon (“face to face”).
Gelet op de bijzondere omstandigheden in dit onderzoek, te weten de werkzaamheden van de verdachte en de beperkte capaciteit van KPSM om een onderzoek naar zogenaamde “cybercrime” te doen, is aanvankelijk in plaats van een strafrechtelijk onderzoek een mediation-traject gestart waarbij met diverse betrokkenen (aangevers en verdachte) is gesproken.
Na een aantal maanden is gebleken dat de afspraken, gemaakt in het mediation-traject door verdachte niet werden nagekomen en dat opnieuw aangiftes tegen haar werden gedaan. Uiteindelijk zag het Openbaar Ministerie zich genoodzaakt om tot aanhouding van J.R. over te gaan. Na haar aanhouding op
30 juni jl. vond aansluitend een huiszoeking plaats in haar woning in Sint Peters. Daarbij zijn diverse
gegevensdragers (zoals telefoons, laptops en computers) in beslag genomen voor nader onderzoek. Tevens is Animal Welfare ingeschakeld om zorg te bieden voor de hond en katten van de verdachte.
Gedurende de inverzekeringstelling van J.R. bleek het erg lastig om een piketadvocaat te vinden die beschikbaar was om de verdachte bij te staan. Uiteindelijk heeft de Rechter-Commissaris een advocaat moeten aanwijzen, een maatregel die geboden is, nu J.R. -net als iedere inverzekeringgestelde verdachte- recht heeft op rechtsbijstand.
De verwachting is dat de recherche van KPSM nog enkele dagen nodig heeft om de verdachte op alle aanklachten tegen haar te horen. Gedurende dat onderzoek zal zij nog in voorlopige hechtenis blijven. Overigens is er geen sprake geweest van mishandeling van J.R. gedurende haar detentie.
Press Release from Prosecutor's Office.