WILLEMSTAD, PHILIPSBURG - The Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe has decided not to follow the regular standard procedure, but the much severe so-called “enhanced” execution procedure following the ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in the case of St. Maarten businessman Francesco Corallo against the Kingdom of the Netherlands.
According to Corallo’s lawyer Eldon “Peppie” Sulvaran, the enhanced execution procedure means, in short, “heavy and intensive supervision on the measures the Kingdom must take to improve detention conditions in St. Maarten. As the ultimate remedy in the event of inadequate fulfilment of the obligations, the Kingdom may be facing a direct instruction “aanwijzing” in these proceedings, which the Kingdom is then obligated to follow immediately,” Sulvaran explained.
In October 2018, the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France, condemned the “inhumane” detention of Italy-born casino boss Corallo, who was held at the police station in Philipsburg for months pending his extradition to Italy on charges of money laundering and tax evasion.
According to the Human Rights Court’s ruling in the “Corallo vs. the Netherlands” case, the Kingdom of the Netherlands violated Article 3 of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms.
The Court awarded Corallo 5,000 euros in immaterial damage and 5,500 euros for costs and expenses incurred before the Court.
Article 3 of the Convention reads that “No one shall be subjected to torture or to inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment.” According to Corallo’s legal team, their client had been tortured for months.
The European Committee for the Prevention of Torture and Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment CPT established in 2015 that no one should be allowed to be detained in police cells for more than three days, and in any case no longer than 10 days.
According to Corallo’s lawyer this is the first time in history that the enhanced procedure will be imposed on the Netherlands. “In general, Eastern European countries are hit with such severe instruments. It is a ‘bloody shame’ for the Netherlands that it must answer to human rights violations at an international level,” Sulvaran stated.
Corallo’s defence team in this case, which besides Sulvaran comprises attorney-at-law Claudia Reijntjes-Wendenburg, said it was “satisfied” with the decision made by the Council of Europe’s Committee of Ministers.
However, they hope that all those involved in criminal justice on the Dutch Caribbean islands “take note of this and will eventually proceed to making an action plan themselves in making an end to this gross violation of fundamental human rights on the islands.”