“The government erroneously criminalized Hoefdraad’s political decisions in good faith”
The international investigation organization Interpol is cracking down on the government and the Public Prosecutor’s Office (OM) in Suriname, which according to the organization has mistakenly put the wanted and fugitive former finance minister Gillmore Hoefdraad on the so-called international alarm list. In December last year, Hoefdraad was sentenced to 12 years in prison for, among other things, participating in a criminal organization, embezzlement and violation of the Anti-Corruption Act.
“Targets for illegal, politically motivated charges”
“Mr Gillmore Hoefdraad, former Minister of Finance (2015-2020) and President of the Central Bank of Suriname (2010-2015), has been the target of illegal, politically motivated charges since his party lost the 2020 national election,” it reads. said Interpol issued a statement this week.
“Basic legal protection was lacking”
He left a career in the International Monetary Fund, where he helped ailing economies around the world to serve his home country. The Government of Suriname has wrongly criminalized good faith political decisions made by Mr. Hoefdraad and the previous government during a financial crisis that worsened with the Covid-19 pandemic. On the basis of accusations previously rejected by the National Assembly, Mr Hoefdraad was convicted in absentia in a case that lacked basic legal protection. “
†Interpol withdraws red notification at request from Suriname†
In a crucial recognition of Suriname’s illegal prosecution of Mr. Hoefdraad has Interpol withdrawn Suriname’s requested red notice of his arrest and extradition, the organization said.
Hoefdraad accuses politically motivated
“On 14 April 2022, Interpol issued a detailed 11-page resolution confirming that Suriname’s prosecution of Mr Hoefdraad is politically motivated and violates Interpol’s rules. Interpol’s decision justifies Mr Hoefdraad as a victim of political persecution whose human rights have been grossly violated by the Surinamese government. This decision confirms that Suriname has no evidence of self-enrichment, yet went ahead with allegations of embezzlement, arguing that only the state benefited from Mr Hoefdraad’s actions as finance minister. Interpol found the allegations against Mr Hoefdraad deeply disturbing and insufficiently clear as required by the statutes and rules. “
Interpol’s decision is “a condemnation of Suriname’s legal system, which has been exposed as being independent and does not respect the fundamental rights of its people,” the organization said.
Interpol further states that Hoefdraad’s lawyers in the United States (Mr. Meg Hobbins) and Suriname (Mr. Murwin Dubois) have filed claims with the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights and the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights. “Mr Hoefdraad will continue these efforts to hold the Surinamese authorities accountable for actions that have unfairly threatened his life and liberty,” Interpol said.
Suriname Public Prosecutor’s Office
On 9 July 2021, the Public Prosecutor’s Office in Suriname had confirmed to the editorial staff of Dagblad Surinam that former Minister of Finance Gillmore Hoefdraad ‘was included on Interpol’s international alert list’ on 8 July. This had happened after Suriname’s actual information regarding Mr. Gillmore Hoefdraad had delivered to Interpol ‘.
According to the prosecution, the placement of Hoefdraad on Interpol’s’ wanted ‘list meant that if Mr Hovtråd was detected, an arrest could be made’.
Hoefdraad was suspected of eleven criminal offenses, including violation of the Banking Act, the Money Laundering Act, embezzlement and fraud. He has been untraceable by local authorities for many months.
“Most Wanted List” Suriname police force
A few days ago, the former minister was placed on a ‘Most Wanted List’ in Suriname’s police force.
The editors of Dagblad Surinam have tried to get reactions from both the public prosecutor’s office in Suriname and Interpol in the French city of Lyon, but so far no reactions have been received.