MARIGOT: Monday and Tuesday is the trial of Daniel Gibbs, Annick Petrus and Valerie Damaseau (barring special events). The case was first scheduled for December 19, 2019 but was postponed four times due to the health crisis and the impossibility of the metropolitan lawyers to come to St. Martin.
All three are accused of undermining the freedom of access or equality of candidates in public contracts overall between 2017 and 2019 (on periods each different) in other words the crime of favoritism; Daniel Gibbs is also prosecuted for the removal, misappropriation or destruction of property from a public deposit by the custodian or one of his subordinates between 2017 and 2018.
The offense of favoritism is punishable by two years imprisonment and a fine of €200,000. As for the crime of embezzlement, misappropriation of property from a public deposit, it is punishable by ten years imprisonment and a fine of one million euros. The penal code specifies that when the misappropriation or embezzlement is the result of negligence on the part of a person in charge of public authority or public service, a public accountant, or a public depositary, it is punishable by one year’s imprisonment and a fine of €15,000.
In addition, the penal code requires that the additional penalty of ineligibility be imposed on all persons convicted of the offense of favouritism. In order not to be deprived of civic rights, the court must specify this in its judgment. If this is not the case, the person found guilty is immediately rendered ineligible for a period defined by the judges.
The court will be composed of three magistrates from the court of Guadeloupe who will travel to the island. Due to the health context and the (small) size of the courtroom, the number of people allowed to be present (including lawyers) will be limited to less than 10.