Following reports that have appeared in the media about the decision of Interpol regarding the fugitive and now convicted ex-Minister of Finance, Gillmore Hoefdraad, the Public Prosecution Service in Suriname has stated in a press release that Interpol’s decision has no influence on the Surinamese criminal process in any way. The Public Prosecution Service says:
“Suriname started the process in the period from May 2021 to use the international signaling device of Gillmore Hoefdraad, via Interpol. After the formalities have been complied with for this purpose, a message was received from Interpol on 8 July 2021, stating that the Red Notice will be published.
This publication related to that part of the network which is only accessible to Interpol authorities. For publication on the public website, as requested by Suriname, the application was referred to the ‘Notices and Diffusions Task Force’ of the organization in accordance with Interpol procedures.
The said department has requested additional information several times, to which Suriname has always responded promptly and comprehensively. Interpol has now decided, based on its internal assessments, that data relating to Gillmore Hoefdraad’s person will be removed.
The Public Prosecution Service will study this decision in more detail and determine whether and how it will respond to this towards the organization.
This Interpol decision in no way affects the Surinamese criminal process. The Court’s ruling still stands. Hoefdraad was sentenced in absentia to 12 years in prison by judgment dated December 17, 2021, after being properly summoned and not appearing. He lodged an objection against this decision, but because he did not appear in person, as required by law, the objection was declared null and void. He has now lodged an appeal against this decision and the appeal must be awaited. After the verdict has become final, it will be executed.
Signaling a wanted person via Interpol is only an instrument that can be used for international investigations, but there are still many possibilities within international cooperation. The international instruments of, among other things, treaties and judicial and police cooperation have always proven their usefulness and effectiveness, and these options will also be used in this case,” according to the Public Prosecution Service.