It will be the first time that Bouterse (75), army chief at the time of the December murders, will respond in court to the twenty-year sentence that the Court Martial pronounced against him at the end of November 2019. Bouterse never appeared in court during the trial, which started on 30 November 2007. According to the counsel of the former army chief, Bouterse will read ‘a bulky statement’ in which he must answer the question why he is opposing the verdict.
In the unlikely event that Bouterse does not appear, the old verdict will stand, as the chairman of the Court Martial Cynthia Valstein-Montnor announced on October 30. That day, the resistance case was postponed because Bouterse did not appear before the Court Martial for unclear reasons. Irvin Kanhai handed the court a note explaining the reason for his absence requesting that the contents not be disclosed due to the privacy of his client. The judge decided on the basis of the content that it was a situation of force majeure and decided to postpone the case.
Bouterse’s political party, the NDP, has appealed to the supporters to support the former president tomorrow in his journey to the Council of War.
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