The military trial will continue in Suriname on 30 April to deal objectively with the December murder trial against former President Desi Boutros. The Council today rejected all objections to the so-called resistance case brought by Puters’ attorney, Erwin Kanhai. This paved the way for an objective treatment of the issue.
In 2019, Boutros was sentenced in absentia to 20 years in prison for his role in killing opponents of the regime in 1982. Due to the default judgment, he had no option to appeal, but had to file an appeal first. Today’s session was about this case of resistance.
According to attorney Kanhai, among other things, the controversial amnesty law test, which acquitted Butters and other suspects, is for a civilian judge rather than a criminal judge, like a military court. He wants the council to declare itself ineligible. Also, the summons to Bouterse did not meet legal requirements and therefore should be declared null and void.
Moreover, according to Kanhai, the soldier-auditor who signed the summons did not have to do so, as he had not yet been appointed. Judge Cynthia Wallstein Munnor disagreed with Potter’s defense objections.
“In theory, the case will be dealt with again,” explains Nina Gurna, “the questioning of Butters will begin in the next session, and Boutiers may come with his witnesses.” “In the end, a judgment will be issued and then the parties, both the Public Prosecutor and Potter, can appeal the verdict. So we are far from finished.”
Buters said after the hearing that he did not yet know whether he would summon witnesses. “I’m dealing with other things than where we just came from. So I’m not worried about martyrdom.”
Supporters of the former president greeted outside the court: