The Public Prosecutor’s Office has requested a 22 year prison sentence for suspect H.H.M. (24) and a 24 year prison sentence for suspect H.F.M. (27), for the liquidation of Franky Brunache in Hope Estate on January 24th, 2017.
The Public Prosecutor requested a higher prison sentence for suspect H.F.M., noting that H.F.M. has a criminal record and has been convicted in three different incidents. The liquidation was also carried out during an ongoing trial period. For this reason, the Public Prosecutor has also requested to impose a 1 year conditional prison sentence.
“Sint Maarten has been struggling with serious and severe crime for years. At times, shootings with or without fatal outcomes, seems to be the order of the day. This can only be countered by tough intervention by police and the justice chain with the intention of putting a stop to this,” the Public Prosecutor stated during Wednesday’s hearing.
According to the Public Prosecutor both suspects together planned and carried out the liquidation of Franky Brunache, where H.H.M. drove the getaway vehicle and H.F.M. was the shooter.
“Murder is one of the most serious crimes, if not the most serious crime of the Penal Code. This is a murder that has all the characteristics of a liquidation. Franky Brunache was liquidated 20 metres from his home, 20 minutes before his birthday. This is clearly a brutal and deceitful act of violence.”
Moreover, this shooting took place in a residential area, where apart from the occupants of the car, other bystanders could have easily become victims. This liquidation has caused much unrest for residents of Guana Bay and elsewhere on St. Maarten.
The Public Prosecutor’s Office points out that the chance of becoming a (fatal) victim of a crime is almost 25 times higher on Sint Maarten than in a country like the Netherlands for example. “As far as the level of punishment in the BROCCOLI investigation is concerned, it is not only about general prevention, but also about specific prevention. St. Maarten’s society must be protected against these suspects for as long as possible,” said the Public Prosecutor.