Surinamese former President Desi Bouterse invokes his right to remain silent in the December assassination process. The fact that on the first day of the substantive consideration of his resistance case he did not reply to the court-martial came as a surprise to those present.
It was precisely the intention that Bouterse would be heard and told his side of the matter, but he said that everything has already been said. His lawyer, Irvin Kanhai, reports that Bouterse appeared before a judge commissioner at the beginning of this century. His statements from that time have not changed, says Kanhai to the Surinamese news site Starnieuws.
75-year-old Bouterse is on trial for his role in the murders of fifteen political opponents in December 1982, when he was commander of the army at the time. In 2019, he was sentenced to 20 years in prison in absentia. After he resisted, the case ended up court-martialed again.
No additional witnesses
“ It is quite remarkable that he did not want to answer questions,” says correspondent Nina Jurna. “You would expect him to tell you on what grounds he did so after he signed up for resistance. He also had room to call witnesses, but he didnt.”
According to Jurna, due to silence, the case has accelerated. On May 31, the military auditor, representing the Public Prosecutors Office, begins with the requisitory. Bouterses lawyer can respond to that. If the court martial has delivered a verdict, Bouterse can still appeal.