A woman from St-Martin accused of uttering racist insults at police officers

The defendant engaged five attorneys to defend her.

The case is delicate and sensitive because it involves the issue of Saint-Martin identity. A woman has been accused of uttering racist insults at border police agents (PAF).

The incidents date back to June 2015. On the French side, the PAF was checking a bus registered in Sint Maarten and her son was one of the passengers. He refused to give his passport on account that he’s a Saint-Martiner. The discussion got pretty heated and he was taken to the police station. That was when his mother intervened. She also refused to give her passport on account that she’s a Saint-Martiner, that everyone knows everyone else on the island and that she didn’t have her passport with her all the time. And during this discussion with the police officers, she insulted them. She let out “Fuck France....Fuck the French passport” («je chie sur la France… Je chie sur le passeport français» in her own words).

To defend herself, she first turned to Maître Durimel, a French attorney. The case was listed for the first time in September 2015. Afterwards, it was postponed several times for different reasons. It was scheduled for this Thursday, but was again postponed to November 24. Less than a month ago, the defendant asked four other lawyers including the President of the Bar to ensure her defense and one of them requested an adjournment because he couldn’t be in Saint-Martin today because he had been withheld at the Guadeloupe Court of Assizes. In November, five attorneys will therefore assist her.

This morning, she came to the courthouse with several supporters, some of whom were wearing white t-shirts with the logo of the association "Soualiga Grassroots" of which she is a member and on which was written "I AM A SAINT-MARTINER".

In early May, Maître Durimel and Victor Paines, a member of the association, agreed to an interview with our colleagues from Guadeloupe 1ère about the case and its issues. They especially raised the issue of Saint-Martin identity and its loss. The Guadeloupian attorney moreover informed the judges this morning that his client will need to explain this point during her trial.




Estelle Gasnet