PHILIPSBURG--The Court of Appeal is expected to rule on the lifting of the visitor restriction imposed against independent Member of Parliament Silvio Matser. The MP has been under arrest and in the custody of justice officials since March 2. He has only been allowed contact with his attorney Cor Merx.

The Court of Appeal heard Merx’s arguments on his request to lift the visitor restriction on Tuesday. Matser was present for the hearing.

Merx’s told The Daily Herald it is “very sad” that Matser has not been allowed to see anyone other than his attorney, not even his aging mother, since he was taken into custody by the National Detectives as a primary suspect in the “Octopus” investigation into election fraud (vote buying) in the August 2014 Parliamentary Elections.

Two other men were arrested in the “Octopus” case on the same day as Matser and a third was arrested the next day, March 3. All four suspects are still in the custody of the National Detectives.

In accordance with the Penal Code, the Prosecutor should present the four detained suspects – Matser, E.F., R.K. and W.B. – not later than Friday to a Judge of Instruction for the continuation of their detention. The Prosecutor’s Office is still to take a decision on whether an extension of the suspects’ detention is necessary for the ongoing investigation.

At present, there are 17 suspects, including Matser, in the “Octopus” case. Of those, seven are inmates in Pointe Blanche Prison.