Arrest of Enold Florestal, Enold Florestal, Enold Florestal parliamentarian visit, Enold Florestal updates, Enold Forestal, Father Jean-Juste, Gary Lissade and Raoul Cedras, Haiti, Haiti Political Prisoner, Human Rights Abuses Haiti, Impunity in Haiti, Judge Jean Serge Joseph death, MOPOD solidarity Enold Florestal, Olivier Martelly corruption case, Sophia Martelly corruption case
The man who filed a legal action asking that Haitian President Martelly’s wife, Sophia, and son, Olivier, be investigated for possible corruption, has been imprisoned on apparently trumped up charges. The judge handling the case, Serge Joseph, is already dead.
Enold Florestal courageously filed a legal complaint, asking that Haiti’s President Martelly’s wife and son be investigated for usurpation of function. To his complaint was attached related allegations of corruption and misappropriation of public money (embezzlement). http://touthaiti.com/touthaiti-actualites/2532-un-an-deja-dossier-corruption-sophia-martelly-historique-et-grands-moments The Judge handling the case suddenly died and now Enold has been arrested and said to have been severely beaten.
Who was the Investigating Judge but the late Judge Serge Joseph who recently died of a stroke, under circumstances which most consider mysterious and worrisome. A Judge who had just called on President Martelly to ask a laundry list of witnesses to appear in court (under Haitian law High Ranking Officials cannot appear without Presidential permission), and who died within less than two weeks of calling for these people to appear, and a few days after his wife, brother and some colleagues say that he met with officials, including Martelly and Lamothe, at Gary Lissade’s Law Offices. A meeting where Judge Joseph was allegedly asked to drop the charges. All officials deny these allegations, as does Gary Lissade; and accuse the opposition of making political hay or trying to destabilise the country.(1) None have given any reason that Judge Joseph’s wife and brother would lie about this alleged meeting having occurred. For those accused to say that those alleging that the meeting occurred were doing so for political gain, seems very insulting to Judge Joseph’s family, who say that the meeting did occur.
Now, Enold Florestal, the man who brought the complaint being investigated by Judge Joseph, about Martelly’s wife and son’s alleged corruption, has been jailed. Enold was arrested within days of alleging that he had evidence that Prime Minister Lamothe had tried to bribe him into dropping the charges against the Presidential Family.
Enold’s Letter to President Martelly
Below is our translation of the letter sent by Enold Florestal to President Martelly. It is critically important, since the law 400 mentioned in it, is the same one later mentioned by Judge Joseph. What Judge Joseph did, which was considered absolutely revolutionary in the context of Haiti, was to call on President Martelly, as required under the law 400, and request that he allow the High Ranking Officials to appear in court. Although Martelly could apparently say no, it would look very bad if he did. Of course, not as bad as Judge Joseph’s death! Judge Joseph named the officials listed in this letter, as well as some other witnesses:
Port-au-Prince, the 14th of February, 2013
To the President of the Republic
His Excellency Michel Joseph Martelly
In his offices
Mr. President of the Republic,
The citizen Enold FLORESTAL, property owner, resident and domiciled in Port-au-Prince, identified with CIN and NIF numbers 01-01-99-1973-07-00082, 003-534-634-4, having for lawyers Messrs Newton Louis ST JUSTE, André MICHEL, Mario JOSEPH and Jacceus JOSEPH of the Bar of Port-au-Prince, identified and patented with the numbers: 003-574-610-6, 2207129856,006-476-320-6, 3,107,029,016.260595 with address for service at VIR BONUS at # 74 Stephen Archer St., Petionville, near the local CEP, hastens to inform you that a correctional action is directed against the named Sophia ST REMY MARTELLY and Olivier Martelly for usurpation of function (office) in accordance with the provisions of Article 217 of the Haitian Penal Code which states: “Whosoever, without title, shall involve themselves in civil or military public functions, or has done the acts of one of these functions, will be punished by imprisonment of one to three years without prejudice to the penalty of fraud, if the act carries the character of this crime.”
This action aims to shed light on the very serious damage to the Political, Administrative and Social Order of the Country caused by these defendants following their intempestive interventions in the management of public funds belonging to all Citizens, since your accession to power. In this regard, several Ministers and Directors General were summoned to appear as witnesses in this trial to be conducted on behalf of Republican Values and against patrimonialism and nepotism.
It concerns Laurent LAMOTHE, Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and External Cooperation, Marie Carmelle JEAN-MARIE, Minister of Economy and Finance, Thomas JACQUES, Minister of Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Florence DUPERVAL GUILLAUME, Minister of Public Health and Population, Magalie RACINE, Minister of Youth, Sport and Civic Action, Yves Robert JEAN, Peter Hérold ETIENNE, Pierre Guy LAFONTANT, Guirlène CHARLITE RAYMOND, Gérard Junior MATTHIEU, Hubert Jean LEBRUN, Charles CASTEL, Directors General of the evoked Ministries, Secretary General of the Presidency, and Governor of the Central Bank, respectively.
Given their status as High Ranking State Officials and the pertinence of their testimony for ascertaining the truth, it is important for the Nation that you authorise their appearance as required by Article 400 of the Code of Criminal Procedure: “High Ranking State Officials can never be summoned as witnesses, even for the debates which take place in the presence of the jury, unless the President of Haiti, on the request of a party and the report of the Secretary of State for Justice, would have, by special order, authorised such appearance.”
Certain that you understand the merits of this approach, the Citizen Enold FLORESTAL presents you, your Excellency, with his most patriotic greetings.
Newton Louis ST JUSTE, Esq.
Attachment: Copy of the Correctional (Court) summons served to the named Sophia ST REMY MARTELLY and Olivier Martelly on the 22nd of January, 2013, recorded on the 29th of January, 2013 and enlisted the 29th of January, 2013 at the Registry of the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince # 70 . http://www.radiokiskeya.com/spip.php?breve2812
Judge Joseph 2 July 2013 Reading “the List” of witnesses to be called. Most, but not all, are High Ranking Officials covered by the Law 400. It is worth noting that if this were the game of “Clue”, all of the parties on this list would be investigated as suspects in relation to his death.
Like the courageous Judge Joseph, one cannot help but admire this brave man, Enold, said to stand only 5 ft 1″ ( 154.94 cm) tall. It seems, however, that Enold took too much joy from pulling the tiger’s tail, and pulled it one too many times. Sallying forth like a brave chihuahua, but who finally found no place under which to hide; he was grabbed, apparently beaten and dumped into a Port-au-Prince jail. For obvious reasons he and others fear for his life. Enold’s diminutive size must make the very short Prime Minister Lamothe, and the taller Martelly, feel like big men! Is this democracy? Sounds like bullies to us.
There are concerns for the life of Enold Florestal who has been arrested on apparently trumped up charges. His lawyer, Newton Saint Juste, has issued an SOS that Enold’s life is believed to be in danger. Enold was arrested Friday night by police in Haiti and is said to have been severely beaten during the arrest. It is not surprising that there are fears that his life is in danger, perhaps even by poisoning, as has been suspected in the case of Judge Joseph, and others before him. According to lawyer André Michel, Enol Florestal begin feeling discomfort (pruritus) in jail. In an interview this week accorded to Radio Kiskeya, Enold Florestal declared that he held proof of his conversation with Laurent Lamothe on the date of July 10, 2013, during which the Prime Minister promised him money and a Haitian Diplomatic position in order to convince him to abandon his legal action against the presidential family. http://touthaiti.com/touthaiti-actualites/2541-sos-la-vie-de-l-opposant-politique-enol-florestal-en-danger-au-commissariat-de-port-au-prince-parcequ-il-refuse-d-etre-filme-par-des-journalistes-propagandistes-de-la-tnh In English: http://omegaworldnews.com/?p=4266 http://omegaworldnews.com/?p=4223 (Although it is obvious that there should be concerns and that his life could be endangered, we cannot help but think that pruritis, i.e. itchiness, is more a sign of lice, bedbugs or other small creatures, which likely reside in a Port-au-Prince jail or from nervousness that he will be killed.)
Trumped Up Charges
Just what are the apparent trumped up charges and why do they appear trumped up? The first obvious clue is that, as we have seen, Enold Florestal filed suit against the Presidential wife and son for usurpation of function, corruption and embezzlement of public funds. From our understanding, usurpation of function means that they were acting in the capacity of a government official without holding an official position, whereby they could be held accountable. Both Sophia and Olivier are handling large sums of money for public projects, hence the added concerns of suspected corruption and misappropriation of public funds. And, more recently, Enold alleged having proof that Lamothe tried to bribe him into dropping the charges.
What are the facts from which the trumped up charges stem? We have pieced together the following from various internet sources: Enold Florestal and his wife had a fight. One can only imagine what it could have been over. Maybe it even had something to do with her family or her brother, Franzy, like giving them money? If Enold had a crazy brother-in-law and in-laws, he wouldn’t be the first. Nor would it be the first brother-in-law or in-laws to cause marital conflict. We just read that Enold’s father-in-law has said that they all lived in the same house together. That leaves plenty of room for the in-laws and brother-in-law to contribute to marital conflict. Regardless of the cause, the wife’s brother, Frantzy Duverseau, chose to intervene against Enold. Literal stones are said to have been thrown and Enold ended up in hospital. The police were called and went to arrest Enold’s brother-in-law, presumably for assault and battery. He is said to have refused to go, because of something in the Constitution about not being arrested after 6 pm (we haven’t verified if this is in the Constitution). Furthermore, the brother-in-law is alleged to have had a machete — which in Haiti and elsewhere functions as a weapon. And, a very scary weapon it is! Shortly afterwards, Enold’s in-laws are said to have admitted that that their son had a machete in his hand, although they said that he was not threatening the police. According to Radio Kiskeya, the 1st of November, 2010:
It must be recalled that the day after the drama, the Senior Superintendent of Police of Port-au-Prince, Michel-Ange Gédéon, when interviewed by Radio Kiskeya, maintained that the two police had been wounded and that they were acting in legitimate self-defense. The parents of Frantzy Duverseau, interviewed at the same time, implied that he refused to be taken after 6 pm, time limit fixed by the Constitution for night-time arrests. All while denying any aggression against the police, they also recognized that the young Duverseau was holding a machete at the moment when he was shot. [from jmd/Radio Kiskeya] http://www.radiokiskeya.com/spip.php?article7187 (translation our own)
The RNDDH (Human Rights Defense Network) reports that the Haitian National Police agents ordered Frantzy to put down the machete. After he refused to comply, one of the policemen fired on him. Afterwards the police justified his death by the the fact that he was armed. http://rnddh.org/haïti-corruption-le-rnddh-dénonce-lutilisation-de-la-violence-detat-pour-étouffer-la-contestation-populaire-31-juillet-2013/
The police officers allege to have been wounded. But, even if not, they would have felt threatened by someone wielding a machete. Who wouldn’t? Did the police try to shoot him in the leg or arm in self defense and miss? If he was moving with a machete, it could be easy for them to miss their aim. We do not know. But, in the end, the brother-in law was shot in the eye and died.
“The machete is a large cleaver-like knife. The blade is typically 32.5 to 45 centimetres (12.8 to 18 in) long and usually under 3 millimetres (0.12 in) thick.” Although used to cut sugar cane, a “machete may also be classified as a sword, because it can be used like one. Many of the killings in the Rwandan Genocide were performed with machetes, and they were the primary weapon used by the Interahamwe militias there. Machetes were also the distinctive tool/weapon of the Haitian Tonton Macoute.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Machete
Somehow this story has been twisted first into a police brutality case and then, somehow, into Enold Florestal and one of his lawyers being assassins. Enold’s brother was also accused and was recently put in prison. Go figure! This twisting about to make victims into the guilty and the guilty into victims is all too typical in Haiti. Enold was injured and said to be in hospital; the police shot the brother-in-law and somehow Enold, his lawyer (and even his brother) are accused of killing the brother-in-law. It doesn’t hold up to common sense or reason.
Another possible clue: Besides the Martelly-Lamothe administration, who else seemed to be pushing for the arrest but CARLI. CARLI, Comité des Avocats pour le Respect des Libertés Individuelles, is the so-called human rights group that used to be funded by US and Canadian government sources, including the Canadian International Development Agency, CIDA. We do not know their current source of funding. CARLI is believed to have played an instrumental propaganda role in justifying the second coup against President Aristide. CARLI ran a USAID funded call “hotline” for alleged human rights violations under President Aristide, which served to legitimise his 2004 removal. (The hotline information was in French and only certain classes of Haitians read French or had access to phones back then; this recalls the 1948 Dewey Truman campaign polls). Furthermore, “CARLI was a member of the Group of 184, the elite-run coalition that masterminded civil society operations in support of the 2004 coup against Aristide.” http://coat.ncf.ca/our_magazine/links/61/46-47.htm See also: http://www.historycommons.org/entity.jsp?entity=national_committee_for_haitian_rights_(nchr)
And, just who used to be honorary head of CARLI but the recently deceased Enerlio Gassant (January 2012), who was listed, end of 2009, as owner of Delta Mining, partner to VCS Mining, which holds the Morne Bossa Mining permit. The Morne Bossa area appears to have been mined off and on since the first coup against Aristide. For more on this see: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2013/01/06/haiti-morne-bossa-gold-missing/ We also must wonder if it is a mere coincidence that the Judge who had Enold Florestal arrested is named Lamarre Belizaire, and that Dannel Belizaire was involved with Citadelle Mining, which held the Morne Bossa and Grand Bois Mining Convention. We do not know the current status of his involvement in mining. And, that Michel Lamarre is President of SOMINE, SA, which currently holds another Mining Convention with Majescor. This may be only a weird coincidence, but if we did not bring it up we would be negligent.
Although the RNDDH (Human Rights Defense Network), reportedly played a similar role to CARLI in the run-up to the second coup against Aristide, they now have some private funding. And, perhaps the new funding is how they have taken up the cause of Enold and his lawyers. The “Observatoire pour la protection des défenseurs des droits de l’Homme”, a joint project of the “Fédération internationale des ligues des droits de l’Homme (FIDH)” and ” l’Organisation mondiale contre la torture (OMCT),” along with the RNDDH have expressed concerned about the treatment of Enold’s lawyer, André Michel, in what they consider an attempt to punish his fight against corruption. http://rnddh.org/haïti-corruption-le-rnddh-dénonce-lutilisation-de-la-violence-detat-pour-étouffer-la-contestation-populaire-31-juillet-2013/ http://rnddh.org/content/uploads/2013/08/Harcèlement-et-fausse-accusation-Me-André-Michel.pdf Apparently Amnesty International is aware of Enold’s plight as well. Still, we are worried that while everyone is concerned that the lawyers should protected, that poor Enold may have been forgotten and left out to dry. This is probably even more true for Enold’s brother.
Another Similar-Looking Case of Trumped Up Charges and Possible Poisoning: Against “Human Rights Defender”, Father Jean-Juste
The cases of both Enold Florestal and of Judge Serge Joseph remind us of an earlier case. This case was that of someone who the US-based Carter Center lists as a “Featured Human Rights Defender”, Father Gérard Jean-Juste. As in the case of Judge Serge Joseph, there were concerns expressed that he died from poisoning. This poisoning, however, was believed to have occurred while he was in jail. And, why was he in jail? It actually sounds pretty similar to the Enold Florestal case. One of his arrests was, according to the Carter Center, “for the murder of his cousin at a time when Jean-Juste was out of the country – a charge that was eventually dropped“. But, we are getting ahead of the story. We reprint Jean Juste’s story below, as told at the Carter Center web site, since we have never heard of any questioning or criticisms of Jimmy Carter, except, ironically, by a friend of Jean Juste. From the Carter Center who calls Gérard Jean-Juste a “Human Rights Defender”:
Carry Me Home to Haiti
Battling through leukemia and the possibility of persecution in his native Haiti, Gerard Jean-Juste was constantly fighting until the day he died.
The volatile storms of Haiti’s political fortunes tossed Jean-Juste between his island homeland and the United States for the better part of the last 37 years of his life. Along the way he earned considerable respect in both countries for his efforts to improve the civil liberties of Haitians regardless of where they live.
Despite outstanding charges of weapons possession and conspiracy to kill Haitian police, the fact that he was always eager to return home underscored improvements made under the current government of René Préval after the humanitarian disaster that marked the previous U.S.-installed regime.
Jean-Juste gained fame in Haiti for preaching liberation theology on the radio after a military coup in 1991. For the longest time, the military junta running the country sought intelligence on the mysterious rabble-rousing rector, but failed to stop his activities because they had no idea what he looked like.
The last time Jean-Juste lived in Haiti, he was jailed — twice — after rebels overthrew the government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004. “The illegal, de facto government always brought some trumped-up charges that could not hold,” he said.
The first arrest was on charges of inciting violence and harboring pro-Aristide soldiers. Jean-Juste had close ties with Aristide, a former Catholic priest. The second was for the murder of his cousin at a time when Jean-Juste was out of the country – a charge that was eventually dropped.
Under the regime installed in 2004 by the “council of the wise” set up by France, the United States and Canada, thousands of people were killed in one of the worst spasms of violence the Caribbean has seen in recent years. During this period, Prime Minister Gerard Latortue – a former radio talk-show host from Boca Raton – was accused of being largely indifferent to a surge in human rights violations and corruption.
“Former military personnel who should have been subject to prosecution for crimes ended up becoming members of the local police force,” says professor Irwin Stotzky at the University of Miami, an expert in Haitian politics. “It was basically a failed state.”
In the run-up to the elections to replace the discredited interim government, Jean-Juste was considered by many a potential presidential candidate even though he was in prison. Indeed, his incarceration made him something of a ‘Nelson Mandela figure’ and served to highlight his years of work in Haiti to support the poor and feed homeless children. In the end, however, Jean-Juste endorsed the eventual winner, René Préval, from behind bars.
“I support President Préval even though we disagree on some key issues,” said the ailing priest. His main reason for optimism was that the democratic process was moving forward. “I love the voters — as long as they stay committed, awake, and aware,” he said, “the political situation must go forward in the right direction.”
Jean-Juste was released in January 2006 to be treated for leukemia in Miami, where he enjoyed an equally celebrated status as a far-sighted social reformer. He had been active in the United States on social issues since 1978, when he helped set up the Haitian Refugee Center to assist refugees, protest U.S. immigration laws, and fight local discrimination. He was a hero to many in Little Haiti, and signs in shop windows around Miami demanding his freedom were a common sight after his arrest in 2005.
He said his battle with leukemia slowed him down but also served as a source of reverence for the human condition. His illness helped answer many questions about such problems as the pain of torture, imprisonment, poison, and rejection. “I understand the Bible and the biblical martyrs better,” he says.
Jean-Juste’s personal aura was almost palpable to those who knew him. “I first met him many years ago, when he set up the refugee center. He’s just an incredibly brave guy and very peaceful,” said professor Stotzky.
Unsurprising for a priest, Jean-Juste’s main source of strength was his faith. Yet, in addition to the teachings of the church, he said his inspiration for his activism also came from what he called his “debt as a member of the human race.”
While his faith gave him the power to serve people without discrimination, the rules of the Catholic Church blocked him from exercising his charge. When it appeared that Jean-Juste might run for president – an activity prohibited by the Vatican – the archbishop of Port-au-Prince suspended the imprisoned priest from his duties as rector of St. Claire Catholic Church in Port-au-Prince.
“I haven’t even been able to pick up my personal belongings at the church,” he said at the time. “Recently, I asked the Archbishop to allow me to return to the parish for a visit, but he denied me this right.” Unable to qualify for Social Security assistance, Jean-Juste turned to the archbishop of Miami and asked to perform duties in order to survive on stipends – but was shunned again.
Despite such setbacks, Jean-Juste always remained optimistic. He saw securing basic human needs education, in particular, as the key to boosting civil liberties in Haiti and suggested using more interactive media to make education about humanitarian and civic issues more appealing. “We need to nourish the culture of life and democracy through all means possible,” he said.
Jean-Juste’s spirit remained strong, and he continued to fight for his rights and the rights of others until a stroke and lung problems caused his untimely death in May of 2009 at the age of 62.
November 2009, The Carter Center http://www.cartercenter.org/peace/human_rights/defenders/defenders/haiti_gerard_jean-juste.html (we have added bold for emphasis)
Father Jean Juste was designated as “a prisoner of conscience” by Amnesty International. The Associated Press described him as being “often considered the Martin Luther King Jr. of Haiti”. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gérard_Jean-Juste
Enold Florestal: Deja Vu All Over Again
Having read Father Jean Juste’s story, we hope that you understand that Haiti has a legacy of using trumped up charges against political opponents. It appears that Martelly-Lamothe, having been raised up in this atmosphere, are continuing in this tradition.
How to Take Action
Those who are inspired to organize a letter writing campaign will find an email contact form at http://primature.gouv.ht/ (save a copy of your letter; a screen shot would be best). Laurent Lamothe’s web site is www. laurentlamothe .com The email address listed there is: email@example.com
Both Lamothe and Martelly know English.
Please communicate your concerns to your favorite Human Rights Organization; your Church or other Religious Institution; your government officials; your Embassy in Haiti, and anyone else you can think of.
We believe that Lamothe and Martelly are bullies. Most bullies do not like to be embarrassed. They need to be embarrassed to the maximum so that they release Enold.
A man’s life may lie in your hands.
[Endnote 1 has been moved to below the updates, which means below the video, as well]. Updates are the 21 August and the 25 August].
21 August 2013 Enold Florestal Update (was posted in comments):
Enold Florestal Update: Apparently they can not make up their minds about what Enold Florestal is charged with. Now Reginald Delva, Secretary of State for Public Safety, is saying it has to do with Enold’s current girlfriend, Beata St. Jour, who allegedly falsified documents for admission to the police (academy). See: http://hwww.hpnhaiti.com/site/index.php/politique/10198-haitile-secretaire-detat-a-la-securite-publique-tente-de-justifier-larrestation-denold-florestal
In English see: http://omegaworldnews.com/?p=4385
Maybe Enold should try for the Catholic priesthood, considering his luck with women. Then he can get kicked out of the priesthood for political activity. Or, if not, the powers that be can still come up with trumped-up charges, as they did against Father Jean-Juste and President (Father) Aristide.
25 August 2013 Enold Florestal Updates:
According to Omega News:
“A complaint will be filed against Reginald Delva, Jean Renel Sanon, Lamare Belizaire for beating, torture, sequestration and conspiracy
Published Friday 23 August 2013 16:09
The lawyers of citizen Enold Florestal,[apparent] political prisoner, [allegedly] beaten and mistreated at the moment of his arrest, announce that a complaint will be filed before the appropriate authorities, at the beginning of next week, against Jean Renel Sanon, Reginald Delva, Lamarre Belizaire and the police involved in the arrest, for beating, torture, kidnapping, sequestration and conspiracy”. http://omegaworldnews.com/?p=4622 (Omega News original in French; our English translation, plus we added the words “apparent”, “allegedly”.)
As reported by Le Matin News, 21/08/2013:
“MOPOD is in solidarity with the incarcerated Florestal brothers
A MOPOD delegation went this Wednesday, 21 August, to the National Penitentiary as a sign of solidarity with the Florestal brothers (Josué et Enold). Jean André Victor of the PLH, Marie Denise Claude of the plateforme INITE and Turneb Delpé of the PNDPH present them as two political prisoners./ These two founding members of the Groupe 77 of which Mr. André Michel, Esq. (lawyer) is the leader were arrested in the context of the dossier on the assassination, the 18th of Octorber 2010 of the student Frantzy Duverseau./ Recall as well that Enold Florestal signed the August 16, 2012 complaint against the wife of the President Sophia Martelly and her eldest son for usurpation of function and presumed corruption./ Among their [Enold and Josué] defenders, figure Newton Louis Saint-Juste and André Michel, who are also targeted by the Justice in the context of the same dossier“. French original by Succès Estinvil is here: http://www.lematinhaiti.com/contenu.php?idtexte=36673 [English translation is our own. NB: we are almost certain, though not positive, that Enold did not file the original 2012 complaint, but rather only the 2013 complaint.]
Haiti’s Le Nouvelliste reports:
“MOPOD calls for the liberation of the Florestal brothers”
21 août 2013 Roberson Alphonse. Le Nouvelliste.
“The dictatorship is here.’ MOPOD says it, believes it and calls, in addition for the liberation of the brothers Enold and Josué Florestal for the government to get a grip on itself. Stop right there, because that path, believe these opponents to Martelly, is not good for the country...”(our own translation of the beginning of article.) The entire article in French is here: http://lenouvelliste.com/article4.php?newsid=120320 As time allows, we may translate more.
On Thursday, 22/08/2013, Haiti’s Le Matin reported:
“Haïti/Justice: A delegation of Deputies turned away from the National Penitentiary.
A delegation composed of five members of the Parliamentary bloc pour le renforcement institutionnel (PRI) [for the reinforcement of institutions] could not visit the Florestal brothers, considered to be two political prisoners, this Thursday. The reason? It had not been authorized, neither by the new Port-au-Prince public prosecutor, nor by the Minister of Justice. A measure which was sharply denounced by the President of the PRI Sadrack Dieudonné who was also part of the delegation.” Our translation; original French by SE/LM of Le Matin is here: http://www.lematinhaiti.com/contenu.php?idtexte=36681
Radio Kiskeya interviewed Sadrack Dieudonné outside the prison: The new Public Prosector, “Mr Francisco René, interdicts a group of parliamentarians from a solidarity visit with the brothers Enold et Josué Florestal” (video in Creole, but an easy to understand Creole).
Among other things, Sadrack Dieudonné, argues that any single prisoner can be visited by anyone. And, he says that the new Public Prosecutor has said that it needs to be clear that recreation time is over and Sadrack Dieudonné says that they read this as meaning that he is ready to reinforce the apparatus of repression. We will try to translate more of what he says here, as soon as we can, because it is both interesting and important.
Mr. Gary Lissade, on August 13th, apparently issued a warning to those who he says would attempt to soil his reputation acquired by almost 40 years of hard work with for results, what he calls an impeccable and prestigious track record in the field of law. He furthermore “categorically” denied the allegations which he called “the fruit of pernicious imagination” of certain individuals who want to draw political advantage. He characterises the Senate Report as “incoherent stories and rumors without foundation and without proof” and the conclusions as “scandalous and aberrant”. http://infohaiti. net/accueil/politique/1798-rapport-de-la-commission-senatoriale-denquete-me-louis-gary-lissade-denonce-une-manuvre-visant-a-souiller-son-honneur (original in French; if he doesn’t like our translation he can write a press release in English as he studied in California).
Now, we really would like to know what honour and reputation that Gary Lissade is concerned of soiling, since he was the legal representative of General Raoul Cedras during the first coup years. See for instance: http://www.haiti-liberte.com/archives/volume5-1/Haiti%20Wikileaks%20Spark.asp You can’t drop any lower than that or be any more soiled! Who cares about the Senate allegations if you put it into comparison? Besides, impunity seems to reign supreme in Haiti. Who would guess in their wildest dreams that Baby Doc Duvalier would have the impudence to return to Haiti and that he may even go unpunished? We do agree with Gary Lissade, Esq., in that it is pretty impossible to prove that the meeting took place. But, such is also the case for most crimes, which is why, with a good lawyer, the guilty often walk free. It is also possible that the meeting occurred at his law offices and that he, personally, knew nothing about it. He was born in 1947, so could easily retire or be quasi-retired. Why the ruffled feathers? Weird. Perhaps he worries about Gary Lissade Jr.’s legacy? We still have yet to see any reason given that Judge Joseph’s wife and brother would lie about this alleged meeting having occurred.