January 20, 2022

Five arrest warrants issued in former Haitian leader corruption case

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images|cms-image-000000420By Joseph Guyler Delva From Haitian-Caribbean News Network

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) — The Haitian judge, conducting the inquiry into acts of corruption blamed on Haiti’s former president, Jean-Bertrand Aristide, issued on Friday 5 arrest warrants against suspects who failed to comply with a summon sent to them a few days ago to appear at the magistrate’s office for questioning.

Sources close to the case told HCNN that judge Lamarre Belizaire ordered on Friday that Mirlande Libérus, Gustave Faubert, Rodnée Deschineau, Jean-Robert Esther and Max Buteau be arrested and brought before him as he proceeds with a series of hearings of former allies of ex-president Aristide allegedly involved in corruption, laundering of drug money, misappropriation of public funds, among other charges.

A clerk, at the Judicial Palace (the Headquarters of the judicial system), who saw the warrants said he knew that the judge was preparing late Friday afternoon to send the warrants to the head of the judicial police, at the “Direction Centrale de la Police Judiciaire”, known as DCPJ.

“I personally saw the warrants issued against those 5 people and I know the judge was trying to find DCPJ to have the police collected them,” the clerk, who spoke on condition of anonymity, told HCNN.

Mirlande Liberus was director of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy and reputed to have been Aristide’s right-hand woman, Gustave Faubert was minister of Finance under Aristide, while Jean-Robert Esther was an influential Police Inspector-General, and Rodnée Deschineau former Director-general of the Haitian Popular Bank, known as BPH, through which most of the fraudulent transactions were made.

The 5th suspect, Max Buteau, has allegedly received important sums of money through the scheme set up by the Aristide administration to misappropriate public funds.

It is not clear, however, that all the suspects in the case still live in Haiti. It is, for instance, the case for Liberus who has been living in Florida, United-States, for severla years now.

Judge Belizaire banned this week former president Aristide and 34 other former allies from leaving the Caribbean country’s territory.

hundreds of millions of dollars were allegedly embezzled under Aristide’s government from 2001 to 2004, according to official administrative reports.

Aristide was forced from power, in Feb. 2004, by a bloody rebellion led by former army officer and police commissioner, Guy Philippe, and growing popular uprising.

Aristide went into exile in the Central African Republic, then in South-Africa where he spent about seven years, before returning to Haiti in 2011, under the presidency of René Préval.

The criminal investigation into Aristide’s administration was initiated in 2005 under the interim government, led by president Boniface Alexandre and Prime minister Gérard Latortue.

IMAGE: Investigating judge Lamarre Belizaire

For more on this story go to: http://hcnn.ht/en/2014_08/politics/343/Five-arrest-warrants-issued-in-former-Haitian-leader-corruption-case-Jean-Bertrand-Aristide-Gustave-Faubert-Haiti-mandat-d’amener-gouvernement-haitien.htm

 

Related story:

Heavy gunfire erupts outside home of Haiti judge probing Aristide corruption case

By Joseph Guyler Delva From Haitian-Caribbean News Network

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) — Heavy gunfire erupted Thursday night outside the residence of the Haitian judge conducting a probe into corruption crimes blamed on former president Jean-Bertrand Aristide and several dozen of his allies who have been banned from leaving the Caribbean country, officials say.

Haitian Justice minister, Jean Renel Sanon, said on Friday that unidentified gunmen fired rounds of automatic weapons just outside the home of Judge Lamarre Belizaire conducting a criminal investigation into serious acts of corruption, misappropriation of public funds, laundering of drug money, among other charges.

“When the judge reported the facts to me last night, I called the police and a patrol was immediately deployed outside the judge’s home to protect him and to face the gunmen,” Sanon told the Haitian-Caribbean News Network (HCNN).

The gunmen had time to flee just before the arrival of the police contingent and the incidents are now being investigated by the police.

” We are going to make sure that necessary measures are taken to protect the judge,” said Sanon.

Judge Belizaire banned this week former Haitian leader Jean-Bertrand Aristide and 34 other of his current and former allies from leaving the country as part of an inquiry into cases of corruption and embezzlement that involved hundreds of millions of dollars in public funds, from 2001 to 2004.

Some believe the gunshots fired, Thursday night, may have been an act to intimidate judge Belizaire who has summoned nearly 40 individuals and former government functionaries to appear before him for questioning, while those people are banned from leaving the country.

Aristide has not yet publically commented the restrictive measures taken against him and his former collaborators.

Belizaire on Wednesday heard Oriel Jean, a former security Chief at the presidential Palace, and interrogated on Thursday Thoussaint Hilaire, a former director of the Aristide Foundation for Democracy which is suspected of being involved in the corruption scheme.

The investigation started in 2005, following the ouster, in Feb. 2004, of Aristide who was inaugurated in 2001 for a second five-year presidential term, after serving as president in 1991 and toppled on September 30, after about 7 months in office.

A new anti-corruption law, pushed by Prime minister Laurent Lamothe and solemnly promulgated by president Michel Martelly, was passed earlier this year to toughen punitive measures against those in the public administration and others found guilty of corrupt practices.

For more on this story go to: http://hcnn.ht/en/2014_08/politics/341/Heavy-gunfire-erupts-outside-home-of-Haiti-judge-probing-Aristide-corruption-case-Jean-Bertrand-Aristide-judge-Lamarre-Belizaire-Laurent-Lamothe-Michel-Martellyjuge-Haiti–gunfire-Minister-Jean-Renel-Sanon.htm

See also iNews Cayman related stories:

Published October 3 2013 “Haiti’s Martelly meets with former President Jean-Bertrand Aristide” at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/haitis-martelly-meets-with-former-president-jean-bertrand-aristide/

Published under iNews Briefs Aug 7 2014 “Jean Bertrand Aristide prevented from leaving Haiti” at: https://www.ieyenews.com/wordpress/inews-briefs-173/

 

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