Sunday, September 22, 2013

Senator Accuses President of Planning Parliamentary Assassinations

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

A prominent Haitian senator charges that President Michel Martelly is planning to assassinate him and three other senators by withdrawing their security details and then attacking them with hired gunmen, who have allegedly already killed a community activist in August.
            In a Sep. 4 press conference, Senator John Joël Joseph of Haiti’s West Department said that Martelly and his wife, Sophia St. Rémy Martelly, held a meeting with Police Chief Godson Orélus in which they demanded that he suspend the security details for several prominent opposition senators and deputies. When Orélus refused, the First Lady became “very angry at him, saying that her husband never asks him for anything, so he better do it, thus she demanded that he withdraw the security” of those parliamentarians, Joseph said, claiming she slammed her hand on the table.

Another UN Soldier Accused of Rape in Haiti

by the Center for Economic and Policy Research (CEPR)

The United Nations mission in Haiti, already facing a credibility crisis over its introduction of cholera, is facing new allegations that one of its troops raped an 18-year old woman this past weekend in the town of Léogâne, according to police inspector Wilson Hippolite. In an e-mailed statement, the UN acknowledged that they “are aware of the allegations made against a military staff member” and noted that a “preliminary investigation has been launched to determine the facts of the case.”
            According to Metropole Haiti, the alleged assault occurred off National Highway #2 on Sat., Sep. 7, when the 18-year old woman was approached by a Sri Lankan UN military officer. A Justice of the Peace, conducting a preliminary investigation, visited the site of the alleged assault on Sunday and found a used condom. Further tests are being conducted, according to the report. The accused has been moved to a different MINUSTAH base in another part of the country as the investigation unfolds. As of Jul. 30, Sri Lanka had over 860 troops stationed in Haiti, making it the third largest troop contributing country to the nine year-old mission.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Popular Organizations Issue Call for a Provisional Government to Replace Martelly

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

On. Sep. 9, Haiti’s most outspoken opposition senator and leading popular organizations announced that they would hold a national conference in Port-au-Prince on Sep. 29 to forge an alliance and map out a path to forming a provisional government to replace President Michel Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe.
On Sep. 3, the eight popular organizations had called on Haiti’s deputies to indict Martelly and Lamothe for, among other things, personally making threats on Jul. 11 against a judge investigating government corruption, thereby inducing his death two days later (see Haïti Liberté, Vol. 7, No. 8, Sep. 4, 2013). On Sep. 6, thirteen deputies did formally submit an indictment in Haiti’s Chamber of Deputies, buttressing two separate parliamentary Special Commissions of Inquiry which had already recommended that Martelly and Lamothe be removed from office in reports issued on Aug. 8 and Aug. 23.
Citing the President’s flagrant sabotage in a judicial investigation, as well as his “perjury” and “treason” in the ensuing cover-up, the draft indictment called for “the impeachment of the President of the Republic and the dismissal of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Justice and Public Security to be carried out by the High Court of Justice,” constituted by the Senate.

As Deputies Uncover Same Crimes and Lies as Senators: Popular Groups Demand Lower House Indict President and Prime Minister

Parliament Chiefs Hold Meetings to Scuttle Impeachment Process

by Kim Ives (Haiti Liberte)

A second Special Commission of Inquiry into the Jul. 13 death of Investigating Judge Jean Serge Joseph, this one commissioned by Haiti’s Chamber of Deputies, released its report on Aug. 23, recommending that the lower house indict President Michel Martelly, Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, and Justice Minister Jean Renel Sanon for illegally intervening in a judicial investigation, threatening a judge thereby causing his death, and then publicly and repeatedly lying about the matter.
            The findings of the report match almost exactly those of a Senate inquiry released on Aug. 8 (see Haïti Liberté, Vol. 7, No. 5, 8/14/2013). The Senate Commission also recommended that Parliament remove Martelly and Lamothe from office.
            Judge Joseph was investigating charges of massive corruption against Martelly’s wife, Sophia St. Rémy Martelly, and their son, Olivier Martelly. After issuing subpoenas for several high government officials to testify before him, he had been pressured and threatened personally by Martelly and others. Finally, in a secret Jul. 11 meeting, Martelly, Lamothe, Sanon, and other officials told the judge to call off the investigation, according to both parliamentary reports. Two days later, the judge died from a brain hemorrhage caused by either stress or poison.

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