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Fears over impunity grow as Haiti probes president’s slaying – Honolulu, Hawaii

Honolulu, Hawaii 2021-08-03 00:58:00 –

San Juan, Puerto Rico >> Police detained more than 40 suspects in the murder of President Jovenel Moise, but many say Haiti’s collapsing judiciary system does not punish the assassination I’m afraid.

Cross-examination continues, while there are still dozens of suspects, including former Haiti senators and former judicial officials. However, the judicial process has already run into serious problems, including threats of murder and allegations of falsification of evidence.

Experts and even the Haiti Civil Protection Agency, a government agency like the Ombudsman, warn that the country faces many challenges in properly handling such complex cases.

“The judicial system has been held hostage by certain departments and weakened by disciplinary bodies … protecting fraudulent and corrupt judges, but persecuting honest people through fake human rights NGOs,” officials said Sunday. Said in a statement.

Brian Concannon, an adviser to Haiti’s Institute for Justice and Democracy, said he was worried about “intentional misdirection” as Moise’s investigation progressed.

“The big question is to create a structure that can tell the truth?” He said. “There may be good people who have reached the truth, but there are enough wrong directions, intimidation (and) people clearly manipulating the evidence …. in the current process we I’m not sure that is approaching the truth. “

Haiti’s Civil Protection Agency said the killings of 32 prominent people dating back to 1991, including former government officials, lawyers, scholars and journalists, have never been resolved. He also accused a corrupt judge of releasing a suspect arrested by police, saying that in the last two decades there had been no serious criminal proceedings in the famous murder case.

Authorities told judicial authorities, especially Haiti’s chief prosecutor, “the pressure of any kind of individual who wants to thwart the investigation of President Jovenel Moise’s assassination in order to reinforce the phenomenon. Don’t be threatened by unfair manipulation. ” Disclaimer in Haiti. “

Port-au-Prince prosecutor Bedford Claude, who oversees the case, did not return a message for comment.

A recent report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council has not been published, but has been shared with the Associated Press, blaming chronic impunity in Haiti and the lack of an independent judiciary.

“The judiciary remains chronically dysfunctional,” the report said, accusing it of increased political interference, threats to the judiciary, and lack of resources. “Corruption is widespread and clearly demonstrates that the judiciary is acting to prove political and other purposes, not justice.”

According to the report, Haiti’s judicial system remains impaired by long-term pretrial detention and is paralyzed by the government’s failure to pay clerks and other workers. He also accused the authorities of not properly protecting the judiciary.

Among those investigating the murder of Moise, who was threatened with murder, is Justice of the Peace Karl Henry Destin, who told AP that he was hiding. He refused to provide other details, such as how the threat prevented the investigation of the July 7 attack on Moise’s private home, where his wife Martine Moise was seriously injured.

Another targeted official is Marcelin Valentin, a court clerk who filed a complaint with the prosecutor on July 29, alleging that he had been threatened with serious murder over the phone. He said the caller threatened to kill him one day after the assassination if he did not correct the name and statement in his report.

One of the messages he received in Creole is roughly interpreted as follows: “Clerk, you have a bullet in your head waiting for you.”

Valentin said the threat forced him to leave the office in hiding.

“My family is obliged to take a compulsory vacation for fear that something bad will happen,” he said in a report.

The threat of death posed during the investigation of the famous murder in Haiti is not new. In one recent case, the judge who oversaw the 2020 killing of Montferrier Doval, head of the Port-au-Prince bar association, began to hide from fear of his life. Since then, the case has stagnated.

One of the key challenges in Doval’s case is the theft of evidence from crime scenes and courts, and there are concerns that could be repeated in Moise’s investigation.

Haitian officials have not disclosed the type of evidence collected when killing the president with the help of the FBI, released limited details at a press conference, and declined most questions during that time. I did.

Eighteen former Colombian soldiers were arrested. The Colombian government says the majority of them were fooled and unaware of the actual brainstorming operations in Florida and Haiti.

There is growing concern about where soldiers and other suspects arrested in the case are being detained. According to a June 2021 report published by the United Nations Integrated Office in Haiti, more than 80% of detainees in highly overcrowded prisons in the country have not been tried and most have no adequate ventilation or clean water. He lives in a prison cell and gets one meal a day. Access to health care is restricted or not at all.

“The situation of detention … represents a situation of torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment,” the report said.

Another concern is the next presidential election, which the newly established Prime Minister Ariel Henri promised to hold as soon as possible. The first vote was scheduled for late September, before Moise was killed, so it’s unclear if the date will change.

Concannon, an adviser to the Institute of Justice and Democracy in Haiti, said Moise’s findings are whether the elected candidates are “those who really have the mission and ambition to reach the truth of this.” He said he could be heavily dependent on.



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