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Haiti - FLASH : The judgment of Clifford H. Brandt canceled in Court of Cassation
In reviewing applications, the judges of the Court of Cassation found that certain provisions of Article 251 of the Code of Criminal Procedure had not been respected and specified in their judgement "it is not enough for the President of the criminal court to say that he has found that the legal formalities have been fulfilled, it is necessary that the minutes record all the formalities prescribed in articles 251** and following of the CIC [Code of Criminal Instruction] and that the Dean of the criminal tribunal to take notes by the Clerk of these formalities and additions, changes or variations that may exist between the testimony of a witness and his previous statements that could occur during the hearings [...] the completion of all these formalities must be mentioned in the minutes of the hearing and their omission constitutes a violation of the right of defense and will invalidate the judgment pronounced, that it is with good reason that this means has been proposed."
In the interest of achieving justice, the Court of Cassation decided in their judgment: "For these reasons, the Court, the Public Ministry complies in its indictment, breaks and cancels the judgment of the criminal court of Port-au-Prince sitting without assistance of jury on September 13, 2016 against the named Clifford H. Brandt, Ricot Pierre-Val and Carlo Bendel Saint Fort [...]"
The Court refers the case and the parties to the Criminal Court of Gonaïves sitting without assistance of a jury to be tried again, specifying that in the meantime defendants will remain under arrest.
Article 251 :
** Art. 251.- The witnesses will testify separately from one another in the order established by the Government Commissioner. Before depositing, they will, under pain of nullity, swear to speak "without hate and without fear, to tell the whole truth and only the truth."
The Dean of the criminal court will then ask them for their surnames, first names, age, profession, home or residence: if they knew the accused before the fact mentioned in the indictment; if parents or relatives of either the accused or the civil party and to what degree; he will ask them again if they are not attached to the service of one or the other.
Nevertheless it is open to the Dean of the Criminal Court to reverse this order. The provisions of Article 66 of this Code are applicable to the criminal court.
That done, the witnesses will testify orally.- Inst. crim. 137, 165, 252, 263, 313, 400.- C. pén. 23, 28.
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