Haiti - Justice : «Yes we can prosecute them...» - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7
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Haiti - Justice : «Yes we can prosecute them...»
02/08/2011 15:34:37

Haiti - Justice : «Yes we can prosecute them...»
The political and legal imbroglio, which lasts for several weeks between Sonel Jean François, the Government Commissioner and certain members of Provisional Electoral Council (CEP), subject of complaints and allegations of fraud and corruption, looks like a game of "ping-pong". Each intervention of the Commissioner is immediately countered by the lawyers of members of the CEP involved, who constantly repeats the same argument, namely that under [the interpretation] of Article 195 of the Constitution, "the prosecutor's has no jurisdiction to convene or prosecute a member of the CEP."

To clarify the situation, Sonel Jean Francois explains that according to the interpretation of this same Article 195 and also Article 230 of the electoral law, the decisions and actions taken by the prosecution against the Member CEP are based in law.

"...One thing that interests us is to fight corruption at all levels, we did not hesitate, when there were complaint for corruption to give a suite and put the public proceedings, against some Electoral advisers [...]

There are people who say that we are not competent to prosecute members of the Provisional Electoral Council ... Please note that prior to a lawsuit, [...] we look at our Constitution, our Penal Code and also the electoral law before saying that we could prosecute them, the Article 230 of the electoral law says :

"Members of the Permanent Electoral Council and those of the BED and BEC can not be the object of a measures of constraint by body in the exercise of their function except in flagrante delicto for a crime carrying a sentence afflictive and infamous or for serious fraud as stated in Article 195 of the Constitution"

When you read this text, you see that there are two instances. First, there is the High Court of Justice who can pursue them when there is a serious fault. But which instance can pronounce afflictive and infamous sentences ? Of course this is not the High Court of Justice. The High Court of Justice may rule on the dismissal, but the instance that can impose afflictive and infamous sentences, it is the court of common law. So as you can understand, in case of flagrante delicto, even members of the Permanent Electoral Council are justiciable in the court of common law and we say YES there are flagrante delicto in a series of infractions [...] Yes we can prosecute them, because we have the legal provisions for that..."

Hope, for the the justice, for the the Haitian people, for the Rule of Law, that this interpretation of the law, will resist to the inevitable counter argument of lawyers of the advisers targeted by the legal actions of the Government Commissioner. It is high time to end this saga politico-judicial nad to ruling on these allegations, to determine once and for all, who is innocent and who is guilty.

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