Haiti - FLASH : Arrest of the Secretary General of the Federation of Bars of Haiti - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7

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Haiti - FLASH : Arrest of the Secretary General of the Federation of Bars of Haiti
24/07/2022 08:36:08

Haiti - FLASH : Arrest of the Secretary General of the Federation of Bars of Haiti
The Central Directorate of Judicial Police (DCPJ) continues to deepen the investigation into the seizure of the shipment of weapons and 120,000 ammunition at the Port-de-Paix warf on Friday July 1st, 2022. https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-37058-haiti-flash-seizure-of-tens-of-thousands-of-ammunition-at-the-wharf-of-port-de-paix-video.html

Investigators are interested in the suspicious release of the two alleged arms and ammunition traffickers linked to this case.

Let's recall that the former Government Commissioner at the Court of First Instance of Port-de-Paix Me Michelet Virgile, dismissed by the Ministry of Justice following its decision to release these two alleged traffickers, was arrested and then transferred to the Directorate Central Judicial Police (DCPJ) https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-37108-haiti-flash-seizure-of-120-000-ammunition-me-michelet-virgile-releases-the-alleged-traffickers.html

Friday, July 22, 2022, the Secretary General of the Federation of Bars of Haiti, Me Robinson Pierre-Louis, former cabinet member of the Ministry of Justice (dismissed the day before for serious breach of duty) was arrested by agents of the Office of Financial and Economic Affairs (BAFE) and submitted to the DCPJ. He is accused of having used his influence as a member of the cabinet of the Minister of Justice, to obtain the release of Fritz Jean Relus and Jonas Georges arrested for arms and ammunition trafficking in Port-de-Paix.

"[...] He is accused of forfeiture, suspicion of corruption, influence peddling and criminal association in the context of the file relating to the illicit trafficking of firearms and ammunition in Port-de-Paix" confirmed the Police National of Haiti (PNH)

Me Robinson Pierre Louis rejects the charges against him. Nevertheless he acknowledges that being the lawyer of Jonas Georges, the owner of the boat "Miss Lily" on board which was found the cargo of arms and ammunition, he introduced a request for a "main levée" in favor of his client explaining that under the law, he had no criminal responsibility in this case and should be released.

Note that wanted notices have been issued against Marie Guirléne Estimable (exporter) and Wilfrid Estimable (importer) both residing in the USA and against Edy Lafrance in Haiti, for illegal storage and distribution of weapons and ammunition.

In addition, an arrest warrant and a ban on leaving the territory were issued against Fritz Aubourg, Deputy Director of Judicial Affairs of the Ministry of Justice, accused of being involved in the release of the two alleged traffickers...

Reaction of the Port-au-Prince Bar Council :
In a note dated July 23, Marie Suzy Legros the Bâtonnière of the Council of the Bar Association of Port-au-Prince said she was "[...] appalled by the arrest followed by the detention at the Delmas police station 33 of Me Robinson Pierre Louis under the orders of the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police, without prior request to the President of the Bar Association of Port-au-Prince as provided by law.

Immediately alerted, a Council delegation led by the Bâtonnière went to the premises of the Financial and Economic Affairs Brigade (BAFE) to find that Me Robinson Pierre-Louis was indeed being held by agents of the Central Directorate of the Judicial Police (DCPJ) who decided manu militari to keep him in custody.

The Council of the Order is extremely concerned by this situation where the fundamental rights of a lawyer, moreover Secretary of the Council of the Order, are openly violated, thus casting opprobrium on the entire corporation.

[...] Without pronouncing, for the moment, on the grounds for the arrest of Me Robinson Pierre-Louis, the Council of the Order requests that the latter be released without delay and that the prosecution authorities comply with the conventions, laws and regulations guaranteeing the free exercise of the legal profession."

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