Haiti - USA : Delay in the trial of the 11 accused in the assassination of President Moïse - HaitiLibre.com : Haiti news 7/7
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Haiti - USA : Delay in the trial of the 11 accused in the assassination of President Moïse
24/04/2023 09:24:12

Haiti - USA : Delay in the trial of the 11 accused in the assassination of President Moïse
Federal Judge Jose Martinez blamed prosecutors for the significant delay in the trial of the 11 defendants involved in the July 7, 2021 assassination of Haitian President Jovenel Moïse https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-34162-haiti-flash-president-jovenel-moise-assassinated-by-mercenaries-official-updated-7am-+-video.html , deploring that the accused have been incarcerated for more than a year before being tried "[...] Before you go and arrest people you have to have a good idea of what they did and how you are going to prove it," Martinez reproached the prosecutors in charge of the case.

Let's recall that a trial date had been set for May 8, 2023 in federal court in Miami. However, on Monday (April 17), Federal Prosecutor Monica Castro told Judge Martinez that she expected more defendants to enter plea deals in order to avoid a trial. However, given that this is a very complex case with defendants from 3 countries in different languages, she considered "a trial date in 2023 is unlikely" estimating that prosecutors "will need at least four more months to turn over evidence to defense attorneys."

Judge Martinez then asked which defendant had been detained the longest pending trial. Defense lawyer Alfredo Izaguirre, who represents former Colombian soldier Mario Antonio Palacios Palacios, replied that his client had been in detention since January 2022 https://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-35640-haiti-flash-palacio-extradited-to-the-usa-first-official-indictment-in-the-assassination-of-president-moise.html . Martinez lamented an "unright" situation.

Speaking on behalf of the defense attorneys, Henry Bell told the federal judge in Miami they had a lot of information to sift through, saying the attorneys couldn't 'defend this case competently' or negotiate plea deals with prosecutors without examining the extensive evidence in the form of text messages contained in the mobile phones of the defendants adding "TThere’s a lot to go through [...] We really do need the time."

Martinez, while acknowledging that delaying the trial was in the interests of justice and that the complexity of the case required significant preparation, told prosecutors to act to deliver uncovered evidence to the Defense as soon as possible and mentioned another hearing within 2 months without setting a date...

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