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Haiti - Duvalier : Everything that was said at the hearing of 28 February
02/03/2013 09:09:32

Haiti - Duvalier : Everything that was said at the hearing of 28 February
During a historic hearing, of several hours Thursday, February 28, 2013, the former President Jean Claude Duvalier, accompanied by his lawyers Me Reynold Georges and Fitzo Canton, answered to questions from the Courts of Appeal, of Commissioner of the Government and the civil party. The following this hearing was postponed to February 7. Me Philippe Mario Milorme, the Clerk of the Court of Appeal has transcribed the questions and answers within minutes of the hearing, whose we reproduce the reading by the latter :

"Court (Q)
January 27, 2012, the investigating judge of the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince issued an order referring you to correctional court to be tried in accordance with the provisions of Articles 117 and 118 of the Code of Criminal Procedure. Dissatisfied with this order, you have filed an appeal, can you explain the reasons for this appeal ?

Jean-Claude Duvalier (JCD) : The reasons we have mentioned are simple for the simple reason that the standards have not been met. And I think I have responded in the different sessions I had with the Judge Carvès Jean to all questions that were asked.

Q: In the order of the investigating judge, it is mentioned some names such as Jean-Claude Duvalier, Simone O. Douyon, Jean Sambour, Samuel Jérémie, Auguste Douillon, Jean-Robert Estimé, Ronald Bennett and others who are charged with corruption, bribery of officials, embezzlement, theft and criminal conspiracy to the detriment of the Haitian State. Can you tell us about your relationship with these persons ?

J.C.D : I want to clarify that I had only family relationships and business with these people.

Q: In the order that you appealed, it is mentioned of case of repression, torture, beatings, crimes against humanity, political killings and human rights violations. What do you say ?

J.C.D. : Every time, that a anomaly was reported to me, I intervened so that justice to be done. I want to stress that the letter I sent to all department commanders, all section chiefs had to ask them to apply the law strictly across the country and these structures also worth for the Corps Volunteers of national security.

Q. : Can you can give us some examples of cases ?

J.C.D. : I can not at present give specific examples. However, follow-up was provided by a Disciplinary Commission.

Q : You have been Head of State from 1971 to 1986, have you taken your task fully, that is to say as responsible ?

J.C.D. : I think I did everything as responsible for ensuring a better life for my countrymen. However, at the time, my government managed misery. During this period, all state enterprises were profitable, parents could send their children to school. I'm not saying that life was rosy, however, at least people could live decently, Haitians were not attacked in the streets and despite the billions they have received in recent years.

The country collapsed on my return I found a ruined country, a boundless corruption that hinders the development of this country. And on my return, then ask them: what have you done to my country ?

Q. : You talked earlier about Volunteers of national security. What was the role of those people who assumed the discipline of the latter ?

J.C.D. : First ensure the national security and strengthen the workforce of the Armed Forces in case of need. Each department, each rural section, each municipality had its own officers.

Q : To who they handed the report leading to the commission of inquiry and discipline? Who composed the Commission ?

J.C.D. : They wast Jean Magloire Fils, Olaf Antoine, Hervé Jeanty, Mme Max Adolphe, Wébert Guerrier. These are the names that come to my mind.

Q. : You have held or do you have still money in foreign banks ?

J.C.D. : No

Q. : Do you know Michèle Montas, Nicole Magloire, Verly Paul, Rameau Voltaire, Henry Faustin, Michel Dorbes, Manuel Romulus, Erges Prémont Cius, Denise Prophète, Jean Bertin Arist, Jean Souvenance Saint-Jean, Marie Adrienne Gilbert, Amilcar Exavier, Marionne Bonot, Alix Fils-Aimé, Rameau Estimé, Rosier Antoine Claude, Jean Romulus Eliacin, Robert Duval ?

J.C.D. : I can have retained names; first that of Michèle Montas through her husband Jean Léopold Dominique who accompanied me often in my inspections in the province. Besides, if I'm not mistaken, at the trial of Widmaer-Jean Dominique, I intervened and hat is how they were able to succeed on Radio Haïti. As for Robert Duval, cthe latter was arrested for subversive activities. Moreover, during a search at the airp François Duvalier, we found weapons in his possession and was released a few years later by an act of clemency by the Head of State.

Q. : Are you aware that the rights of these persons mentioned above have been violated under your government ?

J.C.D. : Violations exist by hundreds, by thousands around the world. But we do not blame the head of State. As for me, I totally ignores this violation case. I totally ignores the identity of the names that have been mentioned in the question.

Q : Robert Duval had been tried and sentenced for benefit of the clemency of the Head of State ?

J.C.D. : For me, this is a real joke. In good French, this is humbug. Robert Duval has been in prison for reasons of state. However, the individual was treated well. There was a family member who brought him food three times a day.

Q. : What means reason of State ?

J.C.D. : I can say that there are people that I protected myself, while they did not know that. I opened the radio stations. National Radio was launched in order to allow people to be in contact with the President and also to inform people of the province on the activities of government. Supporters, ministers came to me to informs me how the programs are free and, despite everything, I asked the Director General of this time, Mr. Rémy Mathieu, to continue with the emissions while we were going to inaugurate the first steps of democracy in Haiti.

Q. : How long Robert Duval was kept in prison ?

J.C.D. : I do not have precision on Duval, but I know that the services responsible during his stay had an excellent rapport with the guards.

Q : There was cases of murders, political imprisonment, summary execution under your government or you forced people to exile ?

J.C.D. : Murders exist in all countries, I did not intervene in the activities of the police. Then, I want to emphasize that it is me who removed in 1983 the law concerning the death penalty. For imprisonment, whenever such cases occur, I intervened to stop the abuses that were committed.

Question of the Government Commissioner:

C.G: In January 1971, aged 19, barely out of adolescence when your father Francois Duvalier delegate you the authority, dif you feel politically able to take this position ? Is it by loyalty or attachment to your father that you had agreed to be at the helm of the business or else have you had the guarantee to govern under the rule of your mother, flanked by a few powerbrokers of the time, which would have shaped you as the doorman at the clay ?

J.C.D. : Above all I am the son of a great nationalist and my father knew perfectly well that if he had not opted for this solution, the country would have experienced civil war and his first occupation after 1915. So, having been a privileged witness of different struggles that he has undertaken, I would not like to see this country that I love so much sink. If I accepted this responsibility, it is above all by love for my country. I always thought that a 19 year old kid could not lead a country as difficult. In fact, when I heard the news, I categorically said no.

Q. : What is your part of the responsibility in all these incriminations that charged to you ?

J.C.D. : Frankly, when I think about it, it makes me laugh, because people make a lot of amalgams and then they are able to say, invent fantasies. From then, you can find yourself in an embarrassing situation. Unfortunately, this is an evil that has plagued the country that blocks in a certain extent the development.

C.G.: You had at 19, managed the power that you have inherited from your father, your first function in the state. With what feeling you accepted this position and how did you plan to complete this difficult task ?

J.C.D. : I have a positive balance, and it is in all areas.

C.G . : Do you remember specific cases of repression committed by some of your colleagues on any of the plaintiffs. How did you react. At what time your regim has been registered the more rights violations, crimes or arrests. How do you explain this ?

J.C.D. : I say that we have always done our best every time we had a case reported. At the time, Haiti's population was 6,000,000 people. We would have needed 6,000,000 soldiers to stand behind every person.

Question of Civil Party (PC):

P.C: What do you remind of the following names : Luc Désir, Emmanuel Orcel, Jean Valmé, Albert Pierre, Rameau Estimé, Richard Brisson, Marc Romulus ?

J.C.D. : There are perhaps many people who are not in this list. And I know two, whose Marc Romulus.

P.C.: During your presidency, there were common law courts in parallel with these courts ? Is a State Security Courts worked ? What was the role of this court and what type of offenses it knows ?

J.C.D. : I do not know very badly. Even in the most democratic countries, the number of State Security Courts still working to defend the interests of these countries.

P.C. : Is there were political prisoners in Fort Dimanche ?

J.C.D. : Concerning the Fort Dimanche, there was all kinds of offenders, while at the national penitentiary, there was only drug dealers who were released to my departure, through finance.

P.C.: Did you have access to public funds or funds of autonomous bodies such as Teleco, the Régie du Tabac, Flour Mills, the State Store. Have you been handling public funds ?

J.C.D. : Not at all. During my fifteen years, the presidentwas not the accountant of public funds (comptable de deniers publics).

P.C: Is that Haiti was a signatory of the American Convention on Human Rights ?

J.C.D. : I know that dates back to 1979, all efforts were on the right track to achieve the signature.

Question of the defense :

Q : Under your government, audit reports conducted by national or international companies were made ?

J.C.D. : Indeed, there were reports of audit, which was conducted by an international firm. These firms were requested by the Haitian government to prepare reports concerning the proper functioning of the Central Bank and BNC. They concluded that the funds of the Republic of Haiti were well managed.

Q : In 1976, the U.S. State Department produced a report on the evolution of human rights in Haiti. What were its conclusions, even for amnesty at the same time ?

J.C.D. : In this regard, there was a conference organized by the #2 of State Department with the participation of foreign governments part of South America. These gentlemen have concluded that many elements belonging to NGOs and other institutions, instead of favoring the establishment of democracy in Haiti, trying by all means to destabilize my government. I think I have said everything."

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