Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Another Day of Delays in La Scierie Appeals Case

Another day of delays at the Court of Appeals in Gona�ves: The President
of the Court and counsel for the alleged victims of the ‘Scierie’ are held

Port-au-Prince, 11 May 2006 (AHP) – Delaying tactics have once again
marked the fourth day of the judicial process relating to the Scierie
massacre (96 km to the north of the capital) taking place at the Court of
Appeals in Gona�ves.

Some 15 citizens, including the former Prime Minister Yvon Neptune, have
been charged on the basis of allegations made by organizations allegedly
close to the old opposition to the Aristide government. They have been in
court since Monday.

One of the lawyers for these political prisoners, Camille Leblanc,
denounced on Thursday the attitude of the counsel for the plaintiffs and
the President of the Court for deliberating prolonging the case so that
the file would be transferred to the next administration.

“During each intervention of the defense team, the President of the Court
grants motions to the counsel for the plaintiffs lasting some 40-45
minutes, this usually goes on until the day is exhausted,” denounced
Leblanc, judging that legal principles are being systematically violated
during this process.

According to him, the judicial authorities are pursuing a well defined
goal: to push citizens, whose rights were violated, to abandon the trial
and instead to make them assume responsibility for the alleged acts.

In Gona�ves, many citizens reacted to the trial, during a micro-street
survey carried out in the city.

Many among those interviewed stated that: “it is clear to everyone that
there was never a massacre at la Scierie. It was a plot put together by
the NCHR/Haiti and other associates in order to take revenge on their
political opponents.”

Others indicated that those who made-up this affair were doing nothing but
further dishonoring and dirtying themselves.

Some law students stated that the masquerade organized in Gona�ves is a
maneuver aimed at making people believe that the interim authorities are
interested in making this case move forward.

“In reality, however, they can’t do it because they’ve already gone too
far,” said a young jurist in the city.

An employee with a humanitarian organization affirmed that: “Mr. Samuel
Madistin, the lawyer of the NCHR in Haiti and a lawyer for ghosts and
false victims whose names nobody knows since they never existed, is an
instrument in the service of evil.”

A number of other citizens expressed their shock at the laxity of many
sectors of the international community, including MINUSTAH, in the face of
the flagrant injustices and violations of human rights brought about by
this case.

One of the political prisoners at the trial, former Prime Minister Yvon
Neptune, has been in prison for two-years. He’s been in jail simply
because the NCHR in Haiti and the violent organization known as Ramiscosm
decided that he should be incarcerated since, as a representative of the
State, he was in a city where two days later (11 February 2004) an alleged
massacre took place.

The President of NCHR in Haiti, Pierre Esp�rance stated that the alleged
massacre resulted in 50 deaths. But when pushed to reveal where the bodies
ended up, he responded that they had all been eaten by dogs.

AHP 11 May 2006 5:00 PM

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