Several of those imprisoned, including Mr. Neptune and Mr. Privert have been released from prison due to the fact that no evidence of the existence of a massacre at La Scierie on February 11, 2003 has been presented and that instead this was a case of settling scores between rival political factions. �
However, many other political prisoners incarcerated by the former de facto interim government remain in prison, despite the election of a constitutional government. �
“We must examine the cases of 35 individuals whose prosecution has been ordered by the prosecutor of the civil court of St Marc”, declared Judge St-Pierre, adding that this work requires special time and attention in order to avoid the issuance of slapdash ruling. �
One of the attorneys for the prisoners in the La Scierie case, Mario Joseph, again denounced what he termed the sluggish pace with which the case has been handled. �
According to Mr. Joseph, the law of July 26, 1979 provides for a maximum time period of one month for the publication of rulings relating to cases on appeal and in which� individuals are being held in preventive detention. �
Nothing can explain this latest delay and all of the procrastination, declared Mario Joseph.
Officials of local and international human rights organizations� who visited La Scierie stated that they did not find any evidence that a massacre had been committed. �
The four or five bodies discovered in the area were found to have been the casualties of clashes between two rival bands,� RAMICOSM (of the anti-Aristide GNB campaign) and the pro-Lavalas Balewouze, which were said to have been locked in a struggle for control of the port of� Saint-Marc.
When asked to explain the absence of the alleged 40 corpses claimed by two organizations close to the anti-Aristide opposition, RAMICOSM and NCHR-Haiti/RNDDH, the answer given by NCHR/Haiti director Pierre Esp�rance was that they were all completely devoured by dogs. �
�Residents of Saint-Marc say that the names of many of the individuals appearing on the list of alleged victims are false.