Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Ex-Militia Chief From Haiti Is Sentenced to Up to 37 Years for Fraud

October 29, 2008 Ex-Militia Chief From Haiti Is Sentenced to Up to 37 Years for Fraud By KIRK SEMPLE A former Haitian paramilitary leader accused by human rights groups of committing murder and torture in Haiti was sentenced on Tuesday to as many as 37 years in prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme in Brooklyn that bilked lenders out of more than $1 million. In his sentencing remarks, Justice Abraham G. Gerges of State Supreme Court in Brooklyn linked the defendant, Emmanuel Constant, to the American foreclosure crisis and the current global economic turmoil. “This case, while serious in and of itself, takes on an added resonance given the current global financial crisis,” the judge said. “While the defendant and his confederates cannot be held accountable for the nationwide economic meltdown and the foreclosure crisis, this scheme, […]

HAITI LIBERTE Vol. 2, No. 15

HAITI LIBERTE “Justice. Verite. Independance.”  * THIS WEEK IN HAITI * October 29 – November 4, 2008 Vol. 2, No. 15 BROOKLYN, NY: TOTO CONSTANT SENTENCED FOR UP TO 37 YEARS IN JAIL by Kim Ives On Oct. 28, Judge Abraham Gerges sentenced in New York State Court in Brooklyn former Haitian death squad leader Emmanuel “Toto” Constant to 12 to 37 years in prison on six counts of scheming to defraud, grand larceny and falsifying business records. The sentence was just short of the 15 to 45 year maximum sentence Constant could have received. Constant, 52, was convicted on the charges on Jul. 25, after a two-week trial and three hours of deliberations by a 12-member jury (see Haiti Liberté, Vol. 2, No. 2, 7/30/2008). The verdict was hailed by U.S. and Haitian human rights groups who had pursued […]

Rally for Human Rights in Haiti- New York, NY

oin us from 8:30am � 9:00am outside the courthouse on the first day of Toto Constant�s trial for grand larceny and mortgage fraud to bear witness as Constant faces justice in the U.S. and to stand in solidarity with the Haitian people who anxiously await a fair trial for Constant�s human rights abuses in Haiti. Toto Constant has spent the past 14 years � in Haiti and in the U.S. � trying to evade justice, whether it be for rape and other torture of the Haitian people or swindling money out of people and banks in New York. He was a leader of FRAPH (Revolutionary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti) during Haiti�s 1991�1994 military rule, which claimed the lives of thousands of Haitians and included a systematic campaign of rape and other torture, arson and executions against […]

Civil suit exposes U.S. role in Haitian massacres

By G. Dunkel The history of Haiti has been marked by stubborn, lengthy and mass resistance and struggle to achieve justice against heavy odds. From its beginning in 1791, when the severely oppressed African slaves of the French colony of Saint-Domingue rose up, to 1804, when the independence of Haiti was proclaimed in Gona�ves, the struggle was against the mighty French army. From 1915 to 1934, Haitians had to struggle against occupation by U.S. Marines. In 1957 Fran�ois Duvalier became president. He and his son Jean-Claude ruled with violence, repression and the strong military backing of the U.S. government until 1986, when a mass uprising, which Haitians call the �uprooting� (dechoukaj), drove them from power. One of the major protests in this uprising occurred in 1985 in Gona�ves, during which three school children were killed. The U.S. came back in […]

In Brooklyn, Haitians Protest as Ex-Paramilitary Leader Faces Trial

By MICHAEL WILSON Members of the Center for Constitutional Rights organized a rally in front of the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn for the trial of Emmanuel Constant on Tuesday. (Photo: Robert Stolarik for The New York Times) Inside the State Supreme Court in Brooklyn early Tuesday morning, he was just another defendant in a list on the computer screens on the first floor: Constant, Emmanuel, set for trial on grand larceny charges. The printed calendar in the court clerk�s office said the same. Only prosecutors and Mr. Emmanuel�s lawyer, it seemed, knew that the case had been put off until the summer. That did not deter the dozen or so protesters outside the courthouse who held signs bearing Mr. Constant�s face and the word �Wanted,� and spoke out against him as city buses, trucks, taxis and bicyclists sped past. […]

HAITI LIBERTE “Justice. Verite. Independance.”

HAITI LIBERTE”Justice. Verite. Independance.”* THIS WEEK IN HAITI *January 16 – 22, 2008Vol. 1, No. 26 BROOKLYN, NY: TOTO CONSTANT OPTS FOR A TRIAL IN MORTGAGE FRAUD CASE, SHUNNING A DEAL ALSO CHALLENGES RECENT CIVIL SUIT VERDICT by Kim Ives On January 9 in Brooklyn, New York, former death-squad leader Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, 51, rejected a plea bargain that would have sentenced him to three to nine years for his role in a mortgage fraud crime ring. Under the deal for charges brought in Kings County, Constant, with time served and good behavior, would have been eligible for parole in July, at which time the Department of Homeland Security would have deported him back to Haiti. Instead, Toto elected to go to trial, where he risks a maximum sentence of 45 years if a jury finds him guilty on all […]

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