Institute for Justice and Democracy in Haiti

Lengthy Indictment of Guy Philippe Not Enough to Throw Out Case

After over 11 years under indictment, Haitian Senator-Elect Guy Philippe awaits federal trial after a Miami judge delayed the trial until May 1st. The judge criticized US federal authorities for not making a “consistent effort” to arrest Philippe during this 11-year span, although she stopped short of throwing out the case. Philippe was ultimately taken into U.S. custody on January 5, 2017, mere days before he was to swear in to the Haitian Senate, and the judge ruled that his status as Senator-Elect at the time of the arrest precludes political immunity. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Miami judge won’t toss drug charges against ex-Haitian rebel leader Guy Philippe Jay Weaver and Jacqueline Charles, Miami Herald March 24, 2017 A Miami federal judge has rejected a motion to throw out a drug-trafficking indictment against Guy Philippe, a prominent public figure in […]

Haitian Senate Urges Immediate Return of Guy Philippe in New Resolution

The majority of the Haitian Senate voted in favor of a resolution that strongly condemns the arrest and extradition to the United States of elected Senator Guy Philippe. The resolution describes Philippe’s arrest as unconstitutional and cites an agreement dated October 17, 1997 as the source of the conflict. It urges the Haitian government to take the necessary steps for Philippe’s immediate return to Haiti and to assist Philippe and his family. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. The Senate votes a resolution in favor of Guy Philippe HaitiLibre March 16, 2017 19 out of 24 Senators voted a resolution strongly condemning the arrest and extradition of their colleague, the elected Senator of Grand’Anse, Guy Philippe, on January 5 http://www.haitilibre.com/en/news-19721-haiti-flash-senator-guy-philippe-extradited-to-the-usa.html In this resolution (proposed by Senators Carl Murat Cantave, Jean-Marie Ralph Féthière, Jean-Marie Salomon, Jean Renel Sénatus, Jean […]

Haitian Politician Seeks Political Immunity for U.S. Drug Charges

Recently-elected Haitian politician Guy Philippe was arrested only days before he was to officially take office, and Philippe’s attorney argues that he cannot be prosecuted due to his status as a foreign state official. Philippe now seeks political immunity during the six years of his term in the Senate. He has pleaded not guilty to drug smuggling and money laundering conspiracy charges, and he currently awaits trial scheduled for April in the United States. Part of the article is shown below. Click HERE for the original article. Haitian Politician, Coup Leader Seeks Immunity From US Case Associated Press March 3, 2017 A former Haitian coup leader who was recently elected to that country’s Senate is seeking immunity from U.S. prosecution in a drug case. Court documents recently filed by Guy Philippe’s attorney contend he cannot be prosecuted because he’s a foreign state official due to […]

Political “Stability” Over True Democracy in Haiti

Haiti just elected a new president, Jovenel Moïse, after over a year of delays and even a rerun of the elections that originally placed Moïse as the front-runner. Unfortunately, and to the concern of many, Moïse was chosen by less than 10% of the electorate with only 20% of voters even participating at all. The complicated reasons for this lack of voter participation have been decades in the making, including consolidation of power on the right; coups against a popular Haitian leader; and interference by the international community. As IJDH Director Brian Concannon describes, much of the weaknesses and limitations on the left “can be explained by the undermining and overthrowing of the Lavalas governments, which prevented them from demonstrating how democracy can work, and the killing, jailing, and exiling of important leaders.” Frustrated with all this, most Haitians cannot picture their […]

Was the drug arrest of elected Senator Guy Philippe legal?

Four days before he would be sworn in as a Senator in Haiti and thus gain immunity, 2004 coup leader Guy Philippe was extradited to the U.S. on drug charges. As Philippe is a Haitian national, this move appears to be illegal based on Haiti’s Constitution. This article outlines the corresponding articles of the Constitution and a few treaties relevant to this matter. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti – FLASH : Guy Philippe was extradited on what legal basis ? HaitiLibre January 11, 2017 Many wondered about the legality of the extradition of Senator Guy Philippe on Thursday January 5th, great is the confusion in the minds of many including our parliamentarians, what say the texts of laws in Haiti ? First of all, many speak of the agreement signed on 17 […]

Details on Drug-Related Arrest of Elected Haitian Senator

Four days before he would officially become a Haitian Senator, 2004 coup leader Guy Philippe was arrested on drug charges from 2005. He was arrested by Haitian National Police after appearing on a radio show, and brought to Miami by U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency agents. His arrest apparently comes at a time when Philippe was vulnerable – between immunity from being a political candidate and immunity that would have come from being a Senator. This article provides more details on what allowed this arrest to happen, and some reactions from a US attorney. Part of the article is below. Click HERE for the full text. Haiti’s Philippe dropped his guard before his capture by U.S. agents Jacqueline Charles and Jay Weaver, Miami Herald January 6, 2017 Four days before his arrest, ex-rebel leader and newly elected Haitian Senator Guy Philippe swaggered […]

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