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 […]

Haitian Massacre Victims Win Historic Victories in U.S. Courts

Brian Concannon Americas Program, Center for International Policy (CIP) On May 16, a group of massacre survivors from one of Haiti’s poorest neighborhoods gave the world a lesson in persistence. After a 14-year fight for justice in Haitian and United States courts, they collected $400,000 in court-awarded compensation for the damages they suffered in the April 22, 1994 Raboteau Massacre. The victims’ courage and insistence on formal justice should also be a lesson to their own government, as Haiti continues to struggle with yet another democratic transition. The Raboteau victims’ money came from the Florida lottery winnings of Colonel Carl Dor�lien, a member of the military high command during Haiti’s 1991-1994 de facto dictatorship. Dor�lien fled the restoration of Haiti’s democracy in 1994, and then won over $3 million with a lucky ticket in 1997. The money will not […]

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