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A SPECIAL SECTION: Haiti, Since the January 12, 2010 Fierce Earthquake
Professor Yves A. Isidor conveys his thoughts or opinion to the U.S. news media (partial)
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Posted Tuesday, January 3,  2012

Haiti - Justice : The former Government Commissioner gives his version of facts

In an interview, Lionel Bourgoin Constant, the former Commissioner of the Government, has explained the circumstances of his resignation in the attempted arrest of former President Gaillot Dorsinvil, last Friday at Toussaint Louverture International Airport.

It's me who offered myself to become Commissioner of the Government to this governmental team [...] I wanted to contribute to justice, to change the criminal justice system in Haiti, so that public action is more effective but also more respectful of individual liberties against the current problems of human rights violations in that country.

So when I got in this situation where a Minister asks me to do things I can not do, that the criminal proceedings does not allow me to do, I am obliged to resign, I do not have choice [...] I refer to the case Gaillot, everyone knows it.

The Minister asked me to ban to to Mr. Gaillot to travel. At first, I could not do it because I had no legal basis to act [...] At this point, I went to the airport, not to prohibit Mr. Gaillot leaving or confiscate his passport, or stop the plane, but talk to Mr. Gaillot for some time, advising him not to go, because if justice asked him something, that he can defend itself it's just that, and I left M. Gaillot free at the airport.

Members of the government it seems, the Minister of Justice reproach me that... this means that I did not act according to their convictions and that I should not execute a court decision that has acquired the authority of the thing sovereignly judged, that I had to say it first to the Minister, this cannot be done !

A good Government Commissioner does not have to ask to the Minister, who is in the executive, if it must execute a court decision that has acquired the authority of the thing sovereignly judged, no, it must inform it of the execution of this decision that's what I learned in school and in a great school thanks to God. This is what I learned also to student magistrates, so that they become courageous magistrates in their missions.

We must respect justice, court decisions [...] it was necessary that the prosecution take appeal, so that the court order is not executed. It was at this time, that the Minister should be informed by the prosecution, [...] for the government can take the necessary decisions. We accepted the decision, the decision was active, now we can not do anything, it's a decision that is final, so you have to execute it simply, we must inform the Minister and that's what I did the day I had instructed my substitute to execute this court decision.

Now, the day I was at the airport, where I left M. Gaillot, I met some people and we found a legal basis for the benefit of the state, preventing members of the CEP to leave the country without they restore the goods of the state to the institution... At that time, I sent letters to various institutions.

But the next day [Saturday] Mr. Ribel Pierre (former member of the CEP), it seems that he was leaving and he was blocked, according to me it seems that someone wanted to compel him... In this sense, the Minister of Justice decided to call my substitute, on the pretext that he could not talk to me to ask him to come with the seal of the Ministry to be able to make warrants, that is no longer done, we can no longer act in this way in a country where we want to build a rule of law... When the Minister [of Justice] called me, I told him that I've never seen that he called me on the phone and the Minister informed me of the constraints... I say to the Minister, I will resign and he accepted my resignation. Thus I was home, I make my resignation letter and that I brought it to the prosecution for the formatting of the paper with letterhead of the prosecution. I then handed it to the Secretary of Justice Minister..."

Copyright 2010 - 2012

Published Tuesday, January 3, 2012.

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