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Clifford Brandt sentenced to 18 years forced labor

M NH

Haiti Beat Writer

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Ouest, HT (sentinel.ht) – The businessman and member of one of Haiti’s most affluent families, Clifford Brandt, was sentenced on Tuesday by Judge Joseph Jeudilien Fanfan to 18 years of forced labor for his involvement in a kidnapping syndicate.

Brandt spoke calmly following the sentencing and continued to maintain his innocence. He expressed his displeasure at the ruling and the proceedings. He argued, among other things, that the phone the prosecutors say he used to demand ransom was never presented as evidence. He said his defense lawyers would bring an appeal within the 5 days allowed and they would seek a recusal of the judge and mistrial.

Judge Joseph Jeudilien Fanfan ended the trial that began last month on August 17 charging Brandt and several of his accomplices of kidnapping and forcible confinement for ransom, on October 16, 2012, of Nicolas, 24, and Coralie, 23, Moscoso, the children of another prominent businessman.

Verdicts

Clifford Brandt, accused of kidnapping and forcible confinement against ransom was sentenced to 15 years of penal labor for abduction and detention of people for ransom penalty to which is added 3 years for criminal conspiracy, a total sentence 18 years of penal labor;

Ricot Pierre-Val, was sentenced to 15 years of penal labor for kidnapping and detention of people in order to obtaining a ransom and 3 years of additional imprisonment for criminal conspiracy, a total sentence of 18 years penal labor;

Carlo Bendel Saint-Fort was sentenced to fifteen years of penal labor for kidnapping and detention of people in order to obtaining a ransom and four years of additional imprisonment for criminal conspiracy is a total sentence of 19 years penal labor;

Carline Richema, Sawadienne Jean and Evince Larrieux were acquitted of kidnapping, illegal restraint against ransom, complicity and criminal conspiracy and the judge Fanfan, has ordered their immediate release.

Note that the sentenced benefit of the Law of December 4, 1893 on prolonged pretrial detention, called Lespinasse Law, which deducted from their sentence time served in the prison of Croix-des-Bouquets.

Lawyers of the defense have 5 days to appeal these sentences.

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