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5-year fugitive, Sandro Joseph, found not guilty of crimes

M NH

Haiti Beat Writer

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – Sandro Joseph, arrested for embezzling monies from Haiti’s social security administration, who escaped from prison and spent more than 5 years living in the Dominican Republic, who returned to Haiti and turned himself into to authorities in July of this year, was ultimately found not guilty by Judge Mathieu Chanlatte on Wednesday.

Joseph was once a marquis journalist in Haiti. He, at a time, headed the public relations office of the defunct state-owned telecom, Teleco.

As the Director General of the National Office for Senior Insurance (ONA), Joseph, was arrested in March 2009 on charges of embezzlement, forgery and criminal conspiracy. He was detained at the civil prison in Port-au-Prince for some time before being imprisoned at the National Penitentiary.

But Sandro, along with others during the time, escaped from prison on January 12, 2010, the day of the devastating 7.3 earthquake. According to information obtained, he lived in the Dominican Republic before returning to Haiti and surrendering to police Monday, July 11, 2016.

Dozens of former and current politicians in Haiti were cited of receiving monies through Joseph’s activities when the case was opened and trial began. Joseph benefited from the support of a lot of political actors who have had scandals of their own.

Senator Edwin Zenny (Sud-Est/KONA) appeared on Joseph’s behalf as a Senator of the Republic to plead on his case. After that appearance before the Criminal Court on July 20, Joseph challenged Judge Al Duniel Dimanche and had him recused and case postponed until mid August.

His acquittal Wednesday came by the court system; the case was not tried before a jury of peers. Sandro Joseph also didn’t seem to be facing charges for escaping and evading justice for 5 years.

According to latest information, being found not guilty, he sent out of the penitentiary by order of Justice Mathieu Chanlatte.

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