Friday, August 18, 2017

Commissioner transferred after banning gay pride festival

Profile photo of Samuel Maxime

Samuel Maxime

Editor-in-Chief

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – Government Commissioner Jean Danton Leger learned late Wednesday that he was transferred from his powerful position at the head of prosecutions in Port-au-Prince to the smaller South East city of Jacmel. The abrupt transfer came days after he announced the banning a gay pride festival called MassiMadi and threatened to arrest participants.

The Government Commissioner at the Court of First Instance (CFI) in Port-au-Prince learned from the Ministry of Justice on Wednesday, in a letter which said “I have the advantage to inform you that you are transferred in the same way, the Prosecutor at the First Instance of Jacmel, in replacement of Mr. Francoise Moraille.”

“This measure is effective from the date of the present,” said the letter, which is signed by the Minister of Justice and Public Security, Camille Edouard Junior.

The letter comes on the same day the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince released a statement saying it “deeply regrets” the circumstances which led to the cancellation of the festival.

But on Thursday, the Ministry of Justice said the transfer was due to insubordination. It said that the commissioner did not comply with the suspension of exequatur in the context of the fight against land insecurity Camille Junior Edouard, the Minister of Justice and Public Security had written him earlier this week, to call him to order and his duty.

This was that note:

…You are aware that the formulation of the sectoral policy on legal and judicial matters falls under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Justice and of Public Security and that a Government Commissioner, under the duty of discretion to which it is subject, can not call into question publicly the direct instructions of its hierarchical authority without committing an act of insubordination.

… So I must remind you, Mr. Commissioner of the Government, that with your untimely interventions in the media these days, you take a dangerous direction and your attitude offends the principles of the duty of discretion and respect of hierarchical authority constituting the base of your function of representative of the Executive in the judiciary. The prosecution can not be a springboard for tendencies exterior to the aims of a healthy justice, impartial and sustainable…”

Concluding by asking the Commissioner Danton to make the necessary corrections.

Tuesday, commenting this letter Danton Léger, indicated that all he wanted was to be treated as a collaborator and not as a vassal on which pressure is made, saying he was going to discuss with the Minister Edouard.

Apparently the two men are not agreed on their vision. Yesterday Wednesday in a note, the Minister informed Jean Danton Léger “I have the advantage to inform you that you are transferred in the same title, to the Prosecutor attached to the Court of First Instance of Jacmel, in replacement of Me Francoise Moraille, transferred. This measure is effective from the date of this. Sincerely. Camille Junior Edouard. Minister”

A day before the launch of a 2-day festival for the LGBT community, that would run from September 27-29, 2016, Commissioner Leger said the event was banned in his jurisdiction. Kouraj, an organization coordinating the event called MassiMadi was not informed that the event was banned and participants would be arrested, said the commissioner on Monday.

Become a Patron and get Haiti Sentinel and Defend Haiti merchandise.

About The Author

Profile photo of Samuel Maxime

Samuel Maxime is a Haitian-born citizen living in the United States. He founded The Haiti Sentinel to bring Haitian issues to an English language audience.