Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Senators call for halt to inauguration of Jovenel Moïse

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Samuel Maxime

Editor-in-Chief

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – Four senators on Thursday called on the President of the National Assembly to bring the inauguration process for the President-elect, Jovenel Moise, to a halt in lieu of the completion of an investigation into possible financial crimes, surfaced by an institutional report.

Senators Antonio “Don Kato” Cheramy (Ouest/Verite), Evaliere Beauplan (Nord-Ouest/PONT), Nenel Cassy (Nippes/Fanmi Lavalas) and Ricard Pierre (Sud-Est/Pitit Dessalines) signed the letter that was addressed to the new Senate President, Youri Latortue (Artibonite/AAA). The letter made reference to a June 2016 report by the Central Financial Intelligence Unit that alleged the former proprietor of AgriTrans S.A. had some $5 million [US] pass through his bank account from unclear sources.

Senator Nawoon Marcellus (Nord/PHTK) said the information included in the UCREF and ULCC reports has been public for months. He noted that neither institution has declared the information in the reports as crimes. For Mr. Marcellus, it is the next recourse of a political sector that had lost the presidency in the past elections. He believes the group is exhausting all means to stop a Jovenel Moise presidency.

The letter follows news learned last Monday that the financial intelligence institution had forwarded its report to the district attorney’s office for a criminal investigation. Government Commissioner Jean Danton Leger confirmed reception of the dossier and said it was forward to the Court of First Instance for further instruction. “…the file merits investigation,” he told Le Nouvelliste.

The president-elect and his party, Parti Haitien Tet Kale (PHTK), have vehemently denied the allegations and have cast them as political persecution. The timing of the transfer of the file to the courts, weeks before the inauguration of Mr. Moise is questionable.

The report shows that Mr. Moise had millions passed through his bank accounts for nearly two decades, while confirmed records show that he would not come into possession of millions until he received a $17 million [USD], tax-payer funded loan by the Martelly administration in 2013. Along with a grant of 1,000 acres from the government, Jovenel Moise was able to establish a banana plantation business, Agritrans S.A..

One member of the group of four senators asked Tuesday by which manner the debt to the Haitian people, accrued by the business loan, would the incoming president assure its security and absence conflict of interest.

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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.