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President-elect meets Justice officials amid money-laundering probe

Samuel Maxime

Editor-in-Chief

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (sentinel.ht) – Days from officially assuming the Office of President, President-elect Jovenel Moise is visiting the institutions of Haitian justice, including police and Bar Association of Port-au-Prince headquarters. The incoming Head of State says he wishes to support the strengthening of the judiciary but sandwiched in between the two visits was one, impromptu and controversial, to the office of Judge Bredy Fabien, who is currently treating a charge of money-laundering levied against him.

Meeting with Michel-Ange Gedeon

In his declarations on February 27, 2017 after meeting with Haitian National Police (PNH) Director General Michel-Ange Gedeon, Mr. Moise said, “the PNH is one of the most important institutions. I promised institutional strengthening during the campaign. I promised to put order in the country. For we must emerge from anarchy to arrive at real democracy. The PNH is here to enforce the law, to enforce court decisions…”

For his part, DG Michel-Ange Gédéon, welcomed the visit. He moreso commented on a meeting he was holding with his staff regarding the January 29, final round, of elections for local and senatorial run-offs. Mr. Gedeon said, “the president [elect] had time to get to know the PNH staff and the departmental directors. It’s always the same thing. The police were neutral in the November 20 elections. The same instructions are reiterated to all managers. We will continue to work with all the impartiality that this requires.”

Meeting with Stanley Gaston

On Tuesday, the President-elect visited the offices of the Port-au-Prince Bar Association where he met with Bar Chairman, Stanley Gaston. In his declarations, Mr. Moise said, “all republican institutions are in crisis. We will be there, as President of the Republic, to guarantee their smooth running. This morning, I come to tell lawyers that I am ready to work for the strengthening of institutions, to bring solutions.”

Chairman Gaston chimed in saying, “we can not talk about economic development without the rule of law. We must solve the problem of spoliation. We will work with lawyers, notaries and surveyors to restore order at this level. There will be no hunting for witches, but great evils, great remedies.” Mr. Gaston added “the Port-au-Prince Bar is the oldest, most prestigious and best regulated of the institutions of civil society. A Head of State with a project for justice must meet from the start with certain institutions in order to harmonize the reports.”

Meeting with Bredy Fabien

After the meeting with the National Police Director General and before the meeting with the President of the Port-au-Prince Bar Association, Jovenel Moise had made an uninvited visit to the office of Judge Bredy Fabien, who is treating a criminal case of money-laundering charged against the president-elect at the Court of First Instance.

The meeting lasted four hours and afterwards, what was expected to be press conference, where no questions were taken, the future Head of State declared that the money-laundering matter was unfounded. He characterized the dossier as politicized and denounced its instrumentalization in that fashion. He would be criticized afterwards for seemingly placing pressure on the judge to drop the case and rule in his favor.

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About The Author

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.