Former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide is now under house arrest, according to a ruling issued by Judge Lamarre Belizaire. Aristide and a number of his allies are being blamed of acts of corruption, money laundering, drug-smuggling, when he led the Caribbean country between 2001 and 2004. Here are excerpts with a link to the full article below:
The residence of Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in the district of Tabarre, will be surrounded by agents of the prison administration, known as APENA, while the perimeter of the residence will be guarded by agents of the Central Department of the Judicial Police (DCPJ ), according to the judge Belizaire’s ruling.
The investigating judge characterized the new ruling as part of conservatory measures to ensure that the accused, Aristide, remain available for judicial authorities and that he can be brought to the judge’s office, as needed, to be heard.
After listing and citing a series legal provisions playing against former President Aristide to justify his decision, investigating judge Lamarre Belizaire, concluded that Aristide will be put under house arrest.
“For these reasons, (we) say and declare that the named Jean-Bertrand Aristide is under house arrest since force must remain with the law,” reads the order, dated September 9, of which HCNN has obtained a copy.
“We order those responsible for the Prison Administration to take all necessary measures to secure the residence where the accused is found and to bring him before us, when required, in order to be interrrogated on acts of money laundering and illicit drug trafficking blamed on him, “wrote judge Bélizaire in his order. [. . .] Judge Belizaire also decided that only he, as the magistrate in charge of the case, could now authorize persons, whatever their qualities, to visit Jean-Bertrand Aristide, in his residence, at Tabarre.
[. . .] Jean-Bertrand Aristide and dozens of his allies have been accused of having embezzled and laundered hundreds of millions of dollars from the public treasury between 2001 and 2004. Lawyers and allies of Aristide, denouncing political persecutions, flatly rejected the accusations.
However, spokespersons for the government, led by Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, and the spokesman for President Michel Martelly, have denied any involvement of the executive in the case which has been the subject of a criminal investigation since 2005, way before the coming to power, in 2011, of current political leaders.