At a press briefing Monday to present the legal case of "Baby Doc", the lawyers of the former President, returned in his country after 25 years of exile have declared that a trial, whether for crimes against humanity or corruption, against Duvalier was impossible.
Recall that the former President is currently the object of 20 complaints filed in front of the Haitian justice, by victims of his regime for inter alia: corruption, embezzlement, conspiracy...
Rejecting the arguments advanced by the prosecutor of Haiti, to pursue their client for crimes against humanity, Mr. Duvalier's lawyers have said that Haitian law does not recognize this notion.
"Haiti has not ratified the Conventions of New York and Cartagena concerning the persecution and torture. Moreover, he added, the International Criminal Court, created in 2002 recognizes that we can not pursue someone for crimes committed on a date prior to its creation" said Mr. Canton Frizto one of his lawyers which indicated that the complaints against his client for crimes against humanity can not serve as a basis for any legal action against Mr. Duvalier, being clearly defined by the Nuremberg tribunal in 1945.
"A trial against Duvalier for crimes against humanity is not possible in Haiti, given the fact that we don't have legislation on this matter" added Mr. Aurélien Alix-Jeanty, another of his lawyers.
"For the same alleged facts today to Mr. Duvalier and despite prescription, the haitian justice has already ruled in 2001 and has cleared the former president" has clarified Me Frizto Canton relying on a ruling by the Court of Cassation in Haiti.
"We have here the decision of the French Court of Cassation, also made at the initiative of the Haitian State, [dont le dispositif est ainsi conçu, attendu qu'en se déterminant ainsi, alors que selon la loi française présentant que loi de qualification du port
], the disputes concerning the relationship between state and its leaders, whatever the nature of the misconduct by them are necessarily related to the exercise of the public power and can not find their solution in the principles of public law. This implied for the court that it does not belong to a foreign jurisdiction from judging acts of public power that we call acts of Government carried out by a leader in the exercise of exorbitant prerogative of common law"
"I wish that Mr. Duvalier left in peace and can live peacefully in his country" said the lawyer warned against any attempt to "judge a man instead of a regime" Recalling that a citizen, has not have the status to attack on behalf of the Haitian state, in one way or another his client.
"Sometimes, we should have a clear conscience in the rules that are applied, I see a mistake characterized of the Government Commissioner, to fall into confusion, of understanding on this ruling by the Cour de Cassation, the two courts, the French Court of Cassation and the Haitian Court of Cassation have acquitted Mr Duvalier. There was also an attempt in front of the federal court in Switzerland, which has unfortunately suffered the same fate" said Mr. Frizto who regrets that the government commissioner, "perhaps in a burst of emotion backed by powerful men who want to serve of the justice" for persecuted his client, what's is grave for the democracy. Reaffirming that today no recourse is possible against Mr. Duvalier because these acts fell within the scope of the prescription.
Me Reynold Georges, a third lawyer of Mr. Duvalier, said that his client is a "politic persecuted". "He is persecuted in his own country while he should benefit from the protection that guarantees him the laws of Haiti" stating that council of lawyers [they are at least 6] of Mr. Duvalier, do not intend to cede a single inch to his opponents, which seeking at all costs to arrest him. "The Government can not ordering to the court to imprison the President Duvalier. The judiciary is independent of the Executive" has he said.
Article by HL/ HaitiLibre
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