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29460: Holmstead (replies)Re: 29373: R.V. (fwd)

FROM: John Holmstead

Haiti: President renews mandate of examining judge in
Dominique murder case
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Apr 4, 2002

The presidency announced last night the renewal of
Examining Judge Claudy Gassant's mandate. This
decision was made by the head of state. Jacques
Maurice of the presidential press service answers the
questions of Louis Mary Achilles.

[Maurice - recording, in Creole] It is not just today
that the president has taken new measures. This
decision was made on 1 April. The president has
renewed the mandate of three judges. He renewed the
mandate of lawyer Joceline Pierre who is now examining
judge at the court of first instance in
Port-au-Prince. He renewed the mandate of lawyer Eddy
Darant as examining
judge, also at the court of first instance in
Port-au-Prince. He also renewed the mandate of lawyer
Claudy Gassant as examining judge at the court of
first instance in Port-au-Prince. All that was done on
1 April.
[Achilles] So, does that mean that Judge Gassant will
still be in charge of the Jean Dominique case [Jean
Leopold Dominique, the owner and general
manager of Radio Haiti Inter, and Jean-Claude
Louissaint, the caretaker of the radio station, were
murdered on 3 April 2000]?
[Maurice] Certainly. We must say that the case was not
removed from his care. The case was still there while
waiting for the decision whether to renew or not to
renew his mandate. So, once his mandate has been
renewed he is entitled to all the cases that were
entrusted to his care.
[Achilles] In other words, you basically met the
demands of human rights groups?
[Maurice] Listen, it is not a matter of responding to
the demands of human rights groups. The thing is that
the president was waiting for a report. The president
has wanted to rule on the issue. He had said so
before. He wanted to give a verdict on whether or not
to renew Judge Gassant's mandate. That is a
presidential prerogative. He has received the report
and it is
favourable. In the first Council of Ministers meeting
that took place under the Aristide-Neptune government,
the president then formally asked the justice
minister to speed up the dossier regarding the report
he was to receive about the judges whose mandates had
expired. Lawyer Brown Jean-Baptiste then promised to
make haste to obtain that report. The report was
submitted to the president, who in turn analysed it
and decided to renew the mandate of those judges.

Source: Radio Metropole, Port-au-Prince, in French
1145 gmt 3 Apr 02/BBC Monitoring/ � BBC.

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