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8970: Haitian Officer awaits ruling (fwd)




From: leonie hermantin <lhermantin@hotmail.com>

Haitian officer awaits ruling
By Mark Fineman
Los Angeles Times

August 27, 2001

MIAMI  A magistrate in Haiti has freed one of the island nation's most 
respected police officials from jail and will rule today whether to drop all 
charges of coup-plotting and murder against former chief investigator Mario 
Andresol.

The deputy commissioner, 40, considered a Haitian-style Frank Serpico by 
U.S. officials who trained the Haitian National Police force, left for home 
in the capital, Port-au-Prince, on Saturday. That was almost three weeks 
after a lower-court judge had ruled his arrest "illegal and arbitrary" and 
ordered his immediate release.

Diplomatic observers in Haiti say the case underscores the sorry state of 
the 3,000-member police force. It was created by the U.S. Justice Department 
with more than $50 million in U.S. funds after Haitian President 
Jean-Bertrand Aristide disbanded the country's brutal army.

Those observers say that Aristide, who was returned to power in 1994 by a 
U.S. intervention against the military dictatorship that overthrew him, has 
been politicizing the police. Observers and Haitian police sources say 
independent-minded police officials such as Andresol have been replaced in 
key positions by loyalists from Aristide's Lavalas Family party since the 
former Roman Catholic priest was elected to a second term in November.

Andresol and his attorney, Osner Fevry, both declined to comment Sunday, 
citing an agreement not to speak publicly until Magistrate Josias Agnant 
rules today.


Copyright  2001, South Florida Sun-Sentinel


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