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a298: BBC: Haiti: Judge Gassant barred from his office; groups wanthis mandate renewed (fwd)




From: Robert Benodin <r.benodin@worldnet.att.net>

Haiti: Judge Gassant barred from his office; groups want his mandate renewed
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Jan 9, 2002


Judge Claudy Gassant was denied access to his office by the chief of staff -
strictly speaking the clerk of the examining judge's office - who had
received orders from the dean of the Civil Court of Port-au-Prince, lawyer
Lise Pierre-Pierre, to seize the keys to Judge Gassant's office.
What exactly is happening? We do not know. However, President
[Jean-Bertrand] Aristide announced yesterday that a final decision on this
issue would be made known in the next few days. Pierre-Pierre's decision to
forbid [Gassant from entering his office] came 24 hours after President
Aristide's statement. In any case, the examining judge says he is ready to
carry on with his investigations of the murder of Jean Dominique [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] in the event that the head of state renews his mandate.
It should be pointed out that several human rights organizations have asked
the head of state to renew Judge Gassant's mandate so that the
investigations into the murder of Dominique do not drag on. The 30 September
Foundation [for victims of the 30 September 1991 coup d'etat] has officially
asked President Aristide to renew Gassant's mandate. In a letter to
President Aristide, the 30 September Foundation requests that Gassant should
be kept in his position as a judge so that the investigations into
Dominique's murder can continue in the normal way.
Source: Signal FM Radio, Port-au-Prince, in Creole 1230 gmt 9 Jan 02
/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.