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a490: BBC: Haiti: Human rights group "disappointed" by replacementof Judge Gassant (fwd)




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

 Haiti: Human rights group "disappointed" by replacement of Judge Gassant
BBC Monitoring Service - United Kingdom; Jan 25, 2002


[Presenter] ...In reaction [to the replacement of self-exiled Judge Claudy
Gassant, who left the country after receiving death threats while
investigating the murder of Radio Haiti Inter director Jean Leopold
Dominique], Pierre Lesperance of the National Coalition for Haitian Rights,
NCHR, is not hiding his disappointment. Lesperance says he expected Judge
Gassant's mandate [which expired on 4 January] to be renewed. However, he is
encouraging the new judges to prove their professionalism in order to allow
the investigations into the Dominique murder to reach a successful
conclusion. Lesperance answered Valery Numa's questions:
[Lesperance] We are very disappointed to hear that the president did not
renew Judge Gassant's mandate - contrary to the wishes of the human rights
organizations which are fighting against impunity in this country and which
want light to be shed on the murders of Dominique and [station security
guard Jean-Claude] Louissaint. We wanted the president to renew Judge
Gassant's mandate. Well, he did not do so. As a result, the case will be
delayed. But we will not cross our arms. We will keep fighting to enable the
case to move forward.
[Numa] But anyway, the inquiry, investigations are expected to move forward.
The examination is expected to move forward.
[Lesperance] Yes, the inquiry, the investigations are expected to move
forward. As everybody knows, the file has been blocked at the Senate for
more than four months. A request has been made for the lifting of Senator
Dany Toussaint's immunity. The Senate has refused to take a stand on that.
Warrants were issued for a number of members of people's organizations and
Lavalas scoundrels within the framework of this case. The police have
refused to arrest these people and then hand them over to the court. So, the
case is being blocked by the government, which does not really have the
political will to shed light on the murders of Dominique and Louissaint.
Source: Radio Vision 2000, Port-au-Prince, in Creole 1700 gmt 24 Jan 02
/BBC Monitoring/  BBC.