Ayiti: Prezidan Martelly la voye Avoka Entimide defann Ayiti
- Samdi, 14 janvye, 2012 8:06 am
Ekri pa S. Maxime
ORLANDO, USA (defend.ht) - Florid ki baze sou avoka ki reprezante Biwo pou Prezidan an nan Gouvènman an nan Ayiti te kontakte defann Ayiti (DH) nan yon zak ke nou ta karakterize kòm entimidasyon.
Via U.S. certified mail and to DH’s company email address, Perlman, Bajandas, Yevoli & Albright, P.L. wrote:
We represent the Office of the President of the Government of Haiti. We write in response to the article dated January 6, 2012 specifically “Digicel CEO Wants to Know Where the Education Money,” with respect to the Government’s Free Education initiative (“GFE”) which helps 903,000 children atten school without cost. We take exception to the inferences contained within the article intimating that the Government of Haiti has misappropriated and failed to account for monies collected for the GFE.
Firstly, GFE is a new acronym for the Haitian people. We are familiar with President Martelly’s National Fund for Education (FNE) and something completely different by the Ministry of National Education and Professional Development called the Universal Free and Compulsory Education Program (PSEUGO) but the GFE, this is new, we take this as an introduction.
President Michel Martelly’s attorneys say they “take exception to inferences contained within the article intimating that the Government of Haiti has misappropriated… monies collected for the GFE.” These exceptions are baseless.
In the article in question, the term 'misappropriated' was never used, nor were any of its roots or any synonyms; neither was any assertion made that monies were being spent or re-routed to personal accounts. The article was completely written in the same sense as the question derived from the Digicel CEO, Denis O’Brien’s request for an audit: "where is the education money?"
The attorneys continue:
Specifically, the article alleges that the Government of Haiti is unable to account for funds collected from the international calls and money transfers generated by the diaspora. This is false. The Government of Haiti has implemented procedures and fully accounted for the receipt and use of the diaspora funds. As such, it disputes your factual misrepresentation in the article. Contrary to your wrongful assertions, the GFE is fully transparent as both CONATEL and BRH have published their collection numbers and made available to the public.
Wrong. Specifically, the article alleges that the Government of Haiti is unable to account for funds collected from the international calls generated by the diaspora and it acknowledges the government’s accounting for funds collected from money transfers generated by the diaspora.
Following the quote by Denis O’Brien, the article recounts a Tuesday, December 14, 2011 hearing held by the Haitian Senate Economy and Finance Committee that convened the Governor of the Bank of the Republic of Haiti, Charles Castel, and the Minister of the Economy and Finance, Andre Lemercier Georges, who both revealed that $4.8 million [US] had been raised through money transfers and is held at the central bank, BRH.
Both Castel and Georges, the government authorities that constitutionally have full right to information regarding government funds, could only assume that the National Council of Telecommunications (CONATEL) would have information on the funds collected from international calls generated by the diaspora.
To say that the GFE/FNE is transparent is a lie on its face and not worth our response. Rather, we will let the chairman of the Senate Finance Committee, Jocelerme Privert (Nippes/Inite) tell it, in his own words, "...unfortunately, there is a total opacity surrounding the creation, the collecting, and the use of resources of the National Fund for Education and I will continue to say that this fund doesn’t exist.". Here is that quote's context.
The letter continues:
Defend Haiti has maliciously published the above-referenced comments knowing that Digicel has publicly clarified the scope of its comments published in your article. In fact, Digicel has never suggested that any funds were misused. Any such implication could only be derived from your defamatory article. Digicel remains proud of the Government’s commitment or transparency through its accounting of the GFE funds while acknowledging that it has deposited a total of U.S. $11.1 million collected through November 2011 from international calls and deposited those funds with CONATEL. An additional U.S. $1.945 million was collected in December 2011 and those funds will be deposited with CONATEL in January 2012.
”Defend Haiti has maliciously published the above-referenced comments knowing…” what? The article in question was published on January 6. The information mentioned in the above paragraph was first released in a Digicel press note dated January 10, and published on that day, without bias to our website. As well, a press note from CONATEL, dated January 9 was published to our website without bias.
We will furthermore take this opportunity to note that CONATEL only provided information for two of Haiti’s telecommunications companies, Digicel and Comcel/Voila. It left out, Haitel, NatCom, NoPin, CallDirek, Rebtel and any, and many other companies that would be concerned with long distance communications in Haiti.
And even furthermore, with the information provided by CONATEL and Digicel, it would seem that Digicel paid to CONATEL $11.1 million [US] during the same time frame, Voila would have only paid $2 million [US]. This is a significant drop-off between the two top carriers in Haiti, more transparency is, without a doubt, needed.
And the letter continues:
The collected funds are benefiting the children of Haiti through direct disbursements to the schools. Accordingly, the article accomplishes nothing more than to distort the comments of Digicel in order to intentionally and maliciously undermine the Government’s efforts to provide free education for the children of Haiti. The Government of Haiti will not stand idle while publications such as that of Defend Haiti’s tarnish its efforts to fund the education of the country’s school children.
It is interesting that the president’s attorneys say that “the collected funds are benefiting the children of Haiti through direct disbursements to the schools…” while on the very day this letter was written and sent, the President of the Republic of Haiti, said, stressing, that “not one penny, not one single penny” had been used in the fund, "all the money is there..." he said. This is not the first time the president has made this claim but it is the latest, recorded January 13, 2012, before the president boarded a flight to Guatemala.
01.13.12 | Vizyon 2000
The letter ends with this paragraph:
Demand is hereby made to Demand Haiti [sic], LLC for it to retract and clarify the defamatory statements it has published against the Government of Haiti and the National Fund for Education within five (5) days of this correspondence. If this smear campaign against the Haitian Government or the Free Education initiative continues, we will have no other choice but to seek redress for injury and assert our legal and equitable rights.
Nothing herein is intended to limit, waive, restrict or otherwise alter any of our client’s rights and remedies under applicable law and/or in equity, and, same are hereby expressly reserved and preserved.
PLEASE GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.
Miguel Armenteros, Esq. [signed]
Given that this letter is fraught with lies, inconsistencies and gross misrepresentations, we have no other choice but to amount it to an act of intimidation by the attorneys of Perlman, Bajandas, Yevoli & Albright, P.L. and their client.
We, Defend Haiti, the people of Haiti, are giving these parties five (5) days to regularize this communication and present, in full detail, to the Haitian Parliament, central bank and Minister of Finance, the accounts of the National Fund for Education (FNE). Also, in five (5) days, all funds being held in regard to the FNE must be in the coffers of the central bank, the Bank of the Republic of Haiti.
Failure to meet these demands will result in any action deemed legal against this law office and their client for their actions in regard to this matter. Success in meeting these demands are not intended to limit, waive, restrict or otherwise alter any right and pursuit of justice by other parties offended.
Final paragraph was omitted. 01.14.2012 4:00PM EST
PLEASE GOVERN YOURSELVES ACCORDINGLY.
Sepandan, se sèlman Egzekitif Branch a ka kòmanse lwa bidjè, lwa konsènan evalyasyon, pousantaj la ak jan pou yo kolekte taks ak kontribisyon, ak lwa ki fèt jenere pwofi oswa nan ogmante revni ak depans nan Gouvènman an, Bòdwo prezante sou sije sa yo dwe vote sou premye pa House la nan Depite.
The Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes is an independent and autonomous financial and administrative court. It is responsible for administrative and jurisdictional control of Government receipts and expenditures, verification of the accounts of the Government enterprises and of the territorial divisions.
Pa ka pa prelèvman Gouvènman dwe etabli eksepte pa lalwa. Pa gen chaj oswa taks, si enpoze pa yon Depatman, Minisipalite yon, oswa Seksyon kominal, gen dwa tabli san konsantman an nan divizyon teritwa li yo.
Pa ka pa egzansyon taks, ogmante, diminye oswa eliminasyon dwe etabli eksepte pa lalwa.
Se Nasyonal politik monetè mete pa Bank Santral la ansanm ak Minis la nan Ekonomi ak Finans.
No increase or reduction may be made in the allocation of Government funds, except by amendment of the laws relating thereto.
www.defend.ht is an English language website that hopes to inform with truth an integrity the people of Haiti and its descendents. It aims to help Haitians and non-Haitians make friendships, share opinions in open and uncensored debate, promote businesses and arts, for the betterment of the culture, the people and the country.
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