Haiti: Council of Order Opens Hearings on President's Defamation Complaint
- Saturday, March 24, 2012 12:55 PM
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - After his refusal to apologize or cut his head bald for defaming President Martelly on Scoop FM, Lawyer Andre Michel had to clarify his position, before his peers and the Council or Order of Port-au-Prince.
Michel, the leader of Group 77 responded to a complaint of President Martelly's lawyers, Gregory Mayard-Paul and Lucmane Delille at a convocation that took place on Monday, March 21.
Composed of Carlos Hercules President of the Port-au-Prince Bar Association, Charles Gervais and Stanley Gaston, the Council interviewed AndrÃ© Michel.
Lawyers for the head of state had filed at the end of the week prior their grievances against the lawyer, former ally of Presidential Candidate, First Lady Mirlande Manigat in the last election.
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The plaintiff side of the case accused AndrÃ© Michel of "defamatory" remarks made on Radio FM Scoop. He reportedly accused "the pink militia of President Michel Martelly" to cause acts of insecurity in the country.
According to Mr. Gregory Mayard Paul, "such accusations are very serious." Lawyers for Mr. Martelly therefore call for disciplinary action against Andre Michel and repair for their presidential client.
AndrÃ© Michel boasted his reputation with the Bar Association of Port-au-Prince. A lawyer, he believes, must always be exemplary in society. As to the facts alleged against him, the lawyer said to be able to qualify his remarks told Le Matin, "I am not allowed to reveal the arguments submitted at the hearing by the Council of Order," recalling that it is part of a body governed by certain principles.
The complaint filed against him by the defense council of the President is nothing more than intimidation. "I expect this to be the Board's finding," says the leader of Group 77, refusing to anticipate on the conclusions of the Council, whose decision may be appealed in cassation.
The former president, Mr. Gervais Charles, member of the Council of Order, hailed the approach of the President of the Republic in its form, stating that the complaint would be examined independently by the Disciplinary Board of the Bar.
In the hierarchy of sanctions for conduct deemed detrimental to the Bar, the offending risks suspension and even expulsion.
The political side of the case through this lawsuit for an opinion expressed on a news by a political leader, the team wants to demonstrate respect for the democratic game.
"It is" said Lucien Jura, "spokesman for the presidency, proof that we are in a state of law. Martelly the citizen uses the law to settle disputes."
Jura says, "we are no longer under the old regime."
Andre Michel, however, sees in this approach an attempt at intimidation before murdering him. The lawyer and politician says he wants to continue to fight anyway.
"I do not hold my peace," he promises. And, as if to prove he does not mince words against the propaganda around the presidential program of "free education" into believing that more than 903,000 children are enrolled in school this year.
"It's a colossal bluff. He would build 23,000 classrooms and train as many masters before sending 903,000 children to school", diagnosed the lawyer, calling the President to apologize to the nation for not keeping his campaign promises.
Andre Michel has already received support from several organizations and political defense of human rights who see the case against him a threat to freedom of expression. How many people will Martelly team call to court for "libel" because of their negative comments?
If this strategy fails how will it be next time? Sweet Micky who was arrested when he swore at everyone before being elected president? Power changes and corrupts absolutely.
03.09.12 | Radio Kiskeya
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