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Judge to question Haiti police chief over failure to execute arrest warrants
Published on September 2, 2014 Email To Friend    Print Version

By Joseph Guyler Delva

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) -- A Haitian judge, conducting an inquiry into acts of corruption blamed on former Haitian president Jean-Bertrand Aristide, issued a judicial invitation to Haiti's police chief, Godson Orélus, to appear before him on Thursday to answer questions about the failure of the Caribbean country's police force to arrest Aristide as ordered several weeks ago by the investigating magistrate, judicial sources told HCNN on Monday.

godson_orelus.jpg
Haiti's police chief, Godson Orélus
A high functionary at the judicial palace said Judge Lamarre Bélizaire issued the invitation to Orelus in order to obtain an explanation as to why police officers still fail to arrest and bring before him Aristide who is at his private residence at the Tabarre district, on the outskirts of the capital Port-au-Prince.

"The judge wants to question the police chief because he wants to know why the police have not yet enforced the warrant issued against former President Aristide and other accused," said the official who spoke to HCNN on condition of anonymity.

"When a judge issues a warrant or an order, he does so on behalf of the Republic and the order, issued in accordance with the laws, must be enforced by the police," the official explained.

"And any refusal by the police to comply may result in consequences," he warned.

Aristide and dozens of his former allies -- banned from leaving the country -- are accused of involvement in serious acts of corruption, laundering of drug money and misappropriation of hundreds of millions of dollars between 2001 and 2004, when Aristide was in power.

A dozen arrest warrants were issued in connection with the case. On Monday, Belizaire interviewed in his office Henry Claude Ménard, the former Interior minister under Aristide, and two other former associates of the former leader.
 
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