Aristide Cronies' Accounts Probed, by The Miami Herald

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T-dodo

Aristide Cronies' Accounts Probed, by The Miami Herald

Post by T-dodo » Wed Dec 22, 2004 8:34 am

Posted on Wed, Dec. 22, 2004

HAITI

Aristide cronies' accounts probed

BY JACQUELINE CHARLES

jcharles@herald.com

PORT-AU-PRINCE - Two Haitian panels probing allegations of corruption under former Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide say they have found evidence that millions of dollars were paid into bank accounts held by one of Aristide's foundations, by his wife and by officials of his government for unknown purposes.

Investigators are also looking at a U.S. bank account held by Mrs. Aristide and others held by Aristide associates in Finland, Greece, Panama and Canada, Haitian officials said.

Among the evidence are presidential account checks for $5 million to $10 million made out to Oriel Jean, a former Aristide security chief now jailed in Miami on drug charges.

Justice Minister Bernard Gousse and Jean-Yves Nol, head of the Finan
cial Intelligence Unit, which has been acting as the liaison between Haitian and U.S. investigators, told The Herald they believed the evidence trail will eventually lead to Aristide.

''Given the tight grip the president had on all these institutions, especially at the presidential palace, and where his cronies were appointed, it is clear he was the mastermind and the architect,'' Gousse said.

ARISTIDE DEFENDED

Aristide's Miami attorney, Ira Kurzban, said that if any government funds were transferred to bank accounts of the president's wife or his social works foundation, they went to legitimate government expenditures.

''They did it legitimately and they did it for a public policy. This was not money that was routed into the pockets of the president to buy a yacht in Miami,'' he said.

For now, Gousse and Nol say they are putting together a list of about 29 Aristide associates who received government funds without explanations. They will soon turn over the list to
prosecutors, who could then seek search or arrest warrants.

Interim Haitian Prime Minister Gerard Latortue has publicly asked Gousse to issue an arrest warrant for Aristide, who fled the country Feb. 29 amid a bloody revolt. But Gousse has said he and Nol are still building a case.

Nol said his panel is also cooperating with a group of U.S. Treasury, Drug Enforcement Administration and FBI agents in Haiti who have been combing through bank records and other documents as part of a U.S. probe into drug trafficking, money laundering and bribes during Aristide's rule.

For now the names of the suspects are confined to dozens of folders on Nol's desk, containing thousands of copies of canceled checks and other documents he said came from five presidential bank accounts. Among them, according to documents Nol showed The Herald:

• Bank records showing ''millions of dollars'' transferred from one presidential account to Haitian bank accounts held by Aristide's wife, Mildred Trouillot
Aristide, and one of his private social welfare foundations, the Aristide Foundation.

• A 2003 check for $800,000 to Kiskeya Store. Nol said the store does not exist. Haitian business owners questioned by The Herald said they had never heard of Kiskeya.

• Hundreds of thousands of dollars in government checks written simply to cash, without any explanation of the recipient or the reason for the payment.

• A series of presidential checks written out to the Central Bank but flagged for deposit into the personal accounts of Haitians that Nol said were Aristide associates. He would not provide their names.

CHECKS TO JEAN

Nol also said several suspicious presidential checks, some for $5 million to $10 million and all made out in U.S. dollars, were made out to Oriel Jean, the former Aristide security chief.

Displaying a canceled presidential check to Jean in 2002 for $6,077,342.40, Nol said he believed the money ''was used for a lot of things, the chimres, to do propagand
a for him, to pay people.'' Chimres are thugs allegedly armed and financed by Aristide to back him and to harass his opposition.

Jean, being held in Miami on drug charges, said through his Miami attorney, David Raben, that he knew nothing about the check. ''I have never seen or received any check for $6 million made out to me from the Haitian government,'' he said.

Jean's possible cooperation with U.S. prosecutors could play a key role in a parallel U.S. investigation of possible links between Aristide, officials in his government and traffickers who used Haiti to ship Colombian cocaine to U.S. markets.

At least 11 Haitian drug suspects have been arrested and extradited to the United States. Haitian authorities have arrested another three drug suspects and confiscated $1.3 million in cash, Nol said, but 14 other suspects remain fugitives in Haiti and neighboring Dominican Republic.

A top Haitian official aware of the U.S. investigation said the American agents are investigat
ing a U.S. bank account held by Mildred Aristide and have found suspicious bank accounts held by Aristide associates in Panama, Canada, Greece and Finland.

U.S. law enforcement officials declined comment on the Haitian officials' reports.

Haitian investigators acknowledge that despite the evidence gathered and the cooperation from U.S. officials, they face an uphill battle proving the corruption charges that have dogged Aristide's government since he was reelected in 2000. Aristide now lives in South Africa.

But both Gousse and Nol say they remain optimistic.

''We are well informed,'' Nol said. ``We are determined. We have a lot of people who are helping us.''
Herald staff writers Jay Weaver and Sidonie Sawyer contributed to this report.

Ezili Danto
Posts: 197
Joined: Sat May 31, 2003 11:57 pm

The real criminals here are the coup d'etat orchestrators

Post by Ezili Danto » Thu Dec 23, 2004 2:17 am

Dear Miami Herald Editor;

I write in response to the Miami Herald article written by Jacqueline Charles entitled "Aristide cronies' accounts probed" to state categorically and in the strongest of terms, that contrary to the articles inferences about the corruption of Haiti's forcibly removed constitutionally elected Aristide/Neptune government nothing, nothing The Gousse or the U.S.-imported Gwo Gera could EVER discover or make-up about corruption in the duly elected Constitutional government of Aristide/Neptune will justify the more than 4000 Haitian lives lost to put these fools in power and Haiti under occupation.

Nothing whatsoever that the illegitimate Latortue regime could ever turn up in terms of money misspent was worth the lost of ONE Haitian life; the desecration of our bicentennial year; the return of French soldiers on Dessaline's soil!; the over 1,100 politic
al prisoners wasting away in these Coup d'etat peoples' jails in Haiti and the more than 100 simply massacred by Gousse and Gwo Gera's guards at the National Penitentiary. Nothing. (See, http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressc ... rview.html )

It is clear to the world who the criminals are. This total darkness Haiti's so-called intellectual, bitter and frustrated class has brought back to Haiti is unmatched, devastating and barbaric.

Aristide/Neptune where not only under an international embargo by the world's international financial institutions, but their government had an arms embargo against it. Today there are more guns in Haiti, drugs in Haiti, financial corruption, as ALL Gwo Gerar's authorities where not elected and got their position as reward for their participation in the violent Coup d'etat or by paying for them or simple cronyism in a manner beyond what we could even imagined for the forcibly removed Constitutional government.

It is simply perverse to somehow
try to justify the disenfranchisement of almost 9 million Black people and total destruction of their dreams of domestic development, dignity in the bicentennial year and sovereignty with this lame broken-record refrain: "Aristide-may-have-stolen-monies, we-don't-have-legal-proof-yet-but-we are-optimistic!"

Merely a trial by innuendo. Lame and absurdly reflective of Haiti's bankrupt "Black Frenchmen" class, the Francophonies!, looking to bring back a blan to shadow each Ministry's in Haiti, every move and every word that comes to their head.

As those Haitian, who live in the working neighborhoods of Bel Air, Delmas 2, Cite Soley, may say "La rouze fè banda toutan soley pa leve." - The dew goes wild for only as long as the sun (of truth) hasn't risen!

Haiti's traditionally morally repugnant elite, category zero, the Black opportunists are the ones ALWAYS refusing to pay their fair share of taxes, their share of responsibility for the country's development, for, let say, 200-years!


If the Miami Herald wants to talk of corruption in Haiti, than anchor it in some Haitian historical perspective.

If the elected government was misusing funds, it certainly was NOT the tax receipts paid out by members of Group 184, that's for sure. Most of Haiti's economic elite are too corrupt to pay taxes to help build the country. There wasn't any international funds coming in, so where was the money for stealing coming from? Why the tremendous focus on Aristide's corruption as opposed to Cedras, Duvalier, et al. Duvalier has even said he would return to Haiti now that his cronies are back in power!!!! Talk about corruption! Those Duvalierists/FRAPH/Tonton Macoutes' corruption were just ignored just as the morally repugnant elites ignore their own lack of investment in Haiti. All they do is, even at the risk of losing their own autonomy, want Papa-blan-Santa-Claus to help them subdue the Black masses and their civil liberties, the better to exploit Haitian labor and resources.

T
alk about inept. Even after spilling rivers of Haitian blood and liberty to force their way into the National Palace where U.S.-Ambassador Foley now governs Haiti, these incompetents can't even get themselves rewarded with the trickle-down left-overs of the HERO act, or the billions "always promised" by those who simply used them to kill Black sovereignty and achievements. These "Haitian" agents of Haiti's traditional enemies, their ignorance and lack of understanding of their USES is plain felony STUPID.

Haiti is a million times worst than it was under Aristide/Neptune. Why couldn't these fools wait until the end of the Constitutional term and get themselves duly elected or simply PROVE to the people, through legal means, that is the ballot box, they were better leaders for Haiti. Why? Because they ARE NOT.
( http://www.margueritelaurent.com/pressc ... apale.html See, also Amnesty International's recent human rights violation alert regarding prison killings in Haiti at: http://www.margue
ritelaurent.com/campaigns/campaignone/presswork/amnestydec.html )

What's more corrupt than arrests without a warrant, arbitrary detention of prisoners by Haitian Chief prosecutor Audin, and Beer and Gousse; the stealing of property owned by Lavalas supporters, the closing of schools because only poor children attend them, the closing of the children TV and radio program, the hunting down of said children because they were part of a Lavalas program, the outright execution of a 6-year old girl, a 9-year old boy, et al, the taking over of the medical university by the foreign troops, the more than 4,000 deaths and massive repression and return of the bloody Haitian army and their FRAPH mercenaries? Carting countless dead bodies to secret unknown mass graves in plain daylight. What? That the greatest U.S. powers and resources and their Haitian butt-kissers have yet to find any legal way to charge the Aristide/Neptune government they forcibly overthrew with corruption?

La rouze fè banda toutan sol
ey pa leve. When the real freedom fighters of Haiti, when their voices are heard, not Latortue's thugs and suited-group-184-mafia, than we'll see who is corrupt. No way on this earth shall this generation of Haitians allow these old "Black Frenchmen" who love European barbarity, oops "culture" more than Haiti, Haitian people, themselves or the ancestor's legacy of liberty and freedom, to not be given their true place in THIS particularly arnachic phase of Haitian history as the U.S./Canada/France imported DEATH REGIME.

La Plum was a Black general in Les Cayes, Haiti, during the Haitian Revolution, who so loved being slave to the white man and his Triangular Trade, now morphed in this 21st century and called "free trade," that he fought for France until the end. Group 184 and the coup d'etat supporters of Haiti are modern day La Plums. These stooges, these Franco-PHONIES need to let Haiti live and go be with their corrupt masters-in-crime some place where they won't be harming anyone - JAIL. They a
re the real criminals who destroy Haitian liberty and always have been.

Ezili Danto
Li led li la

T-dodo

Post by T-dodo » Thu Dec 23, 2004 7:45 am

Ezili,

I live in Miami. Whenever there is an article about Haiti, and that I read it early enough, I post it here because I know most of you don't live down here. It does not mean that I agree or support what is written in the article. I will post it whether it is for against anything, as long as it is on Haiti and that some of the posters may learn something from what was written. Whether the learning is the bias of the writer of the article or some news about Haiti, I will probably post it. This is just for information.

Regarding the article itself, Jacqueline Charles has nothing to be proud of here as a journalist. On haitian radios in Miami yesterday afternoon, at least on Phanord's program, The Boulevard, the best that I can surmise from callers and Phanord himself, the article was premature and one-sided. One caller pointed out that the only argument for President Aristide in it was one statement from Ira Kurzan, the presid
ent's lawyer. The rest and majority of the article was propaganda for the other side. Others pointed out that Gousse was Apaid's guy put there with one obsessed goal. Some callers were just mad at Phanord just for discussing the article on the air. Two called and cussed him on the air. The poor guy clearly questioned the journalistic values of the article, but that did not stop those who thought he should not have mentioned it at all because of the lack of balance in the article. This is just a sample of the calls, but I think it reflected the mood of the callers.

It seems, at best, Jacqueline Charles was used by the current administration in Haiti. If the government had real proof, they would have unsealed an indictment instead of public statements. Perhaps, Ms. Charles would have protected herself to write an article when and if ever there is an indictment. This seems like an effort to coerce the drug trafficker to cooperate with the government. The only problem is that when you are against such fo
rces, like it happened to President Clinton and his impeachment trial, it is easy to find minor errors and offenses to bring down a public official. Considering that the Prime Minister had already publicly requested an indictment of President Aristide, if the Minister of Justice has not done it yet, it is easy to conclude that they are guessing and that it is all wishful thinking. The real question is, not that public corruption and criminal acts should not be prosecuted, but of all the problems Haiti has why do they make this witch hunt of President Aristide and the Lavalas supporters what appears to be their only priority?

Jean-Marie

Leonel JB

Post by Leonel JB » Fri Dec 24, 2004 10:27 am

Great job guys!

JM, I always or most of the time love your threads...


EZILI, EZILI, why can't I write like you? It is such a juicy and informative answer to these "Kamoken" (ennemi de la Patrie).

Ayibobo, Ezili,
Li led li la e, lap toujou la.

L'Union fait la Force,
leonel

T-dodo

Post by T-dodo » Sat Dec 25, 2004 11:49 pm

Michel,

That was the point! I questioned her professionalism because Ms. Charles is not a columnist, but a reporter. A columnist publishes opinions. They take an event and comment on it. A reporter reports events unfolding. In this case, there was really no event other than a PR job for the Minister of Justice and bad press for the President Aristide. She was not a messenger. She was used. Lawyers do that some times in using the press to demonize an opposition, the prosecution or the defense, or to taint a jury. Like I mentioned in the previous posts, there were many people in Miami, including the radio commentator and his audience, who thought that she did more than reporting the news here.

Now, let's look at the news. In my opinion there was not really any news, other than telling people we, the interim government, are working hard to bring Mr. Aristide to justice because we want to put him and his cronies in jail and here are wh
ere we stand with those efforts. We, the interim government again, have that drug dealer in Miami and we can give you check numbers that were made to him by the ex-president's office or ministry and that he has accounts in other people's names for the president.

But as the Minister of Justice put it, he has not ben able to file an indictment. The reason is because the government does not have enough proof. They are hoping they will have later. In my opinion, Ms. Charles would have done a better job printing an article when really there is an indictment or when there is enough evidence for an indictment and that the government is waiting for the final paperwork to do it. That is not what her article was about. Because of that, Ms Charles exposed herself to legitimate criticisms as a journalist. This is not a partisan thing. I am not a partisan of Mr. Aristide. I am a partisan of Haiti and its institutions. What you have here are bureaucrats who want to bypass the institutional process. Not only the i
nterim government was created by bypassing the constitution and the laws, it appears they are pursuing that witch hunt using the same tactics. Can't they have any respect for the laws and institutions of Haiti?

From what I understand the guy, the drug dealer in jail in the US, continues to deny that he received money from the president. These are corruption allegations, not necessarily illegal drug money charges. The anti-Aristide camp has been alleging for years now that he has as much as billions of dollars stashed away. You don't need to be pro-Aristide to understand that for anyone person to make one billion dollars in Haiti, it would have to take dozens of years stealing the government, while not paying almost anybody else who works for it, and cashing every loan and grant made to Haiti during those dozens of years.

Now, Michel, you said I don't like the message. I really don't care that Aristide goes to jail because he abused his power and stole the country's money. If he did, he
deserves to go to jail and should be punished. "Voler l'etat, c'est voler." The last time I checked in most countries, including in Haiti and in the US, stealing was a criminal act. Those who commit it deserve the justice system enforcement actions. That's were you and I differ. You don't care about the justice system, as long as it can be used to further your political goals. That is wrong. And that's why our country is in the mess it is today. We need to put our passion aside to maintain the integrity of our institutions. The message today, that you say I don't like, is that AGAIN our institutions are being abused for political purposes. Then, you are right! I don't like it. I would rather the message be: "Our justice system works. Those who commit crimes will be prosecuted. Not, we will abuse the justice system to further our political goals"

Jean-Marie

T-dodo

Post by T-dodo » Sun Dec 26, 2004 10:11 pm

Michel,

Forget the article itself as Ms. Charles was being used. The real problem is that the interim government officials are being a typical Haitian government administration in this affair. They are having difficulties following the legal procedures and you can sense their frustrations and impatience and they are being tempted again of bypassing the laws. You know, like bypassing the laws to get rid of Aristide. Now they want to bypass the laws to put him in jail the same way other Lavalas officials are in jail illegally.

You are asking people to control their emotions, while you are flagrantly guilty of it by not being able to see here that Ms. Charles in this piece violated everything they teach in journalism classes. Remember the Pravda and the Investia wrote articles like that by citing different government officials and even some people from the other side. But, people outside the Soviet Union at the time recognized those ar
ticles for what they were: sheer propaganda. By writing this article the way she did, Ms. Charles left herself open for criticisms. She would have been better off keeping her independence. I have nothing personally against Ms. Charles, and certainly do not want anything bad happening to her. All I am saying is that she made a mistake of journalistic naivety. That is just my opinion. Like you just proved, you happened to have a different one.

The only possible news now in the allegations of corruption and drug related malfeasance against President Aristide are that they have found proof of the allegations and that he is indicted. The reason anything else is not really news is that Interim Prime Minister Latortue has already publicly ordered the indictment of President Aristide. After such a statement, everybody is waiting for an indictment. All we are getting are hesitations and wishful thinking. Right now the latest wishful thinking is that Orel Jean will deliver the proof they need that President Aris
tide made billions of dollars illegally. Frankly, the way this administration has been acting, I am not holding my breath.

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