A LAURENT LAMOTHE VICTORY AGAINST THE DEFAMATORY MATERIAL PUBLISHED BY THE HAITI OBSERVATEUR OPENS DOORS FOR OTHER LEGAL CHALLENGES
Posted on February 9 2013- Updated Feb 12
A LAURENT LAMOTHE VICTORY AGAINST THE DEFAMATORY MATERIAL PUBLISHED BY THE HAITI OBSERVATEUR OPENS DOORS FOR OTHER LEGAL CHALLENGES, IN AMERICA, WHERE THERE ARE LEGAL OPPORTUNITIES TO ATTACK PEOPLE WHO PEDDLE LIES.
February 9, 2013
The Laurent Lamothe victory, in the American legal system, presents some interesting possibilities.
Haiti Observateur has presented a series of defamatory attacks against Laurent Lamothe, Michel Martelly and others within the Haitian system. Some cynics suggest that these articles were funded by Franck Cine, the founder of SOCABANK and HAITEL. Cine lost in Haiti and took his fight into the States where he libeled/slandered Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe. Cynics suggest that many of Haiti Observateur’s attacks, in the past, have been launched with a few dollars from one party, or another.
This is the standard procedure within Haiti and seems to extend into any area where Haitian businesses thrive.
Perhaps there is some truth in these suspicions; Suspicions that would be clarified in sworn legal depositions, involved with the civil action.
Cine was a close associate of Jean-Bertrand Aristide and, because of this, benefited from a number of things, like not paying tax on HAITEL’s cash flow. Instead, he kicked back a percentage of HAITEL’s gross. Some suggest 5% while others put the fee at 15%. With the departure of Aristide, Preval took control and expected a cut. When Cine baulked at this he was tossed into jail where he remained for more than 2 years.
With the departure of Preval, Cine returned to Haiti and was surprised when the Martelly government expected settlement of HAITIEL’s back taxes, something like $47,000,000.
You can buy a lot of rice and beans for Haiti’s hungry children with this kind of money.
The ongoing litigation, in the United States, concerning Aristide’s criminal activity, within the Haitian telecommunication business, has revealed a great deal. Some have gone to jail and Aristide’s personal indictment is a real possibility.
But, why is the Laurent Lamothe assault on Haiti Observateur so important?
We are all familiar with what – in America – would be viewed as libelous, slanderous, defamatory and, in many cases criminal actions on the part of Haiti’s media. Were these acts perpetuated within the United States they would be the focus of gigantic Civil actions and, in many cases Criminal action.
The media outlets involved, print, radio or TV, would be faced with immediate injunctive action, followed by massive litigation. In the most irresponsible situations, the person would face jail time. In the merely defamatory, libelous situations, judgments in the tens of millions could be obtained.
Haitian radio – as a matter of custom and practice – avoid the truth and present defamatory lies with a predictable consistency. Lillian spews a stream of vitriolic untruths and no one challenges her. Everyone is afraid of her venom, because their minds only operate insider the Haitian vacuum.
There is another approach.
In order to take action, within the American legal system, there must be a basis for action inside the United States. Actions within Haiti are, in most cases, not actionable within the United States, unless one of the parties resides there. However, there is an interesting concept, that could be pursued.
Because of the Internet, Haitian radio stations can be heard throughout the world. In other words, the Haitian radio stations are – in fact – operating within the United States on a 24 hour basis.
Someone could file a major legal action against a Haitian radio station, or radio personality. For the best results, you would want to attack someone possessing known resources within the United States…a bank account, a house, a business…… Then, because there is a danger of the Haitian target, of the legal action, removing his assets from the United States jurisdiction, you move to freeze them until the litigation is completed.
Since it could take years to reach a resolution, the inconvenience would be considerable.
The most effective result, of such legal action – would be the publicity obtained within the United States, publicity that shows what a bunch of criminals Haiti has behind her media microphones.
There are statutes, within the Haitian Code Penal, that should prevent the criminal slanders perpetuated by the likes of Lillian, Vision 2000 and other broadcasting elements. Their ongoing attacks, against the Martelly government, are far from the truth and present a potentially dangerous and damaging effect upon the entire Haitian population.
Creative criticism is one thing.
Criminal slander is something else again.
If Haiti is ever to become a “Nation of Laws” one of the first steps is control of the media and this does not affect Freedom of the Press. It only requires “Responsibility of the Press…”
We are not optimistic.