On January 5, 2017 after a fiery radio interview in the Haitian capital with – Scoop FM, newly elected Senator Guy Philippe is abducted outside of that same radio station by heavily armed men who later were revealed to be members of the “Brigade for the Fight against Narcotic Drugs” (BLTS). During this radio interview and in many other interviews prior to that one, Senator Guy Philippe always talked about, how over the years there have been several attempts to assassinate him. He also brought clarification on many other issues, mainly the rampant injustice and impunity that were ongoing throughout the country at the time which led to him having to take up arms against the tyrannical government of Jean-Bertrand Aristide in 2004.
Senator Philippe said in his interview in 2017, a few hours before his kidnapping that as a Senator he was going to be tough on corruption which has been extensive throughout the country for far too long; he accused Haiti’s oligarch of being part of the problem; regaining national sovereignty of the country from the international community; he spoke against the ineffectiveness of government institutions and the clear collusion between staff working at the U.S. Embassy in Haiti as part of the systematic problem plaguing the country. During a televised interview with “Tele Caramel” in July 2016, Guy Philippe openly questioned the legitimacy of interim President Jocelerme Privert after his term expired and he refused to step-down.
Enter Jocelerme Privert
Interim-President Jocelerme Privert
To fully comprehend the animosity that existed between ex-President Jocelerme Privert and Senator Guy Philippe, we have to go back to April 4, 2004 after Guy Philippe’s successful rebellion against the dictatorship of ex-President Jean Bertrand Aristide, Mr. Privert whom at the time was Jean Bertrand Aristide’s Minister of Interior, he was accused of being involved in the “La Scierie Massacre” in Saint-Marc, a commune in western Haiti. Subsequently, Mr. Privert was arrested and he served 26 months in prison. Fast forward to February 14, 2016 a decade later Jocelerme Privert became the interim President of Haiti and it was under his administration that Senator Guy Philippe was unlawfully arrested and illegally extradited to the United States on January 5, 2017.
There is substantial motive and evidence to confirm that Senator Guy Philippe’s arbitrary arrest and illegal extradition to the United States is indeed politically motivated and that Senator Philippe’s fundamental rights are being violated only because of his political conviction. On July 18, 2007 Mr. Camille Edouard Junior, as a private citizen wrote a very compelling article on AlterPressedetailing the wrongness of the government for persecuting Mr. Philippe in his own country and violating the national territory of the Republic. In brief, Mr. Camille Edouard himself cited the following articles in violation in his analysis: article 1; article 40 and article 8 of the Haitian Constitution.
A decade later under the Jocelerme Privert interim administration, the same Camille Edouard Jr. who once had vehemently defended the Haitian Constitution, was now the Minister of Justice of Haiti, the very person in charge of administrating Justice in the country. And to everyone’s surprise, he disregarded every rule and regulations, intentionally bypassed the protocols of the legislative and judicial branch, trampled on the Constitution he swore to defend, colluded with foreign agents, devalued the parliamentary immunity statute and the electoral council’s decrees (CEP), violated Senator Guy Philippe’s human rights and illegally extradited him to the United States on trumped-up charges.
Mr. Camille Edouard’s unexpected compliance to hasten Senator Guy Philippe’s extradition just within a few short hours after his kidnapping; denying him the right to see an attorney, a local judge, not even his colleagues in the Senate were permitted to see him prior to him being whisked away to the airport; and the United States’ eagerness to receive Senator Guy Philippe under debatable circumstances demonstrated a certain degree of collusion between the Privert interim administration and the US government.
On November 20, 2016, Guy Philippe was duly elected as a Senator of the Republic of Haiti.
On January 3, 2017, he is issued an Official Certificate from the Electoral Council (CEP), establishing his stature as a Senator of the Republic.
On January 4, 2017, his name is published as a Senator of the Republic on the Government’s Official Journal titled “Le Moniteur #172”.
On January 5, 2017, Senator Philippe is kidnapped in Haiti at gunpoint by several agents and illegally extradited to the United States a clear violation of article 41 of the Haitian Constitution which states that: “No person of Haitian nationality may be deported or forced to leave the national territory for any reason. No one may be deprived for political reasons of his legal capacity and his nationality”.
According to Article 95 of the same Constitution – The Senators are elected for six (6) years and are indefinitely re-eligible. They enter into their functions on the second Monday of January which follows their elections. In the case where the elections cannot be determined before the second Monday of January, the Senators elected enter into their functions immediately after the validation of the ballot, and their mandate of six (6) years is considered to have commenced on the second Monday of January of the year of the entry into their functions.
With that being said – Senator Guy Philippe registered as a candidate on April 15, 2015, at 01:30 PM, he participated in the first round of the elections on August 9, 2015 unfortunately the second round of the elections were delayed due to Hurricane Matthew. Finally, he won the elections definitively on November 20, 2016 so in his particular case there were no obligations in the Constitution for him to swear in, nor any other ceremonial commitments, the Constitution simply states that, “In the case where the elections cannot be determined before the second Monday of January, the Senators elected enter into their functions IMMEDIATELY after the validation of the ballot, and their mandate of six (6) years is considered to have commenced on the second Monday of January of the year of the entry into their functions”.
Furthermore article 115 of the Constitution provides for the immunity of Legislators and requires the authorization of the Haitian Senate before a Senator of the Republic is arrested. Till this day, the Republic of Haiti has not waived the Constitutional Immunity given to Senator Guy Philippe. Senator Philippe is immune from prosecution for six years, the length of his term in office.
Senator Guy Philippe is a duly elected Official of Haiti who is mandated by the people of Haiti to represent the Grand’Anse Department as their democratically elected Senator. Any intervention and or interference directly or indirectly, for any reason whatsoever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State by another member State are violations of the charter of the Organization of American States (OAS) and the United Nations (UN). According to the Charter of the Organization of American States: Article 19: No State or group of States has the right to intervene, directly or indirectly, for any reason whatever, in the internal or external affairs of any other State. The foregoing principle prohibits not only armed force but also any other form of interference or attempted threat against the personality of the State or against its political, economic, and cultural elements.
The Senator-elect’s Arrest is Widely Condemned
Jean Danton Leger on Arrest of Senator-elect Philippe
The State’s Attorney General at the time Me. Danton Leger confirmed and publicly denounced the legitimacy of the accord between the United States and Haiti. In 2017, the President of the Commission of Security and Justice of the Haitian legislative body also denounced the accord between the two States.
By conspiring and actively partaking in the kidnapping of Senator Guy Philippe on his national territory, the United States has severely violated Guy Philippe’s rights; violated the Constitution of the Republic of Haiti, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; violated the Act of the State Doctrine; the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights; and various other international laws, principles and standards. The United States of America, a permanent member of the United Nations has violated article 2 (4), of the charter of the United Nations which clearly states that: All Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state, or in any other manner inconsistent with the purposes of the United Nations.
Parliamentarians React to Arrest of Guy Philippe
Senator Guy Philippe NEVER really had a chance at a fair trial in the United States. Considering that till this day, Haiti doesn’t have a valid warrant against Guy Philippe, this was purely an American crime; led by American law enforcement agents; arbitrated by an American court; pursued by an American prosecutor; counseled by American defense lawyers; sentenced by an American judge; in the midst of all that stood a foreigner, one single Haitian national versus the entire United States Government.
Failure of Justice in the U.S., As Well
The American justice system has failed Senator Guy Philippe, his lawyers have failed him, and the Government has violated his 5th amendment right to due process of law and his 6th amendment right to effective assistance of counsel. He was deprived of effective assistance and due process of law during his pre-trial proceedings. They failed to argue that he is entitled to immunity as a foreign state official; his lawyers failed to argue on his behalf that his indictment wasn’t admissible based on the doctrine of specialty rule. They failed to investigate and present evidence to support his speedy trial act claim. What is also beyond question is that the 11 year delay in failing to prosecute Mr. Philippe and to bring him to trial is unreasonable and apparently was a deliberate and intentional decision by the United States to gain the tactical and advantage which it now has.
More than twenty years have now elapsed from the date of the alleged conspiracy in Count I of the indictment and more than 11 years have passed since the date that Mr. Philippe was indicted. That delay is 11 times greater than the one year threshold that decisional authority has established as sufficient for presuming prejudice and clearly sufficient to trigger this Court’s obligation to consider and analyze the remaining three Barker factors. The government cannot offer any justifiable reason or excuse for not having timely brought Mr. Philippe to trial. The US Government found Osama Bin Laden in the Middle East in less time than it took for them to find Guy Philippe in Haiti. Let that sink in for a moment.
There is nothing to suggest that the Government has ever made even a minimal effort, let alone a good faith effort, over the last more than a decade, to secure Mr. Philippe’s presence. Senator Philippe has never sought to change either his appearance or his identity. To the contrary, Mr. Philippe has lived openly and, in fact, very publicly as a well-known and highly publicized politician in Haiti. In addition, Mr. Philippe showed that he did not conceal himself or attempt to evade arrest. In court he outlined each and every step in detail beginning from 2005 until the day of his kidnapping on January 5, 2017, which consisted of Senator Philippe: (1) being a very well-known public official; (2) visiting multiple police stations; (3) appearing at multiple courthouses; (4) using his social media websites to alert the entire world when and where he would submit his paperwork including the date, time and location before becoming an official candidate; (5) using his social media websites to announce the world when and where he would be campaigning during his Senatorial campaign. In March 2006, Mr. Philippe was at the United States Embassy in Haiti, he could have been arrested then and there or at any of the above events or appearances if the Government had acted with diligence. It is difficult enough for a Defendant from Haiti to obtain witnesses and evidence from that country to present in the Courts of the United States. It is nearly impossible to do so more than eleven years after the indictment and absolutely impossible to do so 20 years after the conduct which the Government alleges was criminal.
The US Government argues that Philippe was not extradited pursuant to any treaty between Haiti and the United States, meaning that the rule of Specialty doesn’t apply. Given that an extradition treaty does exist between Haiti and the United States, there are only two possible conclusions, one conclusion is the forceful and violent abduction of Philippe from Haiti and that such constituted torture under the convention against torture, and as such was illegal and cannot be permitted to stand. The United States is still bound by the United Nations convention against torture, which became effective law in the United States on October 21, 1994.The other conclusion, is that Senator Philippe is extradited under the treaty. Contrary to the government’s claim that Senator Philippe was not extradited pursuant to any treaty, it would appear that Mr. Philippe was in fact extradited pursuant to the 1904/1905 extradition treaty between Haiti and the United States.
Ex-Minister of Justice, Camille Edouard Jr. was officially representing Haiti when he transferred Senator Guy Philippe into the custody of the United States officials, he gave a press conference and specifically explained in detail that Senator Philippe was arrested and transferred into the custody of the United States because of violation of the 1904/1905 treaty. Based upon these facts, the United States should not continue to undermine the country of Haiti and violate the act of the state doctrine. This doctrine prevents any court in the United States from declaring that an official act of a foreign sovereign state performed within its own territory is invalid. On March 15, 2017, the Senators of the Republic of Haiti unanimously determined that Senator Philippe’s arrest violated the 1904/1905 treaty between Haiti and the United States. Therefore, the United States is not allowed to question the acts that took place in Haiti nor can they declare invalid the official acts of Haiti because Senator Guy Philippe was clearly arrested in Haiti, not Miami.
Senator Guy Philippe was not regarded as a substantial threat to the local and foreign oligarchs, until he was duly elected in a position where he can in fact influence policies in the country. Combating corruption was the highlight of his political career and those who are corrupt and those who benefit from corruption and the feebleness of the Haitian State they don’t want that sort of change to come, not with Guy Philippe around. So they conspired against him with the sole purpose of destroying him politically. It should also be noted that for the past 15 years the smear campaign vis-à-vis Guy Philippe’s alleged nefarious activities always seem to occur right around election time in Haiti. If you look at all the dates when the US government claimed they have tried to arrest Guy Philippe in the past, those dates always seemed to coincide with Haiti’s electoral calendar. It is simply not acceptable that the United States be allowed to become not only a bully internationally, but be allowed to traverse the world’s nations and be allowed to kidnap a person in a foreign country. The Honorable Senator Guy Philippe is a political prisoner of the United States of America.