Judge Says US-Based Reporter Defamed Haiti’s PM – Added COMMENTARY By Haitian-Truth

By JENNIFER KAY Associated Press
MIAMI February 19, 2013 (AP)UPDATED FEB 21, 2013

A federal judge in Florida has ruled that a Haitian-American journalist defamed Haiti’s prime minister in reporting on the sale of a telecommunications company acquired by the Caribbean country’s government.

Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe and South Florida businessman Patrice Baker sued Leo Joseph in Miami federal court in September over his reporting for the New York-based Haiti-Observateur.

U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro said in a Feb. 6 ruling that she agreed with Lamothe and Baker that Joseph had published false and malicious reports about Lamothe’s role in the sale of Haitel.

Ungaro also prohibited Joseph from ever again writing about Lamothe or Baker in their professional, personal or political lives.



This news release does not explain what happened.

Franck Cine was once a Vice-President of MCI. During the embargo period – 1991-1994 – he negotiated a banking licence, with the intervention of General Cedras. SOCABANK was the result of this and was allegedly funded with cash from the cocaine business. In fact, the mega-criminal, who was reported to have stolen millions from the World Bank, Leslie Pean,


acted as an advisor  to SOCABANK and told friends of Franck Cine’s insistence upon being named to the Board of Directors, of SOCABANK, because – after all – he had contributed most of the money to finance the bank. There were also rumors, to the effect, that   Charles Beaulieu the Governor of the Central Bank, during the embargo period, also managed to divert millions to the SOCABANK project, which he would head. In any event, Cine was never named a director of what was, in reality, his bank.

With Aristide, Franck Cine, managed to create HAITEL, a cell phone project, in which Aristide is reported to have received at least 5% – perhaps more – of HAITIEL’s cash flow, in return for his support. This business was better than cocaine and – other than the bribes to Aristide – was legal.

An addition advantage of having Aristide’s support was the ability of HAITEL to avoid paying taxes to the Government of Haiti.

These taxes would eventually amount to something near $50,000,000.

HAITEL  was attractive to foreign investors and, at one point, Leslie Pean managed to interest the People’s Republic of Chine in the purchase of a holding in HAITIEL. This was reported to be something near $200,000,000.

In February of 2004 Aristide flew into exile, and Cine kept on in business. Finally, Preval won the presidency aqnd the game changed.

SOCABANK was illegally targeted and broken up, the pieces distributed among the other Haitian banks. It was claimed that SOCABANK was insolvent, which it wasn’t, but these are simply the maneuvers of business in Haiti.

Sort of a “Live by the sword, you die by the sword…”

Cine was still paying Aristide but Preval now wanted a large cut from HAITEL. Cine resisted and Preval managed to have him thrown into jail over the SOCABANK deal. Leslie Pean was warned by Preval and escaped to the States.

As a result, Cine was held in jail, finally transferred to Canape Verte hospital, where he lived for the next 2 years. He somehow managed to get released and flew to New Jersey where he remained until Michel Martelly won the election. At this time he flew back to Haiti, expecting to take up where he left off.

Cine did not take account of Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe, a businessman who made his money in the phones business. He understood Cine’s game and set out to recover the $50,000,000 owed the Government of Haiti, in back taxes, plus some other charges.

Cine was so arrogant that he did not see his peril and, through gross underestimation of Lamothe’s desire for legitimate government, a government that sees businesses paying taxes, Cine finally mismanaged the entire situation to a point where the Government of Haiti closed down HAITEL and took control of the company.

At this point there are those who believe that Franck Cine paid the Haiti Observateur to run several “off the wall” – libelous, slanderous and defamatory articles about Laurent Lamothe’s business activities, in Africa.

Cine is believed to have paid Haiti Observateur to create the articles accusing Lamothe and Baker of profitting illegally from the seizure and sale of HAITEL by the Government of Haiti, as revenge for the government’s seizure of the basically bankrupt cell phone company.

Lamothe took the very unusual approach, for a Haitian, by suing Haiti Observateur in Federal Court.
This approach took the debate out of the normal Haitian world, where wildly untrue material is a daily diet in the Haitian media, and placing it into the American legal system,  where you cannot knowingly publish lies and evidence, under oath, is expected to be true: You cannot simply “buy a judge.”

And so Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe won a victory that should make some Haitian media personalities think twice, about past, present and future lies.

Since Haitian newspapers are sold, in the States, and Haitian radio station are piped to America over the Internet, the blatherings of Liliane, and others, could be the subject of litigation, within the American judicial system.

Congratulations Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe for a determined and brave search for the truth.

Perhaps you can now look under a rock and target Franck Cine, the originator of these lies.


Author: `

8 thoughts on “Judge Says US-Based Reporter Defamed Haiti’s PM – Added COMMENTARY By Haitian-Truth

  1. Charlea Beaulieu stole many dollars that his wife expended extravagantly. They still possess their real estate which should be taken for the State.

  2. Lest there be any confusion, ToutHaiti should also take heed that their continued practice of disseminating unjustified accusations and outright lies will soon be the subject of U.S. based lawsuits as well.

  3. It is times for justice control of broadcasting lies on radios. Now there is no controls and people say all without fears. Lilian is one of the worst

  4. It has been a custom in Haiti, for the media to take a lot of money to follow certain lines of reporting.

    The classic example of this was Pierre Raymond Dumas, when he was working for Prime Minister Jacques Alexis. Every week he would make the rounds of the media offices, spreading American $100.00 bills in his path. Many media people said they could not have survived had it not been for Pierre Raymond Dumas.

    Now, this was not a social program to keep journalists, and their bosses from starving. It was a criminal program to subvert the truth and damage the National interests.

    But then, no one cares about National interests.

    They only care about personal interests.

    Until someone thinks “Nation” there is little hope for Haiti.

    Pierre Raymond Dumas is just one example of the criminals, but he is probably the worst.

  5. Perhaps our Prime Minister will pursue this activity further against the New York enemies.


    Lamothe, a former telecommunications executive, took office in May, filling a nearly three-month vacancy after President Michel Martelly’s first prime minister resigned after just four months on the job.
    The lawsuit originally included Haiti-Observateur as a defendant, but the newspaper was dropped from the case last month.
    Ungaro ruled that Joseph’s reporting in August and early September intentionally spread false and defamatory statements about Lamothe’s and Baker’s roles in Haitel’s sale.
    These statements, which included reporting that Lamothe and Baker orchestrated and benefitted from Haitel’s sale, “are entirely false and conjured to destroy the reputations of Baker and Lamothe,” Ungaro wrote.
    The damage done to Lamothe’s and Baker’s reputations “represents an immediate and irreparable injury for which there is no adequate remedy at law” and far outweighs the potential harm Joseph might suffer if permanently restrained from writing about either man again, Ungaro wrote.
    Haiti-Observateur has been publishing since 1971 and serves Haiti’s large diaspora communities in New York, Florida, Montreal and the Caribbean. On its website, the paper says it has a weekly circulation of 75,000.

  7. There is a plan in motion to take action against diaspora radio and internet operations for what are basically illegal actions in their continuous production of false and slanderous material, aimed at the Government of Haiti, and others outside of the United States.

    The neat thing about this concept lies in the fact that what has already been done, cannot be undone. The lies and slanders must be preserved by radio stations, under FCC regulations.

    If they don’t have records, this is enough to be closed down.

    If they do have records, these records will convict them.

    The government in Haiti is having enough trouble without having to put up with a deluge of lies and flawed material.

    Enough is enough.

Comments are closed.