Arrest Warrant issued to Jean Bertrand Aristide accused for corruption

Judge Lamarre Belizaire is attempting to indict ex-president, Jean Bertrand Aristide, on charges of corruption, money laundering, embezzling funds, and other assorted criminal acts. The charges are related to the operation of Aristide's non-profit, Aristide for Democracy Foundation. When the media tried to contact Belizaire regarding the case he was unavailable, his office citing "legal and ethical reasons" for remaining quiet.


Ever since 2004 when Aristide was forced into exile a UN Peacekeeping Force has been a presence in Haiti to quell outbreaks of violence between Aristide's party, Fanmi Lavalas, and opposing factions. Belizaire wants Aristide arrested for refusing to comply with a summons ordering him to attend a hearing in Belizaire's courtroom to answer to the corruption charges.

Fearing the arrest of Aristide, 150 of his supporters built barricades of stone and burning tires in front of Aristide's house in the capital to keep UN Peacekeepers from taking him into custody. The soldiers dispersed the protestors with tear gas and heavy vehicles.

In the aftermath, no arrest was made on Aristide, apparently because Belizaire had not signed an arrest warrant. Mario Joseph, Aristide's attorney, said his client ". . . never received the summons at his home." Joseph told the court at the hearing the summons failed to be properly executed.

The reason Aristide is being targeted is if Belizaire can discredit his name, Fanmi Lavalas will not win any seats in the legislature when elections are held at year's end.

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Read more: Jean Bertrand Aristide, arrest, House Arrest, Lamarre Belizaire, Politics

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