Ex-Senator Dr. Jean-Marie Celestin Locked Up

Ex-Senate Chairman during the Aristide administration, Dr. Jean-Marie Fourel Celestin, has blamed the U.S. government for being lured into the drug trade. He expressed his outrage just prior to his deportation to Port-au-Prince. Haitian authorities arrested him, alleging his participation in drug trafficking, money laundering, and other criminal charges. Under police custody he attended an hours-long hearing. He was then turned over to the Central Directorate Judicial Police, who imprisoned him at the National Penitentiary for nearly two weeks.


Fourel's attorney, Mr. Joseph Claudet Lamour, said the warrant issued for Fourel's arrest by Judge Alexandre Mimose at the hearing, had no grounds for being. Lamour pointed to international conventions Haiti agrees to, which states a person cannot be imprisoned for ". . . the same charges in a third country . . .", which in Fourel's case is the U.S.

The U.S. Drug Enforcement Agency caught up with Celestin in Port-au-Prince where he voluntarily gave himself up at the U.S. Embassy in Port-au-Prince in May of 2004. He was extradited to the U.S. and spent four years in prison in Florida until his release in 2009.

Haiti extradited other drug traffickers in the Aristide government to the U.S.; one of them ex-Director of the National Police, Jean Lucien. Another trafficker, Jacques Ketant, alleges Aristide took bribes to allow drugs to travel through the Haitian corridor from Latin America to the U.S. Aristide has never been found guilty of any wrong-doing.

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