Judicial

Police Determined to Execute Arrest Warrant for Deputy Bélizaire

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (defend.ht) - Deputy Arnel Bélizaire (Delmas & Tabarre/Veye-Yo) will arrive at Toussaint Louverture International Airport on Thursday and be greeted by two parties; a group of parliamentarians and possibly a group of officers from the Haitian National Police (PNH).

The latter hold an arrest warrant issued by the government commissioner to apprehend Deputy Belizaire for allegedly being one of 9 persons who have escaped from prison. But the member of parliament is under constitutional immunity and his record was cleared during the administration of former President Rene Preval, allowing him to succeed to the Haitian Parliament.

A senior officer of the National Police to Le Nouvelliste that the arrest of Belizaire will take place because it was issued by the office of the government prosecutor.

"If there is an arrest warrant against the member, the police are obliged to execute the warrant."

The officer speaking on the condition of anonymity said the institution, PNH, has no qualms with Belizaire but must execute any judicial decision.

"The police is the auxiliary of justice,"

said Garry Desrosiers. When asked if he understood that Deputy Arnel Bélizaire had parliamentary immunity, Desrosiers said that the PNH has no personality.

Desrosiers indicated that the Government Commissioner of Port-au-Prince sent to the Central Directorate of Judicial Police (DCPJ) a list of ten people having trouble with the law that the police must arrest and take to the national penitentiary. On this list the name of the member Arnel Belizaire.

Parliamentarians Support Belizaire

Several members of parliament announced they will go on Thursday to the Toussaint Louverture International Airport to welcome their colleague.

The President of the Senate called the arrest warrant premature. Senator Rodolph Joazile (Nord-Est/Alternative) holds that Belizaire enjoys parliamentary immunity and the law clearly sets out the procedure for lifting immunity - through members of parliament.

In Paris on official work, Belizaire said,

"I'm not a fugitive from justice, because I have not been convicted in criminal court. My case is closed and I'm not afraid of the president ... "

Pierre Esperance of the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights (RNDDH) said:

"Arnel Belizaire was in prison three times. On September 14, 1995, it was for breach of trust and released four days later. On October 14, 2004, for illegal possession of automatic weapons. Escaped from the national penitentiary in February 2005, he was arrested by Dominican police for vehicle theft, and handed over to Haitian authorities who jailed him on July 4, 2005. It was expanded in June 2006."

Arnel Bélizaire has already served on charges of possession of illegal weapons, replied Mr. Camille Leblanc, who represented him in connection with that case. The lawyer said that in June 2006, the Criminal Court ordered the release of the man.

UPDATE from contact in Haiti

Since this morning, the sky helipoteres occupy the capital. Many UN soldiers are mobilized in the neighborhoods. Tabarre is the stronghold of Belizaire. Some people are preparing to s'atrouper near the airport to welcome Belizaire. It may overflow. Behind the scenes, some members threatening to impeach the Pres. J. M Martelly.

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