ARNEL BELIZAIRE CASE: LETTER FROM THE GOVERNMENT COMMISSIONER TO SOREL JACINTHE
(Haiti Libre) -
Sorel Jacinthe, President of the Lower House has informed journalists of a correspondence sent to him by the Government Commissioner of Port-au-Prince, concerning the allegations against Deputy Arnel Bélizaire. While agreeing that justice must do its job, the President of the Lower House is wondering about the approach of the Commissioner towards him, and .... the text of the Constitution.*
"...The Commissioner wrote to me and mentioned Deputy Arnel, who to him is a prison escapee. He mentions this, but I can not really tell you after reading it,... if asked to lift or not [the immunity of the Deputy]. I have with me the letter. With your permission I will read it to you:"
"...The Government Commissioner at the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince, presents to you their congratulations and informs you that Mr. Arnel Bélizaire, the current Deputy for the constituency of Delmas/Tabarre, member of the 49th Legislature, is the subject of legal proceedings for the offenses of murder, and illegal possession of automatic weapons not covered by the prescription.
... the record in question, is currently before the law enforcement authorities of the jurisdiction of Port-au-Prince, The accused escaped on February 19, 2005, and was imprisoned October 14, 2004 with the number PN-04-10-100 of the National Penitentiary. The Commissioner of the Government is determined to join all public authorities to fight against impunity, and that is why, he enjoins you to make all the necessary arrangements, so that Mr. Arnel Bélizaire can be put at the disposal of the judicial authorities. The ultimate goal is to prevent any disgrace to the Parliament.
The Government Commissioner at the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince renews to you, honorable President its patriotic greetings."
"I think that if he is Commissioner, it means that he went to school to learn the laws. He graduated, right? That means he knows exactly,... that when a person is a deputy, what procedure should be applied to bring them to justice. The Commissioner said that. ... I have no problem, that if there is a deputy, regardless of which deputy who has a problem with justice, that the justice does its job. There is no problem with that. However, the Constitution, the laws of the country say how to arrest a deputy. It is in flagrante delicto only [...] I would like that the Commissioner rereads the Constitution. If we are in session, it's before this session that he [Arnel Bélizaire] must be brought, regardless of the session. If we are not in session, he must automatically be brought before us [...]
I have no problem that the justice does its job, but my first problem is; to know if the Commissioner can write me? Is it vis-à-vis ? Secondly, in terms of human rights,... why since all this time, it is only after the President invited him and they had a problem with each other, that the file appeared..."
Article 115 of the Constitution :
No member of the Legislature can not, during his tenure, be arrested in criminal matters, correctional or of police for common law offense, except with the permission of the House to which he belongs, except in cases of flagrante delicto for facts with an afflictive and infamous punishment. It is therefore referred to the House of Representatives or the Senate without delay if the Legislature is in session, otherwise, at the opening of the next ordinary or extraordinary session.