"MINISTER PIERRE-LOUIS ORDERED THE IMPRISONMENT OF BELIZAIRE," SAYS CHIEF ANDRESOL
(Defend Haiti) -
PORT-AU-PRINCE - Minister of Justice, Josue Pierre-Louis was not so forthcoming when he told reporters at a press conference that he had nothing to do with the arrest of Deputy Arnel Bélizaire (Delmas & Tabarre/Veye-Yo). According to the director general of the police, it was Pierre-Louis indeed who directed officers to take the deputy to the National Penitentiary.
During the interpellation session on Saturday, the question was put to the Director General of the Haitian National Police (PNH) by Senator Steven Benoit (Ouest/Alternative):
"...the President of the National Assembly was talking to the police and the SWAT team. They took Deputy Belizaire and they told the president [senate] that they were going to the commissioners office."
"While on that route, the driver of the car got another order to take the deputy to the national penitentiary."
"Who gave that order? Was it you? Was it Prime Minister Conille? Who?"
The director general told the senators:
"There was communication between the police at the scene and the Minister of Justice."
"At some point during the communications there were orders to take the deputy to the national penitentiary."
Senator Benoit interrupted to ask:
"Who gave you those orders?"
To which DG Andrésol replied:
"The Minister of Justice spoke to us. He told us - I don't know if he was in conversation with the government commissioner - but at a point he told us rather than the commissioner's office take him to the national penitentiary."
On the day following the arrest of Deputy Bélizaire Minister Pierre-Louis called members of the press into his office to disclaim having any involvement in the arrest of the MP.
By his account, Pierre-Louis said he heard about the situation over the radio and spoke to the Government Commissioner Félix Léger to ask if the charges and warrants were all to form. Pierre-Louis said that at no point did he, or would he have intervened.
The Minister of Justice has not appeared before the senate, requesting 8 days to undergo an investigation. The senate has created a commission as well and are to return to this matter at a November 15 session.