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The Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights
36 W. 44th St., New York, N.Y. 10036 (212) 921-2160
Michael H. Posner
irfin E. Frankel
D Park Avenue
a YorK. New York 10022
ARD OF DIRECTORS
ureeri R Berman
)er L Bernstein
reii E Clark, Jr.
,ne D Collins
Iae' I Davis
;n V. DeWind
iooeri F. Drinan
e J Ennis
',a A Leary
ara A Schatz
E H Scheli
ne J Shestack
s P Si:kenat
REPORT ON THE AUGUST 1981
TRIAL AND NOVEMBER 1981 APPEAL
OF 26 POLITICAL DEFENDANTS
MICHAEL S. HOOPER
. FOUNDED BY THE INTERNATIONAL LEAGUE FOR HUMAN RIGHTS AND THE COUNCIL OF NEW YORK LAW ASSOCIATES
TABLE OF CONTENTS
INTRODUCTION ......................................... i
BACKGROUND TO THE TRIAL .............................. 1
THE FORMAL CHARGES ................................... 6
THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE TRIAL PRE-TRIAL PUBLICITY.. 9
DEFENDANTS' PRETRIAL ACCESS TO LAWYERS ............... 10
APPOINTMENT OF LEGAL COUNSEL ......................... 11
THE PROBLEM OF ARREST WARRANTS AND INDICTMENTS........ 14
THE TRIAL OPENS ...................................... 17
SELECTION OF THE JURY................................. 20
THE TRIAL: THE GOVERNMENT'S DOSSIER AGAINST THE
ACCUSED EVIDENCE AGAINST INDIVIDUAL DEFENDANTS... 23
THE TRIAL: THE GOVERNMENT'S CASE.................... 37
THE COURT ADJOURNS AND REOPENS FOR AN ALL-NIGHT
SESSION: THE PRESENTATION OF THE ACCUSED........... 42
FINAL ARGUMENTS AND THE VERDICT OF THE JURY AND
JUDGE .............................................. 46
THE APPEAL TO THE COUR DE CASSATION., ................ 51
CONCLUSIONS .......................................... 54
Map of Haiti ...................................... 56
#1 The Defendants: Identification, Affiliation,
Date of Arrest, and Treatment While Detained.. 57
#2 Arrest Warrants of Sylvio Claude .............. 63
#3 Open Letter from the Defense Lawyers........... 64
#4 The Constitution of Haiti ..................... 67
#5 The Press Law of March 1980.................... 75
#6 The Court Reporters' Summary of the Trial..... 78
#7 The Defendants' Appeals Documents Submitted 85
to the Cour de Cassation......................
- i -
On August 25, 1981, twenty-six people were tried
and convicted in Haiti for arson and "plotting against the
internal security of the state." Eleven of the defendants
were members of the Haitian Christian Democratic Party (PDCH),
a fledging political party that was organized in February 1979
by Sylvio. Claude, one of the defendants. Two others were
journalists who were imprisoned during mass arrests in late
November 1980, which eventually resulted in the forced exile
of a number of independent Haitian journalists and scholars. *
Following a trial which lasted for nineteen hours on a single
day and night, all twenty-six defendants were convicted of arson
and plotting against internal security. The verdict was handed
down at 5:00 A.M. Twenty-two of the defendants were sentenced
to fifteen years at hard labor, and four to 1 year in prison.
In recent years, there has been a great deal
written about human rights conditions in Haiti. While there is
disagreement about the precise number of political prisoners,
or the extent to which torture is practiced, most commentators
agree that there has been a breakdown in the rule of law in
Haiti. In political cases particularly, the Haitian criminal
justice system offers virtually no protection to the individual
* The background of the remaining 13 defendants provides little
explanation as to either why they were detained in the first
place or why they were included in this important political trial.
- ii -
who falls out of favor with members of the government.
The trial of 26 people in August 1981 was in
part a response to these criticisms, from human rights groups
and others, that no political prisoners are ever brought to
trial. It was, in fact, the first political trial in Haiti,
since the Duvalier family came to power in 1957. Ironically,
this trial, as much as any incident in the last several years,
illustrates the extent to which the rule of law has broken
down in Haiti.
It is noteworthy that in its annual Country
Report on Human Rights Practices for 1981, the U.S. Department
of State concludes only that the trial was open and "in
accordance with Haitian Law." The State Department offers no
evidence in support of this conclusion, and indeed, there is
none. If the August trial can be accurately summarized in a
single sentence, it is probably a statement by the Haitian
League for Human Rights, which noted, several days after the
verdict, that the trial was "a judicial scandal of unbelievable
This report was prepared by Michael Hooper of the
Lawyers Committee for International Human Rights. Mr. Hooper
visited Haiti from August 25 to September 3 on the Committee's
behalf. Despite repeated assurances by representatives of the
Haitian government that the Lawyers Committee would immediately
be informed in advance of this trial, neither the Committee nor
any human rights organization was so informed, and no public
announcement of the trial was made in the Haitian or interna-
tional press. As a result, Mr. Hooper arrived in Haiti as
the trial was ending.
Over the course of the next ten days, in August
and September 1981, and again in March 1982, he interviewed
approximately fifty observers and participants at the trial.
This report is based on these interviews, which included law-
yers who participated in the trial, high officials of the
government of Haiti, members of the Haitian bar, members of
the Haitian League for Human Rights, foreign diplomats sta-
tioned in Haiti, family members of the accused, and others
who attended the trial.
This is the Lawyers Committee's fourth report
on Haiti in the last three years. Previous reports include:
"Violations of Human Rights in Haiti" (November 1980)
A Report to the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights of the Organization of American States.
"Recent Violations of Human Rights in Haiti"
(February 1981) A Report to the U.N. Commission
on Human Rights.
"Critique of the State Department Report on Human
Rights Practices in Haiti for 1980" (May 1981).
Each of these reports is available from the Lawyers
March 1982 Marvin E. Frankel
New York, N.Y. Chairman
- 1 -
BACKGROUND TO THE TRIAL
Beginning on November 28, 1980, approximately one
hundred and twenty-five persons, including virtually all Haitian
human rights activists, most independent journalists, and many
defense lawyers, were detained and imprisoned by the Haitian
military police without explanation. None of those who were
arrested were formally charged at any time with any crime or
allowed access to lawyers or visitors. All were held incommun-
icado. Following their arrest, these people were first taken
to the Casernes Dessalines, a national prison in Port-au-Prince,
for interrogation. Beginning on December 1, 1980, seventeen of
these detainees were forcibly exiled from Haiti without ever
having been charged with any crime or given any explanation
for their imprisonment or expulsion. Included in this group
were Gregoire Euguene, founder of the Haitian Social Christian
Party, editor of the influential magazine Fraternite, and pro-
fessor of constitutional law; Jean Jacques Honerat, one of
Haiti's leading agronomists and development economists;
several physicians; Jean Dominique, the owner of Haiti's
largest independent radio station; and several editors of
Haiti's most influential weekly magazine, Le Petit Samedi Soir,
including Pierize Clitendre, and Jean-Robert Herard. Most of
those arrested were not exiled, and many still remain in prison
without explanation; some are still being held incommunicado.
Others were detained, tortured and subsequently released with-
out explanation. For example, Lafontant Joseph, the General
Secretary of the Haitian League for Human Rights, was held
at the Casernes Dessalines for approximately six weeks with-
out charge and was severely beaten and mistreated while under
interrogation. He was inexplicably released from detention
in late January 1981.
In addition, the following newspapers and radio
stations have been closed down or had their operations taken
over by the government: Radio Haiti Inter, Radio Metropole,
Radio Cacique, Fraternite, La Conviction, Regard, Coquerico,
The first official explanation for the arrests
was given by military police chief Colonel Jean Valme in late
December, asserting that all those arrested were part of a
"communist conspiracy." Virtually anyone who expresses opinions
that are critical of the Duvalier government can be charged
under the Haitian "Loi Anti-Communiste." It provides in part
that persons who have made "any declarations or belief in
communism, verbal or written, public or private" or who pro-
pagated "communist or anarchist doctrines by conferences,
speeches, conversations, by leaflets, posters and newspapers,"
will be charged with crimes against the state, tried by a
military court, and if convicted, may be punished by the death
On January 14, 1981, the Department of Foreign Affairs
- 3 -
of Haiti circulated an explanation of these arrests to foreign
embassies in Port-au-Prince. It asserts that many of those
arrested have purportedly committed "terrorist acts" including
)'arson," advocated the "pillage of commercial establishments,"
"assassination," and "the kidnap of diplomats." The Foreign
Ministry presented no evidence to support these accusations.
The Re-Arrest of Sylvio Claude
On October 13, 1980, one month before these de-
tentions, Sylvio Claude was arrested at his home in Port-au-
Prince. Claude, founder and President of the Haitian Christian
Democratic Party, was taken to the Casernes Dessalines, where
he was held without warrant or charge and denied access to his
lawyers and other visitors.
This was Claude's fourth arrest in twenty-one months.
He was initially arrested on February 19, 1979, after he had
declared his candidacy for the Legislative Assembly in the
country's first elections in two decades. Following his arrest
in February, Claude, whose candidacy was declared illegal with-
out explanation, was severely beaten and tortured with electric
shocks by government security forces. He was held for two months
without charge before he was finally released and exiled to
Columbia in May 1979.
Following his return to Haiti, he was arrested twice
more in retaliation for his work with the Haitian Christian
Democratic Party. Although he was imprisoned for many months,
- 4 -
he was never charged with any crime, nor was he allowed access
to lawyers or visitors, in direct violations of Haitian law.
Three days after his arrest in October 1980, Claude
was brought before an investigating judge as required by
Article 17 of the Haitian Constitution. He apparently was
charged with violations of Articles 28 and 38 of the Press Law.
These charges related to material published in Claude's news-
paper, La Conviction, which the government considered viola-
tive of Haiti's new press law. During his confinement, Claude
was continuously denied access to his attorneys from the Haitian
League for Human Rights and was again subjected to physical abuse
and degrading conditions. He was also repeatedly denied vital
On October 27, Claude's daughter Marie-France Claude,
a vice president of the Christian Democratic Party, was arrested
and taken to Casernes Dessalines. According to reliable reports,
as many as thirty-nine people from Claude's party were arrested
at the same time in Port-au-Prince. Many are still in prison,
and many have never been charged with any crime.
Government interference with Sylvio Claude and the
Haitian Christian Democratic Party is part of a broader pattern
of governmental intolerance of political activity. Commenting
on the effect of pressure against Haiti's only other opposition
political party in 1979, the Inter-American Commission on Human
Rights (IACHR) Report noted:
- 5 -
The Haitian Christian Democratic Party of June
27, founded by Gregoire Eugene, has since
ceased active operations because of government
harassment, according to Eugene. (IACHR Report
The State Department concurred in this assessment
in its 1981 Human Rights report to Congress (published in
It was in this context that Sylvio Claude and his
twenty-fix co-defendants were brought to trial in August 1981.
* "Two fledgling independent political parties, established in
1979, suspended operations in 1981. Two Haitian Christian Demo-
cratic Party leader, his daughter, who was the party secretary
general, and 20 other party members were convicted of conspiracy
and arson in 1981 and are now serving 15-year prison terms.
The head of the Christian Party remains in exile following his
1980 deportation from Haiti. The conviction of the head of
one of these independent parties and the deportation of the
other have effectively neutralized organized internal political
opposition." (Report at 462).
- 6 -
THE FORMAL CHARGES
On August 4, 1981, the government's dossier against
the defendants, the Ordonnance de Renvoi, was issued by the
Juge D'Instruction (the investigating judge), Emmanuel Sylvestre.
On August 19, 1981, the Wednesday before the trial, the formal
charging document, the Acte de'Accusation, was filed by Me.
Gerard Eveillard, the chief government prosecutor (Commisaire
de Governmentt. On neither occasion were any of the defen-
dants or any lawyers allowed to be present. The defendants
were neither presented with the formal charges against them,
nor their potential sentences, until August 21, 1981, two work-
ing days before the trial began. (See Section "Arrest Warrants
Each of the defendants was charged with two felony
1. Arson, a violation of Article 356 of the Code
Penal, Revised in 1961, which reads in part:
Anyone who voluntarily sets fire to buildings,
boats, stores, or places of work, when they are
inhabited or when they serve as places of residence,
whether or not they belong to the perpetrator, will
be punished by death.
2. Plotting Against the Internal Security of the
State, a violation of any Articles 63-7 of the Penal Code.*
* Article 63 "Attempts on the life of the Chief of
State shall be punished by the death penaltyy"
Article 64 "An attempt to destroy or change the
government, or encouraging the citizens to arm themselves against
the authority of the Chief of State will be punished by death."
(Continued on next page)...
- 7 -
The government neglected to specify which of these
five articles the defendants were charged with, referring
only to their general characterization as "Crimes Against the
Internal Security of the State" (Section 11 Des Crimes
Contre La Surete Interieure de L'Etat).
These were the only charges brought against any
of the accused, although the Public Prosecutor (the
Commissaire de Gouvernment), made repeated references at the
trial to other criminal violations of which he asserted the
defendants were also guilty. He stated that the defendants
had both caused injuries to the Chief of State, an apparent
reference to violations of Article 28 of the Press Law of March
(continued from previous page)
Article 65 "Conspiracy to commit any of these
crimes will be punished by banishment."
Article 66 -,"An attempt occurs as soon as any
act is committed which might lead to these crimes, whether
or not the act is completed."
Article 67 "There is a conspiracy as soon as
a resolution to act is formed between two or more conspirators
even though there has never been an attempt."
- 8 -
31, 1980, and had additionally "Incited the Population to
The charging document (Ordonnance de Renvoi) also
asserts without giving detail, that the defendants may have
been involved in an armed insurrection aimed at the principal
cities of Haiti. This part of the accusatory document is
based on a police report signed by Colonel Jean Valme,
former commander of the Haitian Secret Police.
On September 28, 1981, the Haitian government enacted a press
law which severely undermined freedom of speech and of the press
in Haiti. This law was essentially unchanged following
amendments of March 31, 1980. The amended law provides harsh
penalties for those who "offend the Chief of State or First
Lady of the Republic," a requirement that all news copy and
articles be deposited with the Secretary of the Interior and
National Defense 72 hours prior to publication, as well as
making editors, publishers, distributors and news vendors
guilty of a violation if they aid in distributing an article
found to have been violative of this law.
The press law is blatantly violative of Article 26 of the
Haitian Constitution, which guarantees to all citizens "the
right to express their opinions on all subjects, by any means
at their disposition... .Free expression, whatever form it takes,
may not be censored or submitted for prior review except when
war has been declared."
- 9 -
THE ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE TRIAL PRE-TRIAL PUBLICITY
Despite repeated assurances to the contrary, the
Haitian government failed to inform diplomatic representatives
in Port-au-Prince or any non-governmental organizations that
the trial was scheduled for August 1981. Similarly, no public
announcement about the trial was made, and no journalists
were informed that it would take place. The legal community
learned about the trial when an announcement was posted at the
principal court (the Palais de Justice) indicating only that
the Criminal Court Session (the Assise Criminelle) would begin
on August 25, 1981.
This failure to announce the trial violated repeated
assurances given by several high ranking Haitian government
ministers and diplomatic personnel. These promises were communi-
cated to various international organizations at the time of
Sylvio Claude's arrest on October 13, 1980, and following the
mass arrests of November and December 1980.
- 10 -
DEFENDANTS' PRETRIAL ACCESS TO LAWYERS
From the time of their arrest in October or November
1980, until the trial in August 1981, the twenty-six defendants
were held in the Penetencier National, Haiti's national prison,
under extremely harsh conditions. From the first day of their
arrests, most of the defendants repeatedly requested access to
legal counsel. The Haitian government categorically refused to
grant access to lawyers from the Haitian League for Human Rights
or any of the other private attorneys retained by families of the
These lawyers made repeated attempts to see their
clients. Among other things, they filed requests with the
Government Prosecutor, the Investigating Judge and the Battonier
de l'Ordre des Avocats, or head of the Port-au-Prince Bar
Association. These requests conformed to established Haitian
practice. Accordingly, the Haitian government's total denial
of the right of access to counsel, fundamental under Haitian
law, represents a very significant violation. Following the
conclusion of the trial, the Haitian government continued to
deny the defendants access to their attorneys. Despite repeated
assurances to the contrary, as of March 1982, the government re-
fuses to allow the defendants access to lawyers.
- 11 -
APPOINTMENT OF LEGAL COUNSEL
On Friday, August 21, 1981, the government-appointed
President of the Bar Association of Port-au-Prince, the Ba-
tonnier de l'Ordre des Avocats, was advised by the Minister
of Justice that twenty-six lawyers would be required to re-
present the defendants the following Tuesday, August 25. The
Batonnier, Dantes Colimon was given twenty-six names and
instructed to find lawyers to represent each defendant. The
defendants were informed of the identity of their court-appointed
lawyers on the same day. Many of the lawyers so assigned were
actually stagieres, or law clerks who are not yet permitted to
The only contact that many of the accused had with
government authorities prior to this time was on Tuesday, August 4,
when according to one defendant:
the Chief Clerk of the Civil Court, the Huissier,
Elouis Eloi, came to the National Penitentiary and
gave all of us a general document that contained
the charges against us.
Another defendant described the events of Friday, August 21:
At 10:30 A.M. one of the jailors came into our cell-
block and started screaming at us to get dressed
immediately because we were going to the Court. At
approximately 11:00 A.M. we were taken in groups of
4 or 5 to the office of the Head of the Civil Court
where we were amazed to learn that our trial would
be in four (4) days. The Doyen,, Theophile Jean Fran-
cois then told us that we would be given lawyers,
but refused to let us consult our own lawyers.
When Sylvio Claude and his daughter Marie-France
- 12 -
were informed of the identity of their court-appointed counsel
they refused to accept these student lawyers and requested
attorneys of their own choosing. The Huissier in consultation
with Dantes Colimon denied these requests, and refused to
permit any "substitute counsel." It was not until Mon-
day, August 24, the day before the trial began, that it was de-
termined that lawyers for the other defendants would also repre-
sent Sylvio Claude and his daughter. Consequently, these law-
yers had no time to prepare any defense for their clients, nor
any opportunity to consult with them.
One of the defendants explains that following a
visit by the clerk of the court on Saturday, August 22, at
which time he delivered the final accusatory documents
it was already clear to some of us that our court-
appointed lawyers were not going to either consult
with us or even appear at the trial on Tuesday.
Another defendant remembers:-
By Saturday we became increasingly tense as many
of us had already been badly beaten on different
occasions and we feared another visit from Major
Emmanuel Orcel, or from Luc Desir or even
Colonel Jean Valme' himself.
The last hours prior to the opening of the trial on
Tuesday, August 25 were spent in an atmosphere of apprehension:
Sylvio Claude was loudly singing Catholic prayers
from his cell in the third cellblock, trying to keep
our spirits up. At about 9:00 A.M. we were taken to
the prison barbershop, and then into the main court
of the Penitentiary. Colonel Charles Louis was per-
sonally in charge of the deployment of the military
police and soldiers who all carried Israeli sub-
machineguns. Eighteen of us were put in a military
transport vehicle and the other eight were obliged
to get into the baggage area of a Toyota pick-up
truck. The route from the prison to the Palais de
Justice was lined by soldiers and VSN armed to the
teeth, giving the impression that an invasion not
a trial was about to take place. Machineguns were
set up in the square across from the Court, and as
we were led up the steps in chains, several officers
asked us if we wanted the last rites now or later.
- 14 -
THE PROBLEM OF ARREST WARRANTS AND INDICTMENTS
Article 17 of the Haitian Constitution provides:
Individual liberty shall be guaranteed. No one
may be prosecuted, arrested, or detained except in
the cases determined by law and in the manner which
In addition, no one may be arrested or detained
except by order of a legally competent official.
For the execution of such an order, it is necessary:
1. that it formally state the reason for the
arrest and the law that punishes the act charged;...
No one may be kept under arrest more than forty-
eight hours unless he has appeared before a judge
who is assigned to rule on the legality of the
arrest and the judge has confirmed the arrest by
a decision giving reasons. (emphasis added).
Article 17 of the Haitian Constitution guarantees
that no arrest or detention can occur without an arrest warrant
(a mandate issued by a legally competent court and confirmed
by a judge. Of the twenty-six defendants charged with arson
and plotting against the internal security of the state, only
Sylvio Claude had been served with an arrest warrant at any
time during their detentions as constitutionally mandated.
Claude, President of the Haitian Christian Democratic Party
(PDCH), was served with the warrant issued by the Parquet
(Police Magistrate) of Port-au-Prince on October 13, 1980.
However, this warrant specifically charged him with a
violation of Articles 28 and 38 of the Press Law of 30 March
1980 (Appendix #2). According to Haitian law, no person
may be tried for a crime that is not specified in a
- 15 -
legally issued warrant (Haitian Code de Procedure, Criminelle,
Civil Procedure Statute). Thus, Mr. Claude should not have
been tried for violations of the press law, never raised
in the August trial.
Article 17 also specifies that all persons who
are detained by the security forces must be brought before
a judge and charged with a specific crime within 48 hours of
their detention. The other twenty-five defendants were never
given this constitutional protection, and Mr. Claude was only
charged after three days in detention, with a crime for which
he was neither tried nor convicted.
Article 17 concludes:
All violations of these provisions shall be con-
sidered arbitrary acts against which the injured
parties may, without prior authorization, appeal
to the competent courts, prosecuting either the
authors or the perpetrators, regardless of their
rank or the body to which they belong.
Lawyers for the defendants have objected to these
constitutional violations on every possible occasion, yet no
interlocutory appeal has been allowed by Haitian authorities.
While conceding that the constitutional protections
of Article 17 may not have been "scrupulously adhered to," both
the Minister of Justice, Rodrique Casimir, and the Minister
of the Interior, Edouard Berrouet, stated that these defects
had been remedied on Friday, August 21, and on Monday, August
24, when the accused were brought before a juae d'instruction,
- 16 -
an indicting judge, and charged with the crimes for which
they were convicted thirty-six hours later. According to
several official and diplomatic sources, thirteen of the accused
also had never even been informally told of the nature of the
charges against them prior to this date.
There is considerable discrepancy between the prisoners
and the Haitian authorities as to what took place on
Friday, August 22. The prisoners assert that they were taken
before the Chief Clerk of the Civil Court where they were
informed that their trial would take place in three days and
were told about the general nature of the charges against
them. Officials of the Haitian government assert that the
proceedings of Friday actually constituted a formal indictment
procedure. According to Haitian lawyers, a simple discussion
with the Doyen of the Civil Court, Theophile Jean Francois, does
not constitute an investigation before an indicting judge
The government's formal charging document, the
Ordonnance de Renvoi, also asserts that on January 26-29 and
on February 2-3, some of the accused were brought before an
indicting court, the Chambre D'Instruction. Yet, the two
ministers directly responsible for this trial were not aware
of such indictments, and defense lawyers and family members
denied that these hearings had ever occurred. Officials of the
Haitian government informed the Lawyers Committee that even if
certain of the accused had been charged before a judge, the iden-
tity of the particular judge might no longer be available.
- 17 -
THE TRIAL OPENS
On Tuesday, August 25, 1981, shortly after 10:00
A.M., the twenty-six defendants were led individually into the
court in handcuffs, walking between double rows of military
police armed with Uzi submachine guns. Observers report that as
each defendant was led up the steps of the Palais de Justice
between the rows of these police, they were repeatedly subjected
to threats and ridicule. On the edge of the large square
facing the Palais de Justice, a machinegun had been set up,
and the area was blocked off by VSN roadblocks. DiD-
lomatic and press observers estimated that one-quarter to one-
half of those present in the courtroom itself were either
heavily armed VSN or Military Police or armed civilians associated
with the Tonton Macoutes. Some of these armed civilians clearly
were charged with taking names and verifying the identities of
those who had come to the trial. Many of the diplomatic observers,
defense attorneys, journalists, and family members of the accused
described the mood within the courtroom as extremely tense and
At 10:30, the General Criminal Session (Assise
Criminelle),and this specific trial was formally declared to
be in session before Judge Menan Pierre-Louis. The Conseil de
* Volontaires Pour la Security National the security force
established by Francois Duvalier, still commonly known as the
- 18 -
L'Accusation, or team of government prosecutors, was composed
of Commisaire Gerard Eveillard, and substitute Commisaires
Ulrich Rosarion and Myrbel Jean-Baptiste.
Only five of the court-appointed lawyers selected
by the Batonnier presented themselves at the Court (Palais
de Justice). They were Me. Daniel Jean Romain, Me. Claude
Pierre Paul, Me. Herve Alcindor, Me. Daniel Jeune and Me.
Serge Regnier (both Jeune and Regnier are stagieres, or law
clerks).* Of the other twenty-one lawyers, many were
apparently intimidated, and failed to inform either their
clients or the Haitian government that they would not be
appearing. As a result, twenty-one of the defendants were
unpresented as the trial began.
The situation was further complicated when four of the
five government appointed attorneys effectively withdrew at noon,
an hour and a half after the trial had begun. They were replaced
other lawyers who had appeared at the Palais on their own initi-
ative. The lawyers who appeared at the Palais on the
morning of August 25 and who actively participated in the trial
were: Me. Duplex Jean-Baptiste, legal counselor to the Haitian
League for Human Rights, Me. Leon Dupiton, Me. Pierre Emile
Rouzier, Me. Serge Regnier, Me. Newton Charles (appearing only
for Jacques Price Jean), Me. Guy Dalce, and Me. Arnold St. Louis.
* Me. is the common abbreviation for Maitre, the title used
by lawyers in most countries where the Code Napoleon predominates.
- 19 -
The two most experienced lawyers who came forward
Tuesday to represent the entire group, were Me. Jean-Baptiste and
Me. Dupiton.. Both went to work that morning with no particular
knowledge of the case and without having had any opportunity to
speak with their clients. One of the young lawyers, Me. Rouzier,
was not able to arrive at the trial until the beginning of the
Following the trial, this denial of effective
representation of counsel was explained by representatives of
the Ministry of Justice in the following way. They
assert that under the Haitian Code of Criminal Procedure,
access to counsel is not formally mandated until a defendant
is charged with a specific crime. Because none of the defen-
dants had been charged until hours before the trial began,
none had the right to demand access to counsel. This explan-
ation suqqggests that the Haitian government has the right to
deny defendants all access to lawyers in perpetuity as long
as the government commits the equally serious constitutional
violation of not formally charging the prisoner as mandated
bv the Haitian Constitution.
- 20 -
SELECTION OF THE JURY
The Code de Procedure Criminelle specifies the
manner in which a twelve member jury must be chosen in Haiti
(Articles 215-227). Jurors must be literate in French (Arti-
cle 216). The list of jurors must be posted one month before
the opening of the criminal court session (Article 221), to
enable lawyers for the defense and the defendants themselves
to refuse jurors whom they consider to have a conflict of
interest or bias. None of these basic requirements were
fulfilled for this trial. Instead, illiterate jurors were
selected, the list of jurors was not posted until several
days before the opening of the criminal session, and there
was no possibility of refusing jurors before the trial opened.
Independent observers and relatives of the accused
state that the list of two hundred potential jurors was pre-
dominantly drawn from people who are direct relatives of
Tonton Macoutes in Port-au-Prince. The procedure for choosing
the jury followed no clearly identifiable pattern. People were
not called on in the order in which they appeared on the list,
and no one could explain how the potential jurors were prior-
itized by the government. One interpretation is that the
government first called those jurors whose loyalty was assured.
As the Commisaire proposed jurors from the list, the defense
technically had the right to object to the person being em-
paneled. However, after defense lawyers and the accused had
- 21 -
objected to seven of the potential jurors, they were
warned by Judge Menan Pierre Louis:
This court does not look favorably on your
unprincipled questions designed to delay
these important procedures.
Following this admonition there was an objection
to only one additional juror before the jury and two alter-
nates were selected. The pro-Duvalier newspaper, Le
Nouvelliste of Tuesday, August 25, acknowledged that several
of the potential jurors had been dismissed because "they were
clearly identified as being members of the VSN."
The jurors selected by 12:00 noon on August 25 were:
Mme. Gaston Desforges Centave Pascal
Directeur Bayard Delinois Verneus
Durant Bonheur Levoine Thomas
Jacques Bernard Aneus Fils-Aime
Phamil Sanon Marcel Morissaint
Mercidieux Jean Charles Lucien Jean
As the first person recommended by the government
and selected, Mme. Gaston Desforges became forewoman of
the jury. Some members of the legal community in Port-au-Prince
have charged that Mme. Desforges works directly for the poli-
tical police, the Service Detectif, based in the Casernes
Dessalines. One Haitian lawyer observed that:
Mme Desforges regularly performs this service on
juries in important cases to the government, and
is a personal friend of Secret Police Major Luc Cabrol.
These defects in the jury selection process are
magnified because of the particularly central role that the
jury played in the case. While implicitly agreeing that there
was insubstantial credible evidence against the accused,
several Haitian government officials asserted that these
defects were effectively overcome when the jury reached its
decision based on "its own intimate beliefs" ("Ses propres
intimes convictions"). Thus, if the jury was able to reach
a decision on the guilt or innocence of the accused, the im-
portance of relying on specific credible evidence was somehow
- 23 -
THE TRIAL: THE GOVERNMENT'S DOSSIER AGAINST THE
ACCUSED EVIDENCE AGAINST INDIVIDUAL DEFENDANTS
Under Haitian law, as under most Napoleonic
Code systems, written submissions are more important
than they are in Anglo-Saxon law. Under Haitian law, all
evidence against the defendants must be detailed in the
government's charging document, the Ordonnance de Renvoi
du Juge d'Instruction. This principle is complemented
by the parallel concept of Oralite des Debats, which
requires that no evidence can be considered that is not
raised in the charging documents and not heard in open
debate before the court.
From approximately 12:15 P.M. until 1:45 P.M. on
August 25, the Court Clerk (Greffier) read aloud the dossier,
containing the government's charges against the accused and
a summary of their alleged activities, in its entirety. Ob-
servers stated that during this reading, many of the jurors
appeared to be falling asleep, and many appeared not to un-
derstand French, the language in which this part of the pro-
ceedings and the lawyers' debates were conducted. Following
the oral presentation of the government's case, this document,
accompanied by the formal charges in the Acte d'Accusation of
August 19, 1981, was presented to the court by the Commisaire
de Government, Me. Gerard Eveillard.
The twenty-three page Ordonnance contains, in order:
- 24 -
a list of the accused with their ages and addresses; the
charges against them; certain exhibits purportedly supporting
these charges; three general letters from Secret Police Chief
Jean Valme charging that some 30 persons were involved in
planning an armed insurrection; and finally, a discussion of
some of the evidence against the "principal actors." In
commenting on the apparent insufficiency of evidence presented
in the dossier to support the very serious charges against the
defendants, the Minister of Justice, Rodrique Cassimir, stated
on August 28th:
...it really isn't necessary to give detailed
evidence in the dossier or in open court because
the really important evidence is found in a secret
report from Secret Police Chief Jean Valme.*
The second section of the dossier consists entirely
of letters to the government Commissaire from Secret Police
Chief Jean Valme, the most specific of which was written on
December 20, and is quote in part below.
TO THE GOVERNMENT COMMISSAIRE
SITTING IN THE CIVIL COURT OF PORT-AU-PRINCE
Monsieur Le Commissaire,
The Military Department of the Police of Port-au-
Prince sends its regards and informs you that be-
tween October 16 and December 12, it has proceeded
to arrest a group of 30 persons whose names are here
S It took four days to gain access to this report, only to
discover that it did not differ substantially from the letters
from Secret Police Chief Valme discussed below.
- 25 -
The facts established against the persons extend
over several months proceeding the above dates, and
are aimed at setting off an armed insurrection fo-
mented by these defendants, an insurrection that
was intended to immediately extend to the-principal
cities of the country..., certain of the persons
detained have even declared that parallel to these
domestic activities, armed invasion groups were
waiting to attack the north coast and the town of
Cap-Haitian. Information received by our different
services and through statements of the accused, also
point to arson, the responsibility for which must be
assigned to the leaders and members of the political
party known as the Haitian Christian Democratic
The leaders and members of other groups of other
ideological persuasions, newspapers articles and
tendentious radio broadcasts, sometimes violent,
often prepared by particular medias, subversive hand-
bills distributed in certain streets of the capital
and in the countryside, represent the preparatory
psychological phase, that was to later lead the
population to subversion and rebellion. We ask that
you consider, Monsieur le Commissaire, that this is
an extremely important plot, involving people of
different capabilities, whose activities and plans
took place principally in the shadow of secrecy, a
delay will be required for us to completely explain
Colonel des Forces Armees d'Haiti
Chief of Police of Port-au-Prince.
No specific evidence is referred to in any of the other
letters from Colonel Valme, and no attempt is made to identify
the actions, articles, or broadcasts referred to above. None
of the defendants was ever charged with armed insurrection or
treason, both of which exist as specific crimes under the
Haitian Criminal Code. When asked about the specifics of this
attempt at insurrection, the Minister of the Interior,
- 26 -
Edouard Berrouet, replied:
All of the details are found in the Ordonnance which
clearly established the guilt of the defendants.
I can't locate the specific page for you right
now but I know that the information is there.
The only reasonably specific accusations and
evidence against the defendants is presented in the central
portion of the Ordonnance (pps. 9-14), entitled, "the Principle
Actors." It is significant that virtually no evidence is pre-
sented against Sylvio Claude, President of the Christian Demo-
cratic Party, or against his daughter, Marie-France Claude.
Most observers believe that this trial was primarily directed
against the activities of the political party of Sylvio Claude,
yet in the government's dossier there is virtually no case
made with reference to the Claudes.
It is illuminating to examine some of the evidence
that was presented in the government's dossier.
Gabriel Herard, an accountant and member of the
Haitian Christian Democratic Party, is accused of "financing"
the arson alleged to have occurred at two locations, Cite
Simon and Court Mouzin. No specific details are given as to
how or when this was accomplished. Herard is also accused of
being one of the principal organizers of the cancelled demon-
stration of October 17, 1980. No details are given of why
this march to protest the illegal detention and beating of
Sylvio Claude and Yvens Paul should constitute a crime of any
- 27 -
kind. Absolutely no evidence is presented to support the
assertion that its aim was insurrection (p. 9).
Although freedom of association and assembly are
formally guaranteed by Article 31 of the Haitian Constitution,
the Constitution also states that police permission is re-
quired for any public gathering. According to several sources,
police permission to hold a rally or march has never been
granted to any independent group since 1968, the second year
of the Duvalier era. Despite this history, a permit to hold
a march was requested of the police by Marie-France Claude
in October of 1980. As no formal reply was received, it
is likely that the march was technically in violation of police
regulations, but this charge was never made by the government,
and a violation of this provision would only have been a mis-
The Ordonnance also accuses Herard of having been
seen the Sunday before the cancelled march in the presence
of: Lafontant Joseph, General Secretary of the Haitian League
for Human Rights, and Gregoire Eugene, Professor of constitu-
tional law and President of the Haitian Social Christian
Party. The government never specified in the Ordonnance why
this meeting with three of Haiti's most respected lawyers
constituted a crime or why this association should be taken
as any evidence of Herard's guilt.
The evidence offered against a sixty-two year-
- 28 -
old resident of Gonaives, Mme. Termitus Myrtil, is typical
of the case developed against the less well known of the
defendants. She is accused of having:
been contacted by the daughter of Sylvio Claude,
Marie-France and Jocelyne, and of having given
them money with the aim of inciting insurrectional
demonstrations. (P. 10 L'Ordonnance).
No specifics are offered as to either of these accusations.
It is not explained how much money was involved, what it was
to be used for, how the money was transferred, or what actually
was done with it. When the Justice Minister, Rodrique Cassimir,
was asked for any additional evidence against this aged woman,
I don't know all the details of why she was turned
over to Justice, but I can assure you that no
innocent person would be brought before such a court.
The evidence offered against another little-known
defendant, Emilius Vernet, is also noteworthy. He is accused
of being General Secretary of the Haitian League for Human
Rights and of being in direct correspondence with foreign
organizations "hostile to the Haitian government." There is
nothing in Haitian law that would make it a crime to be an
officer of the Haitian League for Human Rights. Moreover,
at the time of the trial, Gerard Gourgue, not Mr. Vernet,
was President of the Haitian League for Human Rights, and
Lafontant Joseph is its General Secretary. Mr. Vernet
- 29 -
never held either position. Finally, and by his own
admission, Mr. Vernet cannot write in French or English,
which would make his considerable correspondence with for-
eign organizations quite difficult.
Mr. Vernet is also accused of being "the prin-
cipal coordinator of an aborted insurrectional movement and
he knew all its leaders." No evidence is presented to sub-
stantiate this charge.
Another defendant, Michel Francois, is suspected
by well-placed observers of having been a government informer
in this case. On December 9, 1980, he appeared on Haitian
national television and admitted starting two fires. When
he was permitted to speak at the trial, he asserted that
this statement had been elicited from him after ten days of
torture by Lieutenant Julien of the Service Detectif. Gab-
riel Herard, who also appeared on this program, made a state-
ment which apparently did not satisfy the authorities. Accord-
ing to persons who have communicated with some of the prison-
ers, on the evening of December 9, Herard was beaten with a
club on his lower back in the area of his kidneys by Secret
Police Chief Jean Valme, who kept screaming at him that he
had no repeated what had been rehearsed.
The formal charges and evidence against Francois
assert that he is the person who actually started the fires on
the orders of others in the PDCH, an assertion to which he first
- 30 -
agreed after ten days in the interrogation room of the
secret police in the Penitencier National, but which he
strongly denied at trial, further complicating the govern-
ment's case. A detailed explanation is given in the
Ordonnance of a demonstration, allegedly given to the secret
police by Francois, claiming how he started the fire at Cour Mou-
A piece of paper was rolled into a ball and
soaked in gasoline. Another sheet of paper
not soaked in gas was placed near the first.
One or two cigarettes containing matchheads
were placed near this second piece of paper,
one end of the cigarette lighted. When the
cigarette burned down to the matchhead a flame
was produced that enveloped the building in a
fraction of a second. (L'Ordonnance, p. 11)
Evidence is also offered against Anthony Pascal, a
well-known writer and journalist, who was not a defendant in
the trial, having been forcibly exiled to Venezuela. Pascal
is accused of:
Psychologically preparing the population to
subversion and rebellion through the material he
broadcast on Radio Haiti Inter...[and of) be-
longing to an extreme left tendency within the
No evidence is offered to explain what "tendency,"
what "movement," or what actually constitutes the psychological
preparation of the population for subversion. Pascal is also
Attempting to push the people of Port-au-Prince
to revolt by broadcasting lies concerning the dis-
- 31 -
appearance of Jean Dominique, leaving the impli-
cation that the government was involved in this
In reality, Jean Dominique fled to the Venezuelan Embassy on
November 30, 1980 in fear of his life and under threat of
arrest. Several weeks later he fled to Caracas and ultimately
to New York.
The evidence presented in the government dossier tends
to follow a common pattern throughout: nonspecific charges are
repeated as fact: little, if any specific, credible evidence is
presented in support of these charges and no connection is made
between the security of the state and the actions of the accused.
The evidence section of the government's dossier concludes with
a discussion of the march scheduled for October 17, 1980, under
a subsection entitled: "The Public Demonstration."
On October 13, this march was announced to diplo-
matic personnel in Port-au-Prince, journalists, and interna-
tional human rights organizations as a protest of the continued
detention without charge of Sylvio Claude and Yvens Paul.
It was announced as a small, peaceful demonstration supported
by the Haitian League for Human Rights and by the Haitian
Christian Democratic Party. The march never took place. All
non-official observers interviewed attribute this to a massive
deployment of force by the government security forces the day
before the march. Whatever the immediate cause for the can-
cellation, the government repeatedly focused on this cancelled
- 32 -
march as specific evidence of some plot. In the charging
Ordonnance, the government asserts that this march
was intended to develop into insurrection, to
pillage the stores of Rue des Ramparts and Rue
Tiremasse...Slogans demanding the resignation of
the government had been prepared. Flags of the
United Nations, the United States and France, and
large banners containing subversive inscriptions
were prepared. Well-known media figures were to be
present near the Ministry of Justice to direct the
insurgents, particularly Jean Dominique and Lafon-
tant Joseph. The schools and university faculties
of the capital were to join the rebellion. Factor-
ies were to be forcibly closed on threat of being
burned down. (P. 13)
The Ordonnance concludes:
We want to underline the fact that Sylvio Claude
the members of the PDCH were used in this plot
by the influential leaders of other subversive
political groups. (P. 13)
No credible evidence is presented to support these
charges, and little explanation is given as to why the
activities described actually constitute a crime. What
crime is involved in carrying the United Nations or United
States flag? Why does the presence of the media at a peace-
ful march implicate them in its planning? Lafontant Joseph,
a lawyer and Secretary General of the Haitian League for
Human Rights is incorrectly identified as being an influential
media personality, yet he has no connections with any print or
The Haitian government appears simultaneously to
maintain that Sylvio Claude is the leader of these events and
- 33 -
that he is simply the tool of other politicians. Nothing is
given to indicate what politicians, how Claude was used, or
why any of these influential people were not identified or
charged. Finally, Claude is accused of being directly involved
in the organization of the march, yet at that same moment he was
being held in. an isolation cell (cachot) of the National Peni-
tentiary without access to lawyers or the outside world.
The next subsection of the government's charging
document is somewhat curiously entitled "Concerning Cir-
cumstances and Interactions." This section summarizes the
charges against some of the defendants. In part, the govern-
ment merely repeats information presented in the proceeding
section entitled the "Principal Actors," but there is also
discussion of the evidence against other persons not previously
mentioned in detail, like Sylvio and Marie-France Claude.
The only specific evidence against Claude refers to
the content of articles printed in the newspaper of the Haitian
Christian Democratic Party. The government alleges that these
articles "constitute an outrage against the Chief of the Haitian
State, Monsieur Jean-Claude Duvalier." However, even assuming
all the government alleges to be true, the most serious crime
that Claude could be charged with would be a violation of the
Haitian Press Law. (See Appendix). This press law has been
sharply criticized by a number of human rights organizations and
by several foreign governments. It is probably unconstitutional
- 34 -
under Haitian law.* In any event, Claude was not charged
with or tried for a violation of this press law.
As noted by the Haitian League for Human Rights,
the warrant issued on October 13, 1980 for the arrest of
Sylvio Claude for violations of the press law is legally in-
valid. As specified in Article 32 of the press law, it is
the author, editor, printer or publisher of a suspect arti-
cle who may be convicted. Quite clearly, Sylvio Claude filled
none of these positions at the time that these issues of
La Conviction were published. In fact, the Haitian govern-
ment has never alleged that Claude held any of these positions.
They seem content to assert that because Claude was President
of a small political party that sponsored the journal, he
should be found guilty under the press law.
All the evidence offered by the government con-
cerning this "insult to the Chief of State" is irrelevant
in any case to the absolutely unrelated charges for which
Claude was actually tried.
In an apparent continuing reference to the Pres-
ident of the PDCH, the Ordonnance continues:
The Police have uncovered a cast plot prepared
by godless and lawless experts whose obvious
* Article 26 of the Haitian Constitution (see Appendix 44).
- 35 -
aim was to overthrow the regime of the
progressive Preident-for-Life of the Re-
public who has made laudable efforts aimed
at improving the conditions of life of the
Haitian people and improving economic resources
by setting in motion a program of Socio-Economic
development which everyone is aware of with the
exception of these evil-doers (the defendants)
who purpose it is to collapse the established
order of things and to install a totalitarian
regime in conformity with their Machiavellian
designs and their evil belief systems.
(Ordonnance, p. 15).
The ever-vigilent police of Port-au-Prince were
able to uncover this vast network of conspiracy
against the government and the internal security
of the Haitian state.
Sylvio Claude is then described as:
the key figure in a clandestine network of mer-
cenaries and bandits whose goal it is to create
general confusion and to urge people to commit
acts of violence and barbarity in order to further
their criminal designs. (Ordonnance, p. 15)
These are the only references to Sylvio Claude, and con-
stitute the only proof offered against him.
Marie-France Claude is charged with
following her father in a vast plot to incite
the people to revolt and to set fire to certain
neighborhoods of the capital and of the country-
side. This woman participated in all the criminal
activities of her father and coordinated with
others in the Party the hateful plot designed at
resulting in popular rebellion against the estab-
lished authority, and in sedition, and in a plot
against the life of the President-for-Life.
This is the only time that the alleged plot against President
- 36 -
Duvalier is mentioned in any of the proceedings, and
no facts or evidence were presented by the government to
substantiate any of the charges.
The Ordonnance concludes with a repetition of
the formal charges against all twenty-six defendants,
whose names are repeated following each charge, and the
document is formally submitted to the Court by the Commisaire
du Government, Gerard Eveillard
The government's dossier contains no evidence of
any kind against thirteen of the defendants, and no mention
is made of them except in several places where all twenty-
six names are simply listed. Typical is the case of
Berthony Pierre-Paul, a twenty-three year-old student in
ethnology, from the Universite de 1'Etat d'Haiti. Not only
did the government fail to introduce any specific evidence
to support the charges against him, but the government does
not even attempt to link Berthony to either the PDCH or to
the independent journalist movement of November 28, 1980,
both activities that are explicitly legal under Haitian law.
The only apparent link to Berthony is that he is the younger
brother of Jackson and Lilianne Pierre-Paul, two of the inde-
pendent journalists who were arrested on November 28, 1980.
Apparently, Berthony is charged because of the actions of his
older siblings, both of whom have now been forced into exile
by the Duvalier government.
- 37 -
THE TRIAL THE GOVERNMENT'S CASE
Following its oral presentation of the Ordonnance,
the government called its first witness at approximately
2:00 P.M. Wilder Theodore was the only witness to testify
before the court for any length of time. He was introduced
by Commissaire Eveillard as a recent member of the Haitian
Christian Democratic Party. Defense lawyers asserted that
he was a government paid infiltrater and agent-provacateur,
and was in reality a member of Service Detectif Casernes
Dessalines. He testified that he was present on Septem-
ber 21, 1980, when a fire was started at the Dominique
Savio School, located near the Cour Mouzin. He also testi-
fied that he had been sent there with Frantz Doussous and
Raoul Accean to start the fire. He asserted that Jacques
Price Jean had been involved in planning the fire. When
asked to identify M. Price-Jean, he pointed to another de-
fendant, Ernst Benoit. The two men bear almost no physical
resemblance to each other.
The pro-government afternoon newspaper, Le Nou-
velliste, of August 25, characterized Theodore's testimony as
"contradictory" (p. 6). One observer has presented a contra-
I went to the Ecole Dominique Savio the day after
this fire was supposed to have happened and I could
detect absolutely no signs of fire damage.
The Haitian secret police based in the national army
- 38 -
In describing the aftermath of the fire, the government's
prosecutor asserted that it had ravaged the area.
In presenting the government's version of this
incident, Commissaire Eveillard introduced into evidence a
statement made by Michel Francois on national television on
December 9, 1980. The statement gives an elaborate explan-
ation as to how the arsonists had hollowed out the ends of
cigarettes, replacing the tobacco with match heads. Thus, he
explained, a time delayed fuse was produced that would ignite
the gasoline bottles used to start the fires. According to
several observers of the trial, when the judge looked to
Michel Francois to confirm this testimony, Francois recanted:
The statement that I made on television was not
true. I repeated what Colonel Jean Valme, told
me to say after ten (10) days of isolation and
mistreatment in the interrogation room of the S.D.
[Service Detectif or secret political police].
Gabriel Herard never hired me to do anything.
Francois concluded by stating that two days before the
trial began he had been visited by Major Emmanuel Orcel of
the S.D. who told him: "You should cooperate or you will
never leave prison alive."
Theodore then described a second fire at the
apartment complex of Cite Simone. According to the govern-
ment's indictment, this fire was started by the same people
responsible for the school fire, and who financed defendant
Gabriel Herard. Theodore identified a small cup which the
- 39 -
government contended was found near the site of the fire with
traces of gasoline in it. The defense lawyers then asked
if any fingerprints had been found on the cup or if there was
other positive evidence to suggest that it was ever in the
possession of any of the defendants. The government replied
"no" to each question. Witness Theodore was dismissed at
approximately 2:45 P.M.
The government's second witness, Alexandre LaMontagne,
was a soldier from the Haitian Army. According to observers,
in his testimony LaMontagne explained that he had been dis-
patched to the Court Moussin fire and that on arriving there
he had found two empty tubes:
They looked like toothpaste tubes and I found them
in the street near the fire. I think that they
contained gasoline and that they had been used to
start a fire.
On cross-examination, LaMontagne conceded that he
did not know of any fingerprints or other evidence linking
any of the defendants to tubes that he found. No information
was given as to how or why the witness had concluded that
there had been gasoline in the tubes, why he thought that
gasoline would ever be carried in such tubes, or how the
witness concluded that this evidence had been used in the
fire. After only ten minutes on the stand, LaMontagne was
The government's third and final witness, Sergeant
- 40 -
Franz Pierre-Noel, was from the Corps du Pompiers (fire-
fighters), a division of the army. Noel claimed that as he
arrived at Cite Simon on January 7, 1980, a crowd of people
approached him shouting:
the group of Sylvio Claude and Gabriel Herard
have just set a fire to overthrow his excellency,
President for Life Jean-Claude Duvalier and to
install Sylvio Claude as President. (Le Nouvelliste,
August 25, 1981, p. 6)
The government never bothered to explain why a
terrified crowd would use such ponderous language, how such
a fire would overthrow the Duvalier regime, or how it would
help to install Sylvio Claude as President.
When asked to identify those of the accused that he
had seen at the fire, Sgt. Herard pointed to three of the
defendants not accused of any involvement in the Cite Simone
fire, and failed to identify anyone charged with the offense.
One journalist who recorded all of this testimony commented
This testimony of Noel was even poor theater.
Either he was terrible prepared for the part,
or someone wanted to be sure that the government's
case seemed frivolous.
While Noel was still on the witness stand, Sylvio
Claude requested and was given permission to speak. According
to several observers of the trial, Claude stood before the
court and stated in a loud voice:
- 41 -
This pitiful testimony accusing me of organizing
the fire at Cite Simon is an affront to justice
and to the Haitian people. On January 7, 1980
I was being held in a cell at the National Peni-
tentiary and was in an extremely weakened state
because I had been given only a little food once
a day for several weeks.
Under these circumstances, and remembering the
intensive security arrangements of the National
Penitentiary, it defies all logic to maintain that
I planned these fires.
In fact, I did not meet Gabriel Herard until his
release from prison in April 1980, so not only
did I not coordinate any of the alleged activities
with him in January 1980, I hardly knew who he was.
At this point, Judge Menan Pierre-Louis ordered
Claude to stop talking and to sit down. The government made
no attempt to deny anything that Claude had said. According
to one lawyer, when the defense rose to list several questions
that they wished to ask Noel, Judge Menan Pierre-Louis replied:
You insist on asking questions that have nothing
to do with the case at hand. This court has a lot
of business to accomplish and this is an important
Defense lawyers were surprised by this pressure as they ex-
pected that the trial would last at least several days.
- 42 -
THE COURT ADJOURNS AND REOPENS FOR AN ALL-NIGHT SESSION:
THE PRESENTATION OF THE ACCUSED
At approximately 3:45 P.M., the Judge announced
that each of the accused would have the charges formally
read to them one by one. This procedure, under which
the defendants were made to stand before the court and
have the charges read to them aloud, lasted until approxim-
ately 5:00 P.M.
At this point, lawyers for the defense formally
requested an adjournment until the next morning, both to con-
sult with their clients and prepare final arguments. What the
Judge actually said is a matter of some dispute. According
to several western diplomats, reporters and several family
members of the accused, the Judge declared that the court was
adjourned until Wednesday morning, August 26. However, as
the last of the prisoners were led out of the court,
they called out to family-members that the proceedings would
resume at 6:30 P.M. The proceedings did in fact begin again
at 6:30 P.M. and because of the confusion, a number of ob-
servers, including many family members of the defendants,
were not in attendance.
For the next six hours, the prosecutor individually
questioned each witness, and in effect re-stated the govern-
ment's case. The questioning of Sylvio Claude took far longer
than that of the other defendants, but it is representative of
the procedure. The government Commissaire again read the
- 43 -
charges against Claude, repeating any evidence that had been
developed in either the Ordonnance de Renvoi, or through the
questioning of the witness. The Commissaire du Gouvernmont
repeatedly asked Mr. Claude to admit that the charges against
him were true, and that he had engaged in activities detrimental
to the internal security of the Haitian state.
Claude rose and replied:
Not only do I deny any knowledge or participation
in these alleged plots, but I suspect that they
never occurred at all. This trial is illegal un-
der Haitian law and is the result of the same pol-
icies that resulted in my being arrested repeatedly
without charge, in my being beaten and mistreated, in
my family being abused and imprisoned. All this be-
cause I attempted to exercise rights guaranteed me
by our constitution. I have the right to form a
political party, and the right to disagree with the
government of his Excellancy the President-for-Life.
This is all I have done, and this is what I will
continue to do. The government is afraid of us be-
cause we tell people that they have rights which must
When Michel Francois was asked to reply to the
charges against him, he expanded on the torture he had already
described during the questioning of the government's first
I was never told why I was arrested. I was taken to
the interrogation room of the S.D. [secret police]
at the Cassernes Dessalines. They put me in the
cow position. Finally I gave milk to Colonel
Jean Valme and Lieutenant Julien.
,The "cow position" or "position Boeuf" is so named because the
prisoner is forced to squat in an intensely painful and ultimately
crippling position. He is forced to stay in this position until
giving "milk" or information.
- 44 -
I thought that I would die, and that is why I
said on television that Gabriel Herard gave me
$5 to buy gasoline to start the Cour Mouzin fire.
It wasn't true.
In his turn, Gabriel Herard repeated what occurred
after he and Francois were returned to their prison cells
following their appearance on this national television program
on December 9, 1980:
Valml came in with some other S.D. He screamed
at me 'next time you won't forget your instructions.'
He beat me with a wooden club on my back until I
thought I would explode. He kept screaming: 'I
told you what to say.'
Many of the accused spoke in detail of the harsh
and sometimes brutal conditions of their detention, but
perhaps the most moving was the testimony of the 23-year-old
daughter of Sylvio Claude, Marie-France. She was arrested
on October 17, 1980 after having presented to the police a
written request for permission to hold the peaceful march
protesting the continued detention without charge of her father
and Yvens Paul. She was arrested despite the fact that the
march was cancelled due to a massive deployment of security
forces by the government.
When she was allowed to speak, Marie-France de-
scribed this arrest:
They arrested me at home at around 9:00 A.M.
they didn't tell me why or what they were going
to do. They took me immediately to the National
Penitentiary and threw me in a windowless cachot
[an isolation cell]. They made me stand naked in
- 45 -
my cell, and they touched and humiliated me.
For six weeks they wouldn't let me receive any
food from my family."
However, Marie-France Claude was not put in this
dilemma. She simply was denied the right to receive food from
the outside for over six weeks, and had to subsist on "prison
food." She described her treatment in the following terms:
All they gave me was one bowl of a watery, partially
cooked corn meal once a day.
During this entire period I was never allowed to
have any contact with the outside world, and even
the undergarments brought to the prison by my law-
yers were refused by these people who delight in the
pain and suffering of others."
Similar descriptions of maltreatment were
given by other defendants. The examination of the defendants
by the government took six hours. During this interrogation,
Judge Menan Pierre Louis repeatedly denied efforts by defense
attorneys to challenge the Prosecutor's assertions and accusa-
tions. Their questioning of their clients was limited to el-
iciting additional information.
In Haiti's prisons the right to bring food to a
relative often means the difference between life and death
for the prisoner. However, the family has not only to
provide the food, and transport it to the prison each day,
but they often have to make "contributions" to prison officials
to ensure its ultimate arrival. This means that supporting
someone in prison results in a significant drain on the already
marginal resources of an ordinary Haitian family.
- 46 -
FINAL ARGUMENTS AND THE VERDICT OF THE JURY AND JUDGE
The government's last witness finished his testi-
mony at approximately 1:00 A.M. on Wednesday, August 25. The
government Commissaire preceded to make his closing argument
in general terms, repeating the charges of arson and plotting
against the internal security of the state.
All of the twenty-six defendants were given a
total period of somewhat less than forty-five minutes to
make their final statements. This occurred from approximately
3:15 to 4:00 A.M. Defense counsel emphasized the total ab-
sence of evidence linking the accused to the acts charged,
and the "non-specific and contradictory" character of the
government's in-court witnesses. The defense asked the jury
to find "mitigating circumstances" in favor of the defendants,
even if the defendants were adjudged to be guilty. If the jury
did find such circumstances, the defendants' sentences would
The jury began its deliberations at 4:00 p,m. and
returned twenty minutes later with a verdict of guilty against
all the defendants. However, the jury had not written down thei2
vote on each of the defendants. Also, in convicting twenty-six
people in twenty minutes, the jury had an average of fifty
seconds to deliberate the proof against each of the defendants.
In announcing their verdict, the jury also found
that "mitigating circumstances" (circumstances attenuates)
had been found in each defendant's favor. This is important
- 47 -
because under Haitian law this mitigation should have lim-
ited the maximum sentence for each of the defendants' to
one-to-five years in prison.
When the jury initially announced the verdict, the
court instructed them to return to their deliberation room
because they.had not signed the jury cards as initially in-
structed. When they returned with the signed cards, Judge
Pierre-Louis asked them to read the verdict aloud. At this
point, it became clear that many were illiterate in French,
as the written verdict was passed from Mme. Gaston Desforges
to M. Directeur Bayard, to M. Durand Bonheur, and finally back
to Mme. Desforges, before the entire verdict could be read
to the Judae's satisfaction. The inability to read the ver-
dict also raises questions about how the jury could have
written the verdict moments earlier, and then found themselves
unable to read their own statements.
It also raises serious questions as to whether and
to what extent they understood the oral deliberations during
the trial. The jury was instructed to indicate yes or no to
three questions, for each of the individual defendants:
1. Is the accused guilty of having conspired to
destroy the government by inciting the popu-
lation against the Chef d'Etat?
2. Is the accused guilty of having directly set
fire to inhabited buildings, with the intention
of destroying the government?
- 48 -
3. Are there attenuating or mitigating circum-
stances in favor of the accused?
These questions do not precisely track the law
under which the defendants were charged. The defendants are
charged with a specific violation of Articles 63-7 of the
Code Penal, "Plotting against the internal security of the
state." Nowhere in the law is there any mention of inciting
the population against the President-for-Life. Each defendant
was charged with arson. However, nowhere in the applicable
law, Article 356 of the Code Penal, is there any mention of
arson "with the intention of destroying the government."
In conclusion, the defendants were charged
with specific crimes, evidence was introduced on other crimes,
and the jury was asked to determine guilt or innocence on
the basis of yet another set of questions that have no
basis in the Haitian Code Penal. Despite these inconsis-
tencies, the court determined that the jury had provided
affirmative answers to all three questions and found the
defendants guilty as charged
At approximately 4:30 A.M. the Judge retired to
consider the verdict and to determine appropriate sentences.
By this time, a number of the jurors, lawyers and observers
were falling asleep. Sometime after 5:00 A.M. the Judge
returned from his chambers. He announced that he found all
- 49 -
defendants guilty as charged, and that contrary to the
jury's finding, he found mitigating circumstances in
only four cases. The defense attorneys objected, stating
that under Haitian law the verdict of the jury is final
unless the Judge orders a new trial. Judge Louis dis-
agreed, and preceded to condemn twenty-two defendants to
fifteen years at hard labor. He announced that for four
defendants: Mme. Faermitus Myrtil, Louisianne Jean,
Volel Louis and Ernst Benoit, mitigating circumstances
would reduce their sentences to one year in prison. He
gave no reasons for this decision, nor did he attempt to
explain his reversal of the jury's decision.
At b:3U A.M. on August 26, 1981, amidst the
tears of the remaining family members and friends and the
noise of the VSM and Police Militaire clearing the court of these
grief-stricken people, the individual defendants were led in
handcuffs before the Judge to hear their sentences.
Less than thirty minutes later, the defendants were
again led between double lines of security force personnel
armed with sub-machineguns to a van waiting to take them
back to prison to begin serving their sentences
Relatives report that the group of twenty-six were
led into the van with security force personnel on each side
of them who shouted that "you'd better stay in jail, because
if you are released you'll be shot in the street." Many of
them believe that this is true.
- 51 -
THE APPEAL TO THE COUR DE CASSATION
The team of defense lawyers were taken by surprise
by both the swiftness and severity of the verdict. Following
the verdict, one lawyer remarked:
I'm exhausted, demoralized, and very frightened.
I think that the government will be very angry
if we request an appeal in this case. Maybe the
best thing to do is not call any more attention to
the defendants. Maybe the President will grant
them an amnesty when all the noise dies down.
This attitude of fear affected not only the lawyers
team and the Port-au-Prince legal community in general, but
the families of the accused as well. Many family members of
the defendants believed that the Haitian government decided
to make an example out of these twenty-six defendants, and
that no legal recourse could change this decision.
In reviewing the trial and verdict, one experienced
Haitian lawyer observed:
A decision of this magnitude could only come
directly from the Presidential Palace and the
political commission.* You must understand
what it would mean to challenge this authority
by appealing this case.
While some family members and friends of the defen-
dants expressed a desire for the lawyers to immediately appeal
the convictions, most were reluctant to become directly in-
* .The so-called Commission Politique is an informal qroup of
Haiti's most powerful men. It was conceived by former Secret
Police Chief Jean Valme" as a means to coordinate all of Haiti's
security forces and to bring them under the control of the
Service Detectif, the secret political police based in the Pre-
sidential Palace and the Casernes Dessalines.
- 52 -
volved. One lawyer not involved in this case explained:
You have to understand that the Port-au-Prince
bar is a tighly woven little group. If a lawyer
isn't prudent, he will find himself without con-
tacts and without clients.
Despite these constraints, several lawyers
prepared and filed a request for an appear, the Pourvoir
au Cassation on August 28, 1981.
According to the Haitian constitutional tradition,
an appeal must be heard within thirty days of filing of
the request for the appeal. However, the Haitian government
has sometimes been known to "encourage" the Cour de Cassation
to adjourn so that this thirty day period will technically
During interviews with several Haitian government
officials between August 28 and September 4, 1981, particu-
larly the Ministers of Justice and the Interior, the Lawyers
Committee was given assurances that we would immediately be
informed of the date for which the appeal would be set in
order to enable us to send an observer.
On Friday, November 20, 1981, we were told by non-
governmental sources in Haiti that the appeal was likely to
take place the following Monday. Once again, the Haitian gov-
ernment failed to inform the Lawyers Committee of the appeal.
In fact, on the afternoon of Friday, November 20, both the
Haitian Consulate and its mission to the United Nations in
- 53 -
New York denied that the appeal would take place the
On Monday, November 23, 1981, at 10:00 A.M.,
the appeal was heard by the President of the Cours de
Cassation, M. Roc Raymond. Twenty-three of the defendants
were in the court but were not allowed to speak. After
short statements from both the prosecution and defense,
briefs were submitted and the hearing was adjourned. No
date was set for the Cour de Cassation to hand down its
decision, and as of March 1, 1982, the outcome of the
appeal is unknown. Because so few people were aware of the
date or location of the appeal, no observers were present.
However, several informed sources stated that the last act
of the government prosecutor at the close of the hearing was
to demand that the sentence for the defendants be increased
from fifteen years at hard labor to life imprisonment.
- 54 -
1. On August 25, 1981, the government of Haiti
tried and convicted twenty-six defendants with arson and
plotting against the internal security of the state.
2. Eleven of the defendants were members of the
Haitian Christian Democratic Party (PDCH) including its
President, Sylvio Claude. Two others were journalists im-
prisoned during mass arrests conducted by the government in
late November 1980.
3. Prior to the trial, all of the defendants were
denied access to their families and to legal counsel. None
was informed of the charges on which they would be tried un-
til several days before the trial began.
4. While in detention a number of defendants have
been subjected to harassment, beating and intimidation by
members of Haitian security forces.
5. The trial took place under extremely intimidating
circumstances. Government security forces set up roadblocks
and machine guns outside of the courthouse, and maintained
surveillance of those in attendance.
6. The conduct of the trial violated various pro-
cedural rights, guaranteed by both the Haitian Constitution
and international law.
A. Several members of the jury were illiterate and did
not appear to understand French, the language of the
lawyers' debates, and at least one, lme. Desforges,
is known to work directly for the Service Detectif,
Haiti's political police.
- 55 -
B. Only one of the defendants, Sylvio Claude,
was ever served with an arrest warrant. It
charged him with a violation of Haiti's press
law, for which he was never tried.
C. Most of the government's written evidence was
contradicted during the trial. Two government
witnesses incorrectly identified "principal
actors" in the alleged crimes. Another witness
recanted his prior statements which he said were
made following torture by the Haitian Secret
D. Only 5 of the 26 court-appointed defense lawyers
agreed to participate in the case. Many of the
others declined to participate because they
feared for their own personal safety.
7. The trial lasted for nineteen hours on a single
day and night. All of the defendants were convicted on both
charges at 5:00 A.M. Twenty-two of the defendants were
sentenced to fifteen years at hard labor. The other four were
sentenced to one year in prison.
8. The Haitian government failed to honor its
pledges to inform international human rights organizations
as to the scheduling of either the trial or appeal.
Ile de ta Torfue
.Port-de-Poix. S.oudu Hord
*lJan Robe Iu toBorgnt
V 010 MII0
cj RmIucro iCO
I B I
NAME & ADDRESS
Fontamara No. 27
Oct. 13, 1980
Marie France CLAUDE
Fontamara No. 27
Oct. 27, 1980
Berthony PIERRE PAUL
23 1st yr student
Nov. 28, 1980
Jacques PRICE JEAN
25 Journalist Nov. 28, 1980
Radio Haiti (at radio
6 yrs; daily station)
people returned from
Cayo Lobos; *
28 Accountant & Nov. 28, 1980
Economics Stu- -beaten
/ Inquiry on military's role in smuggling boat people.
- 57 -
NAME & ADDRESS
Ernst BENOIT 24 Journalist
Editor of Literary
Nov. 28, 1980
21 Lycean at Lycee
Mme Termitus MYRTIL
62 Peasant from
Dec. 5, 1980
Dec. 12, 1980
Dec. 11, 1980
Dec. 11, 1980
- 58 -
- b9 -
NAME & ADDRESS
24 Driver for
Dec. 2, 1980
Dec. 1, 1980
Dec. 8, 1980
Dec. 2, 1980
Dec. 9, 1980
- 60 -
NAME & ADDRESS
Rue St. MArtin
Jacques ST. LOT
70 Butcher Oct. 16, 198C
Former soldier brutally tor-
28 Teacher; former Oct. 16, 1980
Chamber of Deputys
24 Tailor Oct. 16, 1980
35 Mechanic Oct. 16, 1980
Dec. 8, 1980
- 61 -
NAME & ADDRESS
Ruelle Tokio, Haiti
Lycean at Centre
Constant D. Pognon
Nov. 24, 1980
Jacques Lumercier (Lumenes)
36 Ta lor
31 Artist, designed
Oct. 13, 1980
Oct. 13, 1980
beaten in his
cell, 3 tibs
broken 18 Dec.
Dec. 10, 1980
-Beaten on day
to lower back.
- b2 -
NAME & ADDRESS
- tbj -
Pcrt-.suPrince, le.../J..O.Oa .'2 3- ....... 19.
An 17 ene de. rincipendmance
LE COMMISSAIRE DU GOUVERNEMENT
PRES LE TRIBUNAL CIVTL DE CE RESORT
L' .I)'.t* l. C :. l.. lic: ''.? A'.-z !-.-! '' Ir.'' ? pa cSr
ec "-'.r :m-:Q t :. l r 3 .. '- *:.. .......... ..- s ..10 sur la
pre3so" a:. t c ... -a ** u d'
e c.r 2,_I -F '-.: V.^ ",.ci Fn nFr- r.ry- i 2F.
-* I.. b~%. *. ~~9.ia~- V
-" .".--7 I--.. *1-
I.. ... .7.. .3- .--,T
= ... --' "" '" 7?"" r. !;. "'.
FRAT VIF''. .
a-- ": _..D L.- Li.
APPENDIX #3 64 -
LETTRE OUVERTE A LA LIGUE HAITIENNE DES DROITS HUMANS
ET AUX ORGANIZATIONS DE DEFENSE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME
Le Conseil de la defense du sieur Sylvio Claude,
President du P.D.C.H., de Marie France Claude, vice-presidente
du mrme parti, Mes. Dupleix Jn Baptiste, Joseph Maxi,
Lafontant Joseph, justement alarms par 1'attitude des
autorites judiciaires de Port-au-Prince, croit devoir porter
a la connaissance des parents de Sylvio et Marie France Claude,
de tous les membres du P.D.C.H., de tous les haitiens
soucieux du respect de la loi et desireux de voir cesser le
systeme d'oppression qui sevit dans le Pays sans epargner
les femmes et les enfants, enfin de toutes les organizations
nationals et internationales qui postulent la jouissance des
liberties essentielles, la defense et la protection des droits
humains, qu'il se trouve des maintenant en presence de
nombreuses difficulties tendant a les mettre dans 1'impossibilite
de defendre leurs clients.
Ils tiennent a signaler d'abord que d'apres le mand a t
decerne contre Sylvio Claude le 14 octobre en course, celui-ci
6tait poursuivi pour d6lit de press suivant 1'article 28
de la loi du 31 mars 1980 qui prevoit "1'outrage fait au
chef de l'!tat ou A la premiere dame de la R6publique." (sic)
Conformem6nt a cette mgme loi, on s'attendait a voir le
commissaire du Gouvernement fixer 1'audition de l'affaire A
la plus prochaine audience pour btre entendue toutes affaires
cessantes, come le prescrit 1'article 36 ainsi libell6:
"L'action p6nale en matiere de delit de press sera porter
devant le tribunal du lieu du d61it, etc. La cause sera
jugee toutes affaires cessantes sans remise ni tour de r8le
et le jugement rendu dans les trois (3) jours de la decision
ordonnant le delib6r6."
Or, pour maintenir le sieur Sylvio Claude en prison, le
Parquet de Port-au-Prince 1'exp6dia au tribunal de paix
pour information preliminaire puis le def6ra au Cabinet
d'Instruction, ce qui est tout a faith contraire i la march
de la procedure trace par la dite loi sur la Presse. En
effet, nous lisons a 1'article 34: "Toute personnel qui se
pr6tendra 1esee par un d6lit de press pourra s'adresser
directement au tribunal correctionnel ou en rendre plainte
dans les forces pr&vues par le Code d'Instruction Criminelle."
- 65 -
LETTRE OUVERTE A LA LIGUE HAITIENNE DES DROITS HUMANS
ET AUX ORGANIZATIONS DE DEFENSE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME
Le Commissaire du Gouvernement peut-il ignorer ces
prescriptions claires et precises de la loi? On n'est pas
loin de penser que le Commissaire du Gouvernement au lieu
de reclamer une saine application de la loi, s'efforce a
trouver comment decider de fa on a plaire au Pouvoir Executif
de qui dependent en fait les deux autres pouvoirs de 1'Etat.
11 n'y avait menme pas lieu de faire proceder a une
information en justice de Paix, voire d'envoyer le sieur
Sylvio Claude au Cabinet d'Instruction. S'agissant de d61it
de press, le cabinet d'instruction n'a aucun r81le a jouer.
Le parquet devant citer prevenu et plaignant par devant le
Tribunal Correctionnel, mettre l'affaire en etat de recevoir
jugement. Toute cette lenteur de procedure imposee en
1'occurrence est motivee par le fait que si la loi 6tait
appliquee, Sylvio Claude aurait dejg regagn6 sa demeure, parce
que n'6tant coupable de rien et qu'aucune poursuite ne peut
9tre valablement exercee contre lui qui nest ni 1'auteur des
6scrits du journal "La Conviction" ni le grant responsible,
ni 1'6diteur, ni 1'imprimeur du dit journal. Sylvio Claude
ne peut tomber sous le coup de 1'article 32 de la loi ainsi
conque: "Selon le cas, seront poursuivis, come auteurs
principaux des d6lits de press: 1) les auteurs ou grants
responsables; 2) les editeurs ou imprimeurs." D'ailleurs A
bien feuilleter le numero incrimine du journal "La Conviction,"
on se demand perplexe, en quoi consiste 1'outrage mis a la
charge de Sylvio Claude. On veut frapper celui-ci, on veut
d6truire le P.D.C.H. qui a des racines profondes dans toutes
les couches sociales haitiennes, le pouvoir 6tabli fabrique
une accusation contre Sylvio Claude et "la raison.du plus
fort 6tant toujours la meilleure," la justice haitienne
assujettie par 1'executif a fouled au pied les prescriptions
de la loi....Il se constate que, des que le pouvoir executif
est interesse dans une affaire, les lois sont interpretees
et appliquees en function de ses interets.
Que peuvent des avocats pour Marie France Claude,
Vice-presidente du P.D.C.H. arretee sans mandate avec ses
frare et soeurs mineurs le lundi 27 octobre 1980 date de la
manifestation du P.D.C.H. kenvoy6e a une date ulterieure?
- 66 -
LETTRE OUVERTE A LA LIGUE HAITIENNE DES DROITS HUMANS
ET AUX ORGANIZATIONS DE DEFENSE DES DROITS DE L'HOMME
Le Conseil des avocats a e6t le juedi 30 octobre 1980
aupres du commissaire Rodrigue Casimir solliciter la communication
du dossier de Marie France Claude a lui expedie. Le dit
commissaire a categoriquement refuse de communiquer et meme
de renseigner sur les motifs de 1'arrestation et de la
detention de Marie France. Ii lui a 6t6 ensuite demanded
1'autorisation pour le ge6lier de la prison de recevoir des
sous-v6tements pour Marie France incarcer6e depuis quatre
jours. Le dit commissaire refusa net, alleguant qu'il n'a
requ aucune instruction dans ce sens. Le endemain 31 le
commissaire fut invisible pour le conseil de la defense.
Or, le r6le des avocats est de d6fendre leur client selon
la lei, par devant ceux-11 qui sont charges de la faire
respecter et appliquer. Quand on constate qu'on refuse de
recevoir des sous-vetements pour une jeune femme injustement
jetee en prison (traitement inhumain), quand on voit la
justice se soumettre a la "raison du plus fort" pour refuser
d'instruire et juger conformement a la loi Sylvio Claude
incarcere depuispres d'un mois pour de pretendus d16its
d'outrage, le conseil de la defense ne peut que renoncer a son
mandate de defendre Sylvio Claude et Marie France Claude,
convaincu que dans de pareilles conditions le sort des citoyens
sus-nommns depend de Dieu, l'Etre Tout Puissant, du Peuple
Haitien, de tous les citoyens qui a travers le monde luttent
courageusement pour le respect des droits humans, en faveur
de la democratic reelle caracteris6e par le respect de la
loi et 1'amour du prochain, et aussi du pouvoir etabli &
Port-au-Prince don't 1'objectif prioritaire semble etre
1'elimination des parties politiques existants en Haiti.
Lafontant Joseph Joseph Maxi
Dupleix Jn Baptiste
Port-au-Prince, 31 octobre 1980.
APPENDIX #4 CONSTITUTION OF HAITI 1964 (As Amended 1971)
TITLE I The Territory of the Republic
TITLE n Rights
TITLE III Duties
Haitian Citizens and Their Rights
Civ:l and Political Rights
individual Rights and Guarantees
Responsibilities of Government Officials
TITLE IV National Sovereignty
Chapter I The Exercise of National Sovereignty
Chapter II The Legislative Branch
Section I The Legislature
Section II The National Assembly
Section III Exercise of the Legislative Power
Chapter III The Executive Branch
Section I The President of the Republic
Section II Secretaries of State
Section III The Supreme Technical Council
Chapter IV The Judicial Branch
- 68 -
Prosecution of Memberz cf the Branches
TITLE V Primary Assemblies
TITLE VI The Administrative System
Chapter I Communal and Prcfectural Institutions,
Technical and Administrative Councils
of Arrondissements and Administrative
Councils of Rural Sections
Chapter II Civil Service
TITLE VU Public Finance
National Revenue and the Budget
Agencies for the Administration of
Government Revenue and Control
of Public Expenditures
TITLE VIII The Ecoromic System
TITLE IX The Social System
Health and Welfare
The Armed Forces
Revision of the Constitution
- 69 -
II. CONSTITUTION OF HAITI
(Of 1964 as amended 1971)
A series of annual decrees by the Legislative Chamber purport to
suspend a number of constitutional provisions and bestow Full Powers on
the Chief of the Executive Power. The provisions affected are indicated
by an asterisk (*). For the text of the decrees, see below, III
A French text of the 1964 Constitution (without the 1971 amendments) is
available for consultation.
CONSTITUTION OF HAIT! *
The Haitian people proclaim the present constitution in order to:
Establish their sovereignty;
Define their rights, duties, and responsibilities;
Establish a balance of the powers of the state;
Establish an efficient organization of the government;
Guarantee justice and social security;
Provide the benefits of culture to all Kaitians'without distinction;
Safeguard and promote the health of the Haitian people;
Strengthen internal peace; and
Thus establish a Haitian nation that is socially just, economically free, and
politically independent under a democracy adapted t. its customs and traditions
TH; TERRITORY OF THE REPUBLIC
Article 1. Haiti is an indivisible, sovereign, independent, democr-tic, and
social republic. ** *
As amended by Decree of tl-e National Constituent Assembly, dated
January 24, 1971, published in L- Mc2iiteur of Jan :ry 20, 1971.
Article 11. The t.tatus of naturalized Haitian shall he .cst in all cases pro-
vided by law, particularly by continuous residence for more than three years
outside Haitian territory without duly granted authorization.
A person who loses his nationality in this manner may not reacquire it.
Article 12. Aliens may not benefit from the advantages intended especially
for Haitians by establishing a corporation pursuant to the lawr of the republic. In
this connection, retail business shall be reserved exclusively to Haitians,
Article 13. Any alien who is in the territory of the republic must obey the
laws and regulations of the country and shall enjoy the protection accorded to
Haitians, except in the event of any measures which it may become necessary to
apply against nationals of countries where Haitians do not enjoy the same protection.
Article 14. The right to own real property shall be accorded to alien: resid-
ing in Haiti and to foreign cc.:npanies for t!.e needs of their agricultural, industrial,
commercial, or educational enterprises, within the limits and under the conditions
prescribed by law.
This right shall likewise be accorded to aliens residing in Haiti for their
residential needs. Foreign construction companies shall have the benefit of a spe-
cial status regulated by law.
However, an alien residing in Haiti may not own more than one dwelling in the
same locality. He mray in no case, enE-g;e r. the business of ren!ting real e::.ate.
This right to own real property shall terminate two years after an alien has
ceased to reside in the country or after the operations of the agricultural, indus-
trial, commercial, or educational enterprises of foreign individuals or companies
The law shall determine the regulations to be followed, in the event of the
cessation of residence or operation in Haiti, in liquidating the property acquired in
the country by foreign individuals or companies.
Any violation of the provisions of the first and second paragraphs of this arti-
cle shall result in the pure and simple seizure of the property by the state.
Any citizen may report such a violation or the circumstances of cessation of
residence or of operations.
Article 15. In the cases determined by law an alien may be refused admission
to, or sojourn in, the territory of the republic.
An alien may be deported from Haiti when he interferes either directly or in-
direct!y.in.thc political lifeof.the st ate or s preads doctrinesthiat'are anarb-isti;"
9r..c pnt.ra._yP, t d.en c .--.y.
Individual Rights and Guarantees
JArticle 16. Haitians shall be eal_befrc the law .cubject.jo..the special.ad-
yan.tage sc or.f ci onr d native -born .-.aitians.
...--- -- -... .. government,'*noi pub-
lic office, or be appointed to a government position, without distinction as to coclr,
sex, or religion.
In the administration of government services, the appointment of personnel,
and the terms and conditions of their employment, must be free of privileges, fa-
vors, and discrimination.
I Article 17. Individual liberty shall be guaranteed. No one may beprosecuted
arrsted, or_detained except in the cases determined by lawand in the manner
In addition, no one may be arrested or detained except by order of a legally
For the execution of such an order, it is necessary:
1. that it formally state the reason for the arrest and the law that punishes
the act charged;
2. that legal notice of it be given and that a copy of the order be left with the
accused at the time of its execution, except in case of flagrante delicto.
No one may be kept under arrest more than forty- eight_. hours unless he
has appeared before a judge who is assigned to rule on the legality of the _arrest
and the judge has confirmed the arrest by a decision giving reasons.
In the case cf a petty offense, the arrested person shall be referred to the
Justice of the peace, who will then pronounce a final decision.
In the case of a more serious offense, an appeAi may be filed, without prior
permission, simply by addressing a petition to the presiding judge of the cornpe-
tent civil court, who, on the basis of the oral statement of the prosecutor, shall
rule on the legality of the arrest in a special session of the court, without postpone-
ment or rotation of judges, all other cases being suspended.
I_ either case. if the arrest is judged illegal, the arrested person shall be
released, any appeal to a higher court or the Court of Cassation notwithstanding.
Any unnecessary force or restraint in the apprehension of a person or in
keeping hirn under arrest, any moral pressure or physical brut iity,. is forbidden.
All violations of these provisions shall be considered arbitrary acts against
which the injured parties may, without prior authorization, appeal to the compe-
tent courts, prosecuting either the authors or the perpetrators, regardless of their
rank or the body to which they belong.
Article 18. No one may be denied access to the judges whom the constitution
or the law assigns to him. A civilian may not be tried by a military court nor may
a military person be denied access to a court of ordinary law, in an exclusively
civil matter, except when a state of siege has been declared by law.
Article 19. House searches and seizures of papers shall be prohibited ex-
cept by virtue of law and in accordance with legally prescribed procedures.
Article ZO. This law shall not be retroactive in effect except in criminal
cases when it is favor;ab!e to the offer.der.
- 72 -
The law shall be retroactive In effect whenever it takes away vested rights.
Article 21. No penalty may be established except by law, or i'.,.os-d except
in the cases provided by law.
Article 22. The right of ownership is guarante-i to the citizens. Expropria-
tion for a legally established public purpose may be effected only by the advance
payment, or deposit, in favor of the person entitled thereto, of fair compensation.
Property also entails certain obligations. Its use mustbe in the public interest.
Landowners have an obligation to the community to cultivate, work, and pro-
tect their land, particularly against erosion.
The penalty for failure to fulfill this obligation shall be prescribed by law.
The right of ownership shall not extend to springs, rivers, or other water-
courses, mines, and quarries in the subsoil. These are part of the public domain.
The law shall establish regulations governing freedom to prospect for and
work mines, ore-bearing earths, and quarries, ensuring an equal share of the pro-
fits of such exploitation to the owner of the land and to the state or its concession-
The law shall fix the limit on the right of ownership.
Article 23. Freedom to work shall be exercised under the control and su-.er-
vision of the state and shall be regulated by law.
However, save for the exceptions and distinctions ertablirihed by law, all im-
porters, agents, and manufacturers' representatives shall be prohibited from en-
gaging in retail trade, even through an intermediary.
The law shall define what is meant by an intermediary.
(Article 24. Every worker shall be entitled to a fair wage, job training,
health protection, social security, and the welfare of his family insofar as his
country's economic development permits.
It shall be a moral, obligation of the employer to contribute to the education
.of his illiterate workers according to his means.
Any worker may participate, through his representatives, in the collective
determination of working condition=.'- All workers shall be entitled to rest and
All workers may protect their interests through trade-union activities. Each
worker shall belong to the trade union representing his particular occupation.
Annual vacations with pay shall be compulsory.
Article 25. Capital punishment may no: be imposed for any political offense
The crime of treason consists in taking up arms against the Republic of Haiti,
joiinr avowed enemies of Ja'.ti, and giving them aid a=nd .-mfcr:.
A-ticde 26. Everyone has the rinht :o cxp;ass his opinion on any matter and
by, evcry means within hi; 'power.
The expression of thought, whatever forr, it takes, may aot be_ subjected to
prior censorship except when war has been declared.
Abuses of the right of freedom of speech shall be defined and punished bylaw.
Article 27. All religions and faiths shall be equally recognized and free.
Everyone may profess his religion and practice his faith, provided he does not dis-
turb law and order.
No one may be compelled to belong to a religious organization or to follow a
religious teaching contrary to his convictions.
Article 28. Since marriage tends to purity of morals by contributing to a
better organization oi the family, the fundamental basis of society, the state shall
/ facilitate it and encourage its spread among the people, particularly in the rural
In the organization of marriage, the law shall protect Haitian women in par-
Article 29. Freedom of education shall be exercised in accordance with the
law, under the control and supervision of the state, which should see to the moral
and civic training of thc young.
Public education shall be the responsibility of the state and the communes.
Primary education shall be compulsory.
Public education shall be free of charge at all levels.
Technical and vocational training shall be generalized.
Higher education shall be open to all, on an equal basis, according to merit
Article 30. In the cases determined by law, a jury shall be used in criminal
trials and for political offenses committed through the press or by some other
Article 31. Haitians may assemble peaceably and without arms, even forthe
purpose of discutsir.g political affairs, without prior av'b'r'.tion, in conformity
with the laws governing the exercise o' this right.
This provision shall not apply to public gatherings, which shall be entirely
subject to police regulations.
Article 32.. Haitians shall have the right of association, of forming political
parties. labor unions and cooperatives.
This right may not be subjected to any_prcventive measure. And no one may
be compelled to join an association or a political party..
The law shall regulate the conditions for the functioning of these grroups arnd
shall promote their formation.
...... ....- 7 4 -
Article 33. T'he right of petition shall be exercised personally by one or more
individuals, never in beh1.lf of a &rcup.
Any petition addressed to the legislative body must give rise to the regulatory
procedure making it possible to rule on the object of the petition.
Article 34. Correspondence shall be inviolable, subject to the penalties pro-
vided by law.
Article 35. French shall be the official language." Its use shall be compulsory
ingovernment services. However, the law shall determine in what cases and under
what conditions the use of Creole may be permitted, and even recommended, for the
purpose of safeguarding the material and moral interests of citizens who do not know
the French language well enough.
Article 36. The right of asylum shall be accorded to political refugees. pro-
vided they conform to the la.is of the country.
Article 37. Extradition in political matters shall not be permitted.
Article 38. The law may neither add to nor derogate from the constitution.
The letter of the constitution shall always prevail.
Article 39. Civic duties attend the status of citizen and civil and political
Civic duties are the aggregate moral, political, social, and economic obliga-
tions of the citizen toward the state and the nation.
Article 40. For the citizen, voting is not only a right but an obligation im-
posed by his civic duty.
Responsibilities of Government Officials and Employees
Article 41. Before taking office, every official in the sense defined and. spec-
ified by law shall swear on his honor to discharge conscientiously the duties of his
office, to bcloyal to his country, Lnd to c-riy out a.nd enforce the constitution and
laws and the regulations enacted under the constitution or law. A written statement
of the official's. oath shall be prepared for his signature, and a certified copy of it
issued to him for all pertinent purposes. **
D na.v. cwizaEL cE LA K.!2'w. ACT. :I.m oa .
SAn No. AN XJiUme. DE LA REVOLUTION DUVALIERISTE
Jiudi a ATil IMO
-4@ opp,,.tui Is Ld ai v szqN. TI, ,s ,m p is w. h,- mis
Sa de 4 i i o- a-..-.s 4ehs C -.-.emmt
7Vatt a A ...'a m wA k ee. M.d*PI*m i, d ..-i,.Ae .G w
-u-it a. ut I r <|.i'o dr *ju fr r ,4- -j. ',-.
d- 1 Te' A Jh cii a F" ri *isea. *3 Ciit Cv ditl
d fe sm "pe.
.,.-- nI-., 't-c r,.- @4 de ? k A .imH
.. ... *,. -W- 4- A- -i i: m
Pidinat A Va d- I d
mw la Prese:
Vu i Drebt diu 12 Oct 167- r I~ n rm ad dis A -u-& 10.
Vu a iv du 19 Sepfemire 1A~mn sr h dIanAo An;
Tar-m-m i&;. 9. Am. .. itv" @ met tf-tf --ii
V ia c I wrt dii 12 It itrci'n sit -iwin Isra -1i fa
V 3m ai'tm 3, 77, 7T, 51. 232 (l.. aiia), 283. 323 A m33 di
Vul artidcs 19 & 3 d Cod d Commee;
Vu 3m a"t kis i eit 14 de % Convinin nr.ter-A .n air 1a m l ,
dkid di ?l'h.r.e C ,.te.i di Jm dk Cot*- ric) do i "s
'prRbLqii4 d7'.aVti k Vi 2 do>t Is 1
Vu I Dderet du l-a A 6~aT r '- vh, du. du 2& PI,7m-
*e 13, kiet du 23 And a gaicS pOr&vnml an rig-ci 17, 11. 1Of -
3 2.5, 322 34. 4. 547, 71. 72. .3 (dir, alIda), 35, 10. 112,
ITr, 14d1. ,. 153, oc :: An =sa C'or" : te, ardent le;M
Vu CI Li du "u6 St ml .IM sur la'So 13a pr nme MUirTt
Vu irn Dt I du a Janvier I wodao dI drod t d' uteu ta, ar
-4tn 4. h ,iatique Yet artotiquWe t .ja, dr Ia athL,
Vu it ,for. du 12 Oa t de *77 ur b. r dfifs rum'es e
Vu -s. ai dufe d19 SIte:-tri 14-w" dur 1i R-b; qu.
CoVu J rant qu:r a 1Co4 dciL tutioCcnn Itr-AA pr rirr' e Ia Inr6
"xi de oMo: p,' u parct de S cJhon drn iot ir ia) tiouz i do-
resubLqet pair tus ks 0m e pouVi
Vu is ricC i do ]a anmbi- L
S1., pe-.:t: r. e. r:- ::1 ;: : .& r :- cr .c'-'o P --
ar t Mi* i.t' tp-I eodi-da nimS rdr-o -dr:i t d :s e o--Punau:s do-
mc-ati'-nt qual o C4rmnt a retarw do hi anur I'mmdpenda
9t la Lncurtid al-j qumi oute "I failit4s n~cek il A m s-tt
Coamcdi-ant que 3l dlits di prese mot anmt tout dm diets d&
drl: aomm un; que aouls E r qui prteal atainta I c*w au-
tiontea et da dilits pcltiques;
Conad rBant qu'il conviant de rapprt Is Lo do 19 Septanaht
17 su*r Ia Prest at d la rde player par our 6tuilatio plus am-
fAnm I k politique de lib6liati du GouvdTemeent de Ia Rhna-
Bur k rapport des Swcrftatlrw dTtat d& ntirirur at de I& Dtdi
NatiDcki, de Ia Justie, de h Coordimatiom t t di lfomtim
A qapri ddlibdralian a Conm.e des Secr4ta dTEatL
DE LA PBRSSE
Artie ler1.- La Pre group :
1) in I.mprm-u, Ism mim.. ifd ,ib at 3m f-b.r15i
t) 3l jourr mu qLatSdam do hebdatrmsc-i r t eutres psmso&
quo, te:f ki magmbmi, In kienh On frufll par~ismat A Itint-a-
3) I3 -atic ow roffutm t de t Itiiloc teill q, difii-
a-i Mkirtu IV do Dmrrt du 12 Octobr 177 sur Is radioddfufslon
4) ks ace de prem. .
Artic 2.- Tout citcyu imaj r pebu, dot toremiocan pri4.,
a'so i- amu prcafdie m de lmprlmeur quatr brmda-eu, d'K at r lt
Aratcl !- Liemrt'v do am eta.te r htanw cepandant 'a &
16 prcnte kgislaltio= coame aux lous sur Is profession coen7timl%
ara 1& 0 miwi litt.-me sur a k radiodiffumon at Is tytijoBm
Articl 4.- Tout izapriat rm&d public doit porit, Ildicatbm do
Bomc priaom it daitA 1i de I primmur it de rldjuar, la Asw at Is
mznro d'ordr de I'M&tio -
Article 5- L*cprimc% at mtmu, dam In 72 hrlrms at -k W-
it1an de dposer claq (5) earmapllrm do lunpriml, savair
& Port au-Priz-, i Is Secr itarau dbat de ll i-w-ar at d
is Win Natioaki
a Provinc., i Titil d I P rs.B mn. a difaut dp tb
L-til'etwi. i I Hotel Cocmnaal,
Article 8.- Sant dimpen du dip6t :
a) Ih ouvrang. dit die ve (lattres, rt d'i-vitauoo, Mae
todrpes, do Wilta pueor I khtn. wvelopp, I en-t0ia...)
bl Is travaux di'prriian dits admlnir*ut fr factorr, ac s -
a) ks trvvux f mpres6son d i de commerce (taris, lnstrwgom
1,r.rt.t., cares Xdehantilion ou nutr.).
4) le: tr.ettinr de vote, I. titre* de p;clication non ri-.- i-ipt. -
m ITn- i.:ret et -ertif.cts d'ation at d'obIicati L dles s~cit& -cm.
7'? Or-P.N', DE PPrEST r'T DIS JOTlNAUTr-Tn
A :e.* 7- Toe-.-e '-rp:tse de p-c-e olt ar-i- t ri--ic- --ww
sclfe do r.e:tzr.alk aitieane. jom-s:r.t de ms draitz ciails r: rn'*r
- 76 -
Io. a8 Jr-Ad z .*.iril 1537
que Do plus, I@ rant responsable re pout occupwr ucua fimrtim
cowverta par I'lmrnmunt poUltique.
ESo benm t ae!uJ du prop.:taire divent Itre obligatoirmenalt a-
Donade duar forcga do Clffutian Dnais l cas ce radlo it do I*
Uv!.4 fladlcatf sc:a rdpdtd *u acins troe lots touts ls 24 bru-
*'agjsmazi do journal ou nrvue soaire I* Dircteinw da I'eabie.-
poe ou u= Profesmur par !ui dsignd eo asourrra I girance.
NW! m powt bte grant rusponsabl de plu d'um antrapris do
\ ArAh I.- Tute personnel qu! woel fodvr use publicatki quotl-
enA mn o piriAlique dolt. par attre reaamint dde avec Tle do d4-
mptioc. mlljtei et obtnir :
A Part-aw-Prince l'autorlatioa de Is Sucr4taLrere d'EXat d
Ioat.rieur et dIe Dunene Nationale;
=e Province, olle de la PrEcture ou A ddffut de amte lnti.
ftirtior de I* CommiMion Communrle quj ferm parvew r *l lettre u
Prde Aucune mution, aucune mesur fiscale na'1t lnmpae an loo-
Article 1 Citte dclarontiw ars falfe mi mali avant Is portion.
ES m-entionnwm k titre du journal, son care-tire, phriodieltd,
@m lieu d'dmiion, lImprimerie qu an asurera 'linpremsao, im
sm, ).. a t rteidence du gorml rewponeus.
Toute modification survenue da ts l condition AnumDrdes A Iar '-
tidk7 t au pr-ni artic L sir e clJrde a Ivant i d ipa: Is de
16 prmaate Lo Dams k cam de ceatin de plus de six macl d'ure
pub' catiren, t is de rvprise Pra donni comms el-desus adiqud mais
quinz (15) J.our i 1'vance.
Artcle 10 Lax jounmauies pourrant former mIe Amodaltim Ne.-
tioals rprdaeyetative de bur Co-poratim, et Intit.de pour Is dJtKe
db !LmN intdi-tM prale jdm
Article 11- La profe don de Journahlte aeonut dans I'nu tdnF
'pernamen. ao wim d'une tenvptrp de preme mt yenne-" r-t!b'inm,
8u*B activitif yant pour ob at *l rddaction, mpostic. I publi-
metan, I* diffutin dua taxr; am -u d P'.nformnstion object 4 du
Artick 12 Lm agees d preme fournimet aux entrepris de
p e d articles, information, reportiag, pbotoraphies& donst
Stou b autruw Gdlentsa de rdd aet.
Csaquse ram dolt Tvair un girat respcnblk do nationalitl ha*-
L" agemiw hatlnnes d prese paruvent ttre des mntd&s mxtes.
L- acaow A coo-uctbe mine au Prl, pevnt aB fo rmeIr blbro.
mt Mtynart avis prdlable aux Secrsairm dEtat do l'Iat*riur
at do h Ddivnse Nationals, de I Cco:dins tn at doe Ylfor.
mt iom, -ve mont on do I* lit, do )urs correpandantsa cam
prnasnt l- *s, prinema, domidle, rddese at Krirnahltd do -a
mwv anet aies A t d'ffufsio faramMatsm comp'aite, 6=.
te-, s crtltw it dignre do cocanm.
Artdle IS.- Tout JournaiUi ou agent di pra. de rm dMt" nfr ue
cart dlIntitd pro esoenZe ddtrri per Is drction do te'tre.
prai do ptne pour laqueDle If trvaifn.
La art% Indiqur li nown prina, riddence, lieu do nalnerwe
Ain q"e Is rmng pir maie net lel poirta an outr Im photogrwphle
at tAdture & m bdn6fiiret un eundro d'ordre .le aeaj d 'or.
pm do prne Is signaturee du directeur de Pentrnrisae at cane du
SacritaLJ dMat de Is Coordination wt d I aformatni.
Cett carts -t renouvtlable I lIa Octobre d cheque ano4e.
Tortefola, pour exerter B prcifemioan mur I Territol- Nti-nal. 1*
Jouwnaliste ou agent de presse tanger rdidant ea Haiti sofllcter
du Diparteenort ci to Coordination et de lInfo-maion. Bur present.
tco dm pickm didentitd de jourrmliine. um carte do prese rwu.
vehble tomI 1, 1 ou 12 lmis salon It cL.
Arhic 14 L carte di journaLslte ou d'arn
tr B tout Bru aKn ecxo it ae ddaxrches.
Arh U_- La foumialiste quW utise un pvwd'w t a m
ljadiquer per drit. avant towt linmertion. on vritable nom su g-6.
Article 1 T.Ttst acwi'ere A t*te -* Twored 1e pAt e uw *<
X*ne peOia p4f1rwrtir' .'l't our "I.lPI flr ar' rfa'od lnter-a'Is
sW da pof A Iacir 25% du aria normal par W o* tertti marl.*
time ou atrienne Ce mnfc tarti a r- accrdi pour les commuric
tions tiliboaiques natia: oW Intem atjicaMle A, ca A-Lt przfes.
Bnudciroant fgalement em regime postal pr4M entlel i es imri.
a-cies ou In maisons dddition pour Irurs livrw at braocbur taimpri-
mao a- HatL.
DE LA VENTED DS JOUOtNA .X .BPAIFIE COLORTACG
Article 7i- IA venft do@ journaux et libre.
Toutefois m peuvent Stare expose dam lms wltrlnes de librainie,
k'raqucs, de jouvraux ou our Is voie publ qje dsu sevues porno rat
phiques ou danset-ures p.ur Ia morale.
Article 18- Et libre activityi de coliortrur. ou de distributeur
mer la vole publique ou en tojt lieu pub'li ou T--'1 'e lives. 'r-q,
bre-hu-rv. to.rnaux. dcs:l *, prvures, L bhig *hics et h;togrr hiues
Artic. 19.- La lbrairie sure Is vulgariation de Ia penam en
r adant a~snebles A toul, ole ouvrages et publications diti s en Hait
e A l'trnnger, moyemnant que es 6dcrits i soient 'ob.et d'aucuan
Article 20- L* librafre qul awur Ia vente des joiirnaux ou derits
pr'io.ique publibs k l't#rnger encourt I* responmbl'itd pinale lor-.
que eas imprimb contienyrt des articles tombant sous ]e coup des
Int;rd.cions e: ddl U prlvu,; rux articles 22 t !4 de la prdwent Lo1.
DE LA LIBERTE D ILA PRESS. E T D EE LnITATIONS
Ar c:e 21.- L* droit d'exprimet- pena 6 et d anrmero 'qopitan
fe t:,ule mat ir ot en tirament b11hr
Xxwcptiam fAl* :
a) du eis d'Etat do ruerre dcl4ade
b) dei es d' nterdiction dkterminde per 16 LoL
Article 22- 13 aet fo-mellement inte-dit sux orr.nw d& p ime:
1) de publir. reproduire. diffuse-. tiliviser dct sato.-u*l-, t
tannsettre Ia etes da proc4dur crimanele avant lour sfini5folai
ou Iur lecture & raudience publique.
1) fe 'dre compte 0es alib-affmon lint--ieures du fulr, des
CAort T''bunsux; d debast dE-ould i huis-c l airli a~e des vo-
Cha in divorce, en aparation di Corp, an recherche de paternitd. at
3 1) d'ouvrir et d'antoncer publiquement des moueriptio pour b
pavement doe camdamnationa judici tar en ma-tikr co-ction,-nll at
4) di publirr, diffuM e I- urb des enmmlvem da na..mIte
lo=entalre al que crux de Ia dtl i mastioanl.
S) de rervolr ri-v'ement ou iudirwtamet des faoo& et.h din
tua gouvenemnt 6treazr.
DES RECTn CATIONS rr EP'ON S
Article 23.- La grant responable d& ia pubbeatlon st ten din-
afrr das I* plus prhain ounbro du journal ou dcril p&iodique
*t iA l m&- place touts rsctifi atons qul lul sent L-emiasL par ag
dpoaltire ou agent ie l'autornit au sujet dc actes d foocetisa
apporti, par- ldit orixni avoc imnextitude dAnatuw tion.
Article 24- Ii mre tenu d'inader gratultemen t lnt tralement
d&no e plus prochain numiro, A In mfme place ea danm -. m.m ae
mcr.c'&r d 1'6crit inc:rimin le ripanae de oWut ponn noDmn&
Nhanoui loarque les rfpcnjes des particulier dipawe.ont It dcj-
le des derits qul es sur nt proevqus, tout surplus ear pay mau prn
eourant de Is publicity.
Article 25- Les p4op-s Injurieu eat outrageants praf6fs pir 1s
vioe des andes el de la tilviLion contit.ent des Injures publiques
Artik'e 26- Lorsque le propwa inexat- Ut Ie ilmpu:..ion, diff-
ma-toi-s ou injurieu e qui doronnt lieu A des rectificatons r6-
g axs surnt #I# dLfuse par I* voit des andes et de 1* tilvsuotn,
en rw tiLcations et ripo~.s earant diffua6ae dart le m sn candl-
Faute p- un w Tr o Ate De r ite o dobltreiezw IA J ean* v A ***
tfliaion de 1- parties Rl6., ce'lo-ci pout It pourvoir pardevnrl is
T-lbunal cr-ecio'nel o'il nt'.-e.-a. "ii? y a Ieu Is, irf,*,ina
ri-t 're ''-e R-ie-' e -de & 5 "'n rqi runs prsjudi-v de dow
mates itatirfs u profa di 6* pa-is demande mr
30*. h..dJ3Ay~Il 1930 eLI VO?~7TUR.
DTFRACTIONS ET SANCTIONS
Article 27.- e at interdJt wa organs d preme de diffur dm
(Are. ques a: des st L.m ...aa.i. ,A & .au,. ads aC.C q.U-j .C.r:-
mmes ou dhm6, *u de nature A caromprv l'tnfanc ou Is jeuneme ou
A eAcou-agi r it traffic et 'usa;e des rtupfu nts sIus pine d'une
amiende de 500 A 1.000 gourdes ou d'un ,mprisonnemnt d'un mai
A trou~ mis avc ateie it destructmii d prbhcations.
Article 21- L'butrage fait a Chef de IEutL & Ia PrumiAr Dame
de l Rmpubliqve aera puni d'un emprijon.menIt d'um o & trois ana
Atcle 29- L'm.c.-mp. Aemtmt des ormal i p vumw aux ar-
,fice 4. S, 9, 12 et 13 de I preateW en ir tr' a rnem i .Umation.
par be Dpane ent dr lutirieur et de Is Ddrae Nationale, de 'or-
gae de piree cc do I'actvi.6 irrT mint:.
Article SO.- L'inobset-vic de IN.m des dispoealtio des article
22 et 23 d a prdsente Lai at punie d ure amrnde dr 30 A L000
goarmd:a u dun e=pL-Loximent de 3 moa 12 os.
tAtde 31.- Crux qui urnit frouduleusement ob'eau at vt'l m6
16 carte d'identI:' de joun'is e rrant pourvulvis pour -t da-
fause quality et paib es dune amended de die.z cnats A ci~q mo
DES POURSU7TES ET DE LA FROCEDUREH
Arbcl '32.- S*lcn kI cm, -rat poursuvis, come tantm pr.--
e'paux d dil tis de pre=:
1) ale aue'un au strans: responaaba
2) ks 6d teur ou imps .m:UrL
Article 33- Le prcprik=.ue d i anr;ne di prare es: mpoa-
bi. des r'paratio.s pitm-ires u profit d I patties civ I:.
Artic e 34.- Tout perioance qu, tl pr*t=nd& Uhe pat un -
Jt de prem-e pourra sadie. er duir ement *u Tr bun.-' Corrnectm-
sel ou on readrs plam' dan es former pr+vuW par Je Code d hi-
ruct-on CrminiieA (..C.)
Ar:ich 35.- L a"e on pub'ique en matlire de di.t de prem me
presnrit par trris moL AI computer du jour du diln ou du lour d'un
itle inlerrup: de :a prfcr pt. n.
SArticle 36- L'action pir, en madtir de dil dli df presi. amr
porce d.vant 4e Tr.bunm l du beu du ai: ou de criW de 6a Yi.-
dance du pr#venu ou de ei2uh ii o prdvnmu aura #.i trouv#.
La ause mera jug.e toutes affxva reesates. mrs remi'., a=I
Our de r6le. et ; jugement rendu d..s Lj tioi Iou a d.- IU di-
e.. ardrnnianr It" d4l.-&d.
Article 37.- L. provocation at amuse d'exie IUgale du
dill: d'injure t read ce djt non pun maaie.
Ar.ic.* 38- Larre. abon prdvE(.r. an mat&re de dlit do
prem, n'wt pas de dron, except dans les cas privus aux aric a
22 (prar'apbs 4 et 5), 28 de Is priene Lai at ou lib rtm pro-
wim re De sera pa acoarde.
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frcrit ou les doL-eit tombant sou ue coup de JI prienrte Lai at
diizi as responsabls par.devan: let Tribunaux chrgi de Ir
Article 40- En mature de dlii d& prem., k jugement ma s-
orpible dopposition, di pourvoir an CaLcan.
Cei re-oun arOnt exertd dams he formoa pretscri par I Co-
de d ilnucution Cr.minAte
ArtiO 41- Une commit, on. farmra i la dilifence de la Scr&-
il-rrne d'Ei : de i'mformat on *I de I& Cooanrdastop, ~aamers
cjinds.e itrangers I '*Coc oo de tournag d* films.
Ar.Lct 42-- N w rtu de Z'artick 21 de Ia priarnt. Lolt amem
ensure priadble Di prue t fbrpp, une rTpr4iantation tbhAral, d-
adm'o-rphiqut, chor49aphlqt!, ous rduerve des d position du
D&rem du t anvirr 1W "ur ks DroU d autur dc'ruvr Ittuimi-
no, eivnUrtiques ef Mtftique
Aritle 43- La Atrngerv ou Ies d eS&ds emcaimencls i r a l
n* rv pourrnt. e UB u-n ct. Te diWeteurn in HaTtL darn uw
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elais danm leI journaux, radio, Ia it& visio ou autres eCt s*;.t.
sa,: ri:rvde oux natinaux.
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gwurdas A prona er p-r Ie Tribunal coctenLi. D plus, Is carte
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At. WONTTIT o.
APPENDIX #6 78 -
LIBERTE EGALITE FRATERNITE '
REPUBLIQUE D' HAITI
Extrait des minutes du Greffe du Tribuna
Civil de Port-au-Prince
Audience criminelle et publique du mardi vingt cinq Aout mil
neuf cent quatre vingt un;--------------------------------------
Le Tribunal Criminel prend siege a onze heures trente minutes
du matin sous la presidency du Juge Menan Pierre-Louis, en pre-
sence de Gerard Eveillard, Myrbel Jn. Baptiste et Ulrick Rosarion
respectivement Commissaire du Gouvernement et Substitut du Com-
missaire du Gouvernement pres le Tribunal Civil de Port-au-Prin
ce et avec l'a-sistance de Monsieur Fritz Victorin, Commis-Gref-
fier du siege;--------------------------------------------------
Le President du Tribunal Criminel declare ouverte 1'audience
criminelle publique avec assistance du jury de ce jour.-
Les douze jures de jugement se sont places dans lo'ordre desi-
gne par le sort, sur les sieges separes du public et des temoins
en face de celui destine aux accuses;---------------------------
Les accuses ont comparu libres et seulement accompagne de plu-
sieurs gardes pour les empecher de s'evader;--------------------
Le President du Tribunal Criminel demand aux accuses leurs,
nom, prenom, age, profession, lieu de naissance et de demeure;--
Les accuses ont declare se nommer: lo-Sylvio Claude, 46 ans, Com-
mercant, Comptable, ne au Cayes, demeurant a Port-au-Prince, Fon-
tamara No. 27; -20- Marie France Claude, 23 ansdactylographe, nee
a Port-au-Prince, demeurant a Fontamara, Port-au-Prince; 30 Jacque
Perad Berthulien, 45 ans, Tailleur, ne a Acul du Nord, demeurant
au Cap Haitien; 40 Michael Francois, 26 ans, Comptable et e-
tudiant en sciences ecomoniques, ne et demeurant a Port-au-Prin-
ce; -oo- Ernst Benjamin, Liquoriste, ne et demeurant a Port-au-
Prince; 70- Raoul Accean, 24 ans, Chauffeur, ne a Port de Paix,
demeurant a Port-au-Prince; -80- Louis Volel, age de 21 ans, ecol-
ier, ne et demeurant a Port-au-Prince; -90- Frantz Dossous, 27 ans,
dessinateur, Zoologiste, ne et demeurant a Port-au-Prince; 10-
Jacques St. Lot, 34 ans, ne a Bainet, mecanicien industrial, dem-
eurant a Port-au-Prince; -11- Yves Theodore, 25 ans, Electricien,
ne et demeurant a Port-au-Prince; 12-Eben Ezer Jean, 26 ans, Lab-
orantin, ne Port-au-Prince, demeurant a la Croix des Missions; -13-
Berthony Pierre-Paul, 23 ans, Etudiant, ne a Petit Goave, demeu-
rant a Port-au-Prince; 14- Jacques Price Jean, Journaliste, 24 ans,
ne a Jean Rabel, demeurant a Port-au-Prince; -15- Roger Nicholas,
44 ans, electricien, ne et demeurant a Port-au-Prince; -16- Joseph
Antoine, 24 ans, Chauffeur, ne et demeurant a Port-au-Prince; 17-
Augustin Auguste, 66 ans, Courtier, ne a Leogane, domeurant a la
rue St. Martin Port-au-Prince; 18- Mme. Thermitus Myrthil, 61 ans,
racomodeuse, nee et demeurant aux Gonaives; -19- Louisane Jean,
50 ans, trilheuse de cafe, nee a Port Margot, domiciliee aux
Gonaives; -20- Clervio Claude, 21 ans, ne et demeurant a Port-au-
Prince; -21- Georges Lemercier Dominique, 35 ans, artiste, ne a
Milot, demeurant a Port-au-Prince; -22- Paul Theodat, 41 ans,
chauffeur, ne a la Croix des Bouquets, demeurant a Port-au-Prince;
-23- Ernst Benoit, 24 ans, Etudiant et demeurant a Port-au-Prince;
-24- Lumenes Dominique, 31 ans ne a Milot, demeurant a Port-au-
Prince; -25- Alvares Cineus, 35 ans Goiffeur, ne a Cavaillon,
demeurant a Port-au-Prince; 26- Annilus Vernet, 43 ans, Codonnier,
ne au Limbe et y domicilie;--------------------------------------
Apres quoi, Mes Newton Charles, demand acte de sa
constitution, conjointement avec Me. Gerard Noel, pour Jacques
Price Jean; -Me. Jacques Jean Louis, conjointement avec Mes Ser-
ge Regnier, Pierre Emile Rouzier et Guy Dalce, demand acte
de sa constitution pour tous les accuses; Me Duplex
Jn. Baptiste, conjointement avec Me. Leon Dupiton, demand et ob-
tient acte de sa constitution pour les accuses;------------------
Le President du Tribunal Criminel donne avertissement au con-
seil des accuses qu'ils ne devient rien dire contre leur cons-
cience et le respect du aux lois et qu'ils doivent s'exprimer
avec decence et moderation;---------------------------------------
Ensuite il a adresse aux jures decouverts le discours contenan
la formule du serment prescrit par 1'article 246 du Code d'Ins-
truction Criminelle; -Apres chacun d'eux appele individuellement
a repondu en levant la main droite; Je le jure.------------------
Immediatement apres le Doyen avertit les accuses de'etre atten-
tifs a ce qu'ils vont entendre. Puis sur la demand du Doyen,
faissant droit a la requisition du Ministere Public, le Greffier
donne a haute voix lecture lo-de l'ordonnance de renvoi de Mon-
sieur le Juge d'Instruction Emmanuel Sylvestre en date du 4 Aout
1981 et de l'acte d'accusation redige par Me. Gerard Eveillard,
Commissaire du Gouvernement de ce Ressort en date du 19 Aout 1981;---
Apres cette lecture, le Doyen resume pour les accuses le conte-
na de L'acte d'accusation et leur dit ensuite: "Voila de quoi
vous etes accuses, vous allex entendre les charges qui vont entire
porte centre vous. A ce moment la parcele est accordee au
Ministers Public qui expose le suject de 1'accusation; Et sur
une liste presented par le Ministere Public, les temoins Wilder
Theodore, Alexandre Lamontagne et Frank Pierre Noel, appeles
defense, Le Doyen du Tribunal Criminel demand aux accuses ce
qu'ils ont a dire de la deposition du temoin, bon nombre d'en-
tre aux font des mises au point. Apres quoi le temoin est conge
Le deuxieme temoin, apres avoir prete de serment de "parler
sans haine et sans crainte, de dire toute la verite et rien que
la verite" a declare se nommer Alexandre Lamontagne, 45 ans, ne
a Port-au-Prince, demeurant a Carrefour, qu'il connait deux ou
trois accuses avant le faits mentionnes dans l'acte d'accusa-
tion, qu'il ne'est ni parent, ni allie, ni serviteur, ni domestique
des accuses, ni eux non plus avoir ete a leur service; puis il
depose d'abondance et repond aux question du Doyen et du Minis-
tere Public. A ce moment Ce Magistrat, fait etat de troit rap-
ports emanes du Corps des Pompiers et d'une lettre adressee
au Commissaire du Gouvernement de ce resort auxquelles pie-
ces sont annexees deux enveloppes contenant des debris de
flacons; le Doyen du Tribunal Criminel usant de son pou-
voir discretionnaire, ordonne au Greffier de.donner lecture
de ces pieces; -Ce qui fut execute. Apres quoi les accuses ayant
de parler sans haine et sans crainte, de dire toute la verite
et rien que la verite, a declare se nommer Frantz Pierre-Noel
35 ans, Sergent des Forces Armees d'Haiti, ne et demeurant a
Port-au-Prince; qu'il ne connaissait pas les accuses avant les
faits mentionnnes dans 1'acte d'accusation qu'il ne'est ni parent
ni allie ni serviteur, ni domestique des accuses, ni eux non
plus avoir ete a son service..Puis il depose d'abondance,
et repond ensuite aux questions du Ministere Public et de quel
ques membres du jury; apres quoi le temoin est congidie, les ac-
cuses ayant eu la parole en dernier;------------------------------
L'audience est suspendue, pour etre reprise a six heures 30
L'audience est reprise a six heures 30 P.M. Le Doyen du Tribu-
nal Criminel, fait constater que les accuses.n'ont pas de te-
moins et procede alors a leur interrogatoire;---------------------
Le premier accuse, Sylvio Claude, interroge sur les faits portes
a sa charge, depose d'abondance, repond aux questions du Doyen
du Minister Public et des membres du jury; le conseil de la
defense ayant declare n'avoir pas de questions, le Doyen pas-
se a 1'audition de l'accusee Marie France Claude, qui depose
d'abondance repondant aux questions du Doyen et du Ministere
Public; la defense ayant eu la parole en dernier, le Doyen in-
terpelle l'accuse Perard Berthulien, Celui-ci depose d'abondance
et repond aux questions du Doyen, du Ministere Public et du
conseil de la defense qui a eu la parole en dernier; -Le Doyen
interpelle ensuite 1'accuse Michel Francois, qui depose d'abon-
dance et repond ensuite aux questions du Doyen, du Ministere
Public, du jury; la defense ayant eu la parole en dernier, le Do-
yen passe a l'interrogatoire de Gabriel Herard qui depose d'
abondance. Il repond ensuite aux questions du Doyen, du Ministe-
re Public; la defense ayant eu la parole- en dernier. Le Doyen
passe a l'audition de l'accuse Ernst Benjamin qui depose
d'abondance, repondant ensuite aux questions du Doyen, du Mini-
stere Public, du jury et du Conseil de la defense qui a eu la
parole ne dernier;------------------------------------------------
L'audience est suspendue pour dix minutes;------------------------
A la reprise de l'audience, le Doyen du Tribunal Criminel, pro-
cede a 1'interrogatoire de Raoul Accean, qui depose d'abondance,
respond ensuite aux questions du Doyen, du Ministere Public du
Jury et du Conseil de la defense, qui a eu la parole en dernier.
Volel Louis, interpelle a son tour par le Doyen du Tribunal
Criminel, depose d'abondance, repond aux questions du Doyen du
Minister Public et du Conseil des accuses qui a eu la parole
en dernier; -Le Doyen, interpelle 1'accuse Frantz Dossous, qui
depose d'abondance, repond ensuite aux questions du Doyen, du
Minister Public, du jury; le conseil de la defense a eu la parole
en dernier; -Le Doyen procede a l'audition de 1'accuse Jacques
St. Lot qui depose d'abondance, rependant aux questions de
celui-ci, du Ministere Public, du jury, du conseil de la defense
qui a eu la parole en dernier; -Le Doyen interpelle l'accuse
Berthony Pierre Paul, qui depose d'abondance, repondant ensuite
aux question du Doyen, et du Ministere Public, la defense entendue
L'accuse Jacques Price Jean est interpelle par le Doyen; il
depose d'abondance et repond ensuite aux questions de ce
Magistrat, du Ministere Public, la defense ayant eu la pa-
role en dernier; -Le Doyen procede ensuite a 1'interrogatoire
de Roger Nicolas, qui depose d'abondance, repond ensuite aux
questions du Doyen et du Ministere Public, la defense a eu la
parole en dernier; -C'est le tour de l'accuse Jacques Antoine
qui depose d'abondance et repond ensuite aux questions du Doyen,
du Minister Public, du jury, la defense ayant eu la parole
en dernier; -Le Doyen procede a 1'interrogatoire de 1'accuse
Augustin Auguste, qui depose d'abondance, repondant ensuite aux
questions du Doyen, du Ministere Public, du Jury et du Conseil
des accuses qui a eu la parole en dernier.; -Le Doyen interpelle
Mme Themitus Myrthil qui depose d'abondance, et repond aux
questions de ce Magistrat, la defense a eu la parole en dernier.
L'accusee Louisane Jean est interpellee par le Doyen, puis elle
depose d'abondance. L'accuse Clervio Claude est interpelle a son
tour par le Doyen, repondant ensuite aux questions de celui-ci,
du Jury et du Conseil de la defense qui a eu la parole en dernier;
-Le Doyen procede ensuite a l'audition de l'accuse Georges Dominique
qui depose d'abondance, repond en ensuite aux questions du Doyen,
du Minister Public, du jury, le conseil de la defense ayant eu la
parole en dernier; -L'accuse Paul Theodat est interpelle par le Doyen
du Tribunal Criminel et depose d'abondance; puis il repond aux ques-
tions de ce dernier, du Ministere Public, du Jury, le conseil de la
defense ayan eu la parole en dernier. -Le Doyen procede a l'interro-
gatoire de l'accuse Alvarez Cineus qui depose d'abondance, repondant
en suite aux questions de ce magistrat, la defense ayant eu la
parole en dernier. -Le Doyen interpelle l'accuse Ernst Benoit, qui
depose d'abondance, repondant ensuite aux questions de ce Magis-
trat; la defense a eu la parole en dernier. -Le Doyen interroge
ensuit l'accuse Lumenes Dominique qui depose d'abondance, et
repond ensuite aux question du Doyen, la defense ayant eu la
parole en dernier; -L'accuse Annilus Vernet est interpelle a son
tour par le Doyen; puis il depose d'abondance, repondant ensuite
aux questions de ce Magistrat, le conseil de la defense a eu la
parole en dernier; -Le Doyen interroge en fin 1'accusse Eben Ezer
Jean, qui depose d'abondance, repond ensuite aux questions du Doyen
et du Jury;--------------------------------------------------------
Les accuses ayant eu la par-le en dernier, le Doyen du Tribunal
criminal, declare fermes les debats particuliers et ouverts les
La parole est accordee au Ministere Public, Me. Gerard Eveillard
qui analyse amplement les faits de 1'accusation a travers tant
des declarations des temoins que de celles des accuses en met-
tant en evidence la culpabilite de chacun d'eux a l'intention du
jury don't il reclame en verdict de culpabilite;--------------------
La parole est ensuite accordeee a la defense; -Me. Newton Charles
obtenant la parole pour Jacques Price Jean, demand au jury de
l'envoyer dans sa famille; Me. Pierre Emile Rouzier passe en re-
vue les differences erreurs de 1'accusation; -Mes Leon Dupiton
Arnold Jn. Louis, Duplex Jn. Baptise, reclament du jury un verdict
Les accuses entendus en dernier, le Doyen du Tribunal Criminel
declare fermes le debats generaux et soumet a la Presidente du
Jury la liste des questions devant faire l'objet de leur deliberation.
Les accuses sont transferred entire temps dans une autre salle et
l'audience est declare suspendue. -A la repreise de 1'audience la
president du Jury, donne lecture du verdict; apres quoi le Doyen,
present ses remerciements aux jures qui se sont retires ensuite.
Puis le Doyen fait venir le saccuses a l'audience et donne
lecture du verdict du jury qui s'est prononce centre lec accu-
ses tout en leur reconnaissant des circonstances attenuantes.
La parole accordee au Ministere Public, ce magistrate requiert
quinze annees de travaux forces centre les accuses; -Mes. Leon
Dupiton, Duplex Jn. Baptiste, Guy Dalce, Arnold Jn. Louis et
Serge Regnier demandent au Juge de tenir compete des circon-
stances attenuantes reconnues aux accuses et de les condamner
a une peine equitable.--------------------------------------------
Le Doyen declare suspendre 1'audience pour preparer son juge-
A la reprise de l'audience, le Doyen du Tribunal criminal,
donna lecture a haute et intelligible voix des articles 25
de la Constitution, 64, 65, 66, 67, 382 du Code Penal, 294 du
C.I.C., et prononce son jugement condamnant les accuses Volel Louis,
Ernst Benoit, Mme. Thermitus Myrthil et Mme. Louisane Jean a
un an d'emprisonnement et les tous les autres accuses a quinze
ans de travaux forces; -Puis il les exhorte au courage et a
Apres quoi le siege est leve.-
Ainsi signe: Menan Pierre-Louis, Gerard Eveillard, Myrbel Jn.
Baptiste, Ulrick Rosarion et Fritz Victorin.
POUR EXPEDITION CONFORME
- 83 -
LIBERTE EGALITE FRATERNITE
Extrait des minutes du Greffe du Tribunal
Civil de Port-au-Prince
AU NOM DE LA REPUBLIQUE
LE TRIBUNAL Civil de Port-au-Prince competemment reuni au Pa-
lais de Justice de cette ville a rendu en audience publique et
tance ses attributions criminelles le jugement suivant:---------------
Entre le Ministere Public, represent par Me. Gerard Eveillard,
Commissaire du Gouvernement pres le Tribunal Civio de ce ressor
assisted de ses Substitutes Ulrick Rosarion et Myrbel Jn. Baptiste
poursuivant pour la vindicte publique;---------------------------
Et les sieurs et dames:-
lo-Sylvio Claude, Commercant, Comptable, ne aux Cayes, demeurant
a Port-au-Prince et y domicilie;-
2o-Marie France Claude, dactyloqraphe, demeurant et domiciliee
a Port-au-Prince;-3o-Jacques Perard Bethulien, Tailleur, demeu-
rant et domicilie au Cap Haitien;-4o-MICHEL FRANCOIS, mecani-
cien, demeurant et domicilie a Port-au-Prince;-5o-GABRIEL HE-
RARD, Comptable et Etudiant en Sciences economiques, demeurant et
domicilies a Port-au-Prince;6o-ERNST BENJAMIN, Liquoriste, demeu-
rant et domicilie a Port-au-Prince;-7o-RAOUL ACCEAN, Chauffeur
et Commercant, demeurant et domicilie a Port-au-Prince;-8o-LOUIS
VOLEL, age de 21 ans, ecolier, demeurant et domicilie a Port-au-
Prince;-9o-FRANTZ DOSSOUS, dessinateur, Zoologiste, demeurant et
domicilie a Port-au-Prince;-10-JACQUES SAINT LOT, mecanicien, de-
meurant et domicilie a Port-au-Prince;-11-YVES THEODORE, elec-
tricien, demeurant et domicilie a Port-au-Prince;-12-EBEN EZER
JEAN, Laborantin, demeurant a la Croix des Missions, domicilie a
a Port-au-Prince;-13-BETHONY PIERRE-PAUL, Etudiant, Photographe
demeurant et domicilie a Port-au-Prince;-14-JACQUES PRICE JEAN,
Journaliste, demeurant a Port-au-Prince, domicilie a Jean Rabel;
15-ROGER NICHOLAS, Electricien, demeurant et domicilie a Port-au-
Prince;16-JOSEPH ANTOINE, Chauffeur, demeurant et domicilie a
Port-au-Prince;-17-AUGUSTIN AUGUSTE, Courtier, demeurant a Port-au
Prince, domicilie a Leogane;-18-Mme THERMITUS MYRTHIL, racomodeu-
se, demeurant et domiciliee aux Gonaives;-19-LOUISANNE JEAN,
trieuse de cafe, demeurant et domicilie aux Gonaives;-20-CLERNA
CLAUDE, demeurant et domicilie a Port-au-Prince;21-GEORGES LE-
MERCIER DOMINIQUE, Artiste, demeurant et domicilie a Port-au-
Prince;-22-PAUL THEODAT, Cahuffeur, demeurant et domicilie a Port-
au-Prince;23-ALVARES CINEUR, Coiffeur, demeurant et domicilie a
Port-au-Prince;-24-ERNST BENOIT, etudiant en electronique, demeu-
rant et domicilie a Port-au-Prince;-25-LUMENES DOMINIQUE, proprie-
taire demeurant a Port-au-Prince, domicilie a Milot;-26-ANILUS VER-
NET, Cordonnier, demeurant a Port-au-Prince, domicilie au Limbe,
tous accuses de complot contre la surete de 1'Etat et d'incen-
die volontaire, defenders, ayant pour avocats Me Guy Dalace, Pier-
re Emile Rouzier, Serge Regnier, Leon Dupiton, Duplex Jn. Baptiste,
Newton Charles, Arnold Jean Louis;-------------------------------
Vu 1'ordonnance de renvoi du juge d'Instruction en date du qua-
tre Aout mil neuf cent quatre vingt un;---------------------------
Vu 1'acte d'accusation en date du 19 Aout 1981 de Me Gerard
Eveillard, Commissaire du Gouvernement de ce ressort;---------
Oui le Ministere Public, Me Gerard Evillard, Commissaire du Gou-
vernement pres le Tribunal Civil de ce Ressort, tendant a faire
declarer les accuses coupables des crimes mentionnes dans 1'acte
Oui Me Newton Charles, Me Pierre Emile Rouzier, Me Arnold Jn-Louis
Me Serge Regnier et Me Leon Dupiton en leurs moyens de defense
pour les accuses;------------------------------------------------
Oui les accuses qui ont eu la parole en dernier;--------------
Vu le verdict du jury de ce jour reconnaissant tous les accuses
coupables d'avoir come co-auteur, concert et arrete la destruc
tion et le renversement du Gouvernement, en excitant les cito-
yens a s'armer centre l'autorite du Chef de l'Etat et d'avoir
a cette fin mis volontairemont le feu a des edifices Publics,
tout en leur reconnaissant des circonstances attenuantes dans
l'un et l'autre cas;---------------------------------------------
Vu les articles 25 de la Constitution 64,65,66,67,382 du Code
Penal, 294 du C.I.C. don't lecture a ete donnee a haute voix par
le juge en siege;------------------------------------------------
CONSIDERANT que les accuses ont beneficie de circonstances at-
tenuantes et ont droit conformement a la'article 382 C.Penal,
a une reduction de leur peine;-----------------------------------
CONSIDERANT que les debats ont revele en favur des accuses
suivants, Volel Louis, Ernst Benoit, Mme Thermitus Myrthil et
Louisanne Jean, une participation plus faible que les autres
aux crimes qui leur sont reproches;------------------------------
CONSIDERANT que le Ministere Public a requis la peine de quinze
ans de travaux forces centre chacun des accusps;-----------------
CONSIDERANT que les avocats ont reclame des peines plus legeres
allant de un a trois ans.----------------------------------------
PAR CES MOTIFS, Le Tribunal Criminel declare les sieurs et da-
me Sylvio Claude, Marie France Claude, Jacques Perard Berthulien,
Michel Francois, Gabriel Herard, Ernst Benjamin, Raoul Accean,
Frantz Dossous, Jacques Saint Lot, Yves Theodore, Eben Ezer Jean,
Berthony Pierre-Paul, Jacques Price Jean, Roger Nicolas, Joseph
Antoine, Augustin Auguste, Clervio Claude, Georges Lemercieur, Do-
minique, Paul Theodat, Alvarez Cineus, Lumenes Dominique, Anilus
Vernet, sus qualifies, coupables de complot et d'attentat contre
la surete de 1'Etat, leur reconnait des circonstances attenuan-
tes et condamne respectivement chacun d'eux a quinze annees de
travaux forces;-Reconnait en outre les sieurs et dames Volel
Louis, Ernst Benoit, Mme Thermitus Myrthil et Louisanne Jean
coupables des dits delits avec circonstances attenuantes en leur
faveur et condamne chacun d'eux a une annee d'emprisonnement;-
Accorde a chacun des condamnes le benefice de la loi du 5 Decembre
1893 sur la prison preventive;-Les condamne eux tous aux frais et
depens de l'instance au profit de l'Etat;------------------------
AINSI JUGE ET PRONONCE par nous Menan Pierre-Louis, Juge a 1'au
dience criminelle et publique du vingt six Aout mil neuf cent
quatre vingt un en presence de Monsieur le Commissaire Gerard
Eveillard avec assistance de Monsieur Fritz Victorin, Commi-
Greffier du siege;-----------------------------------------------
POURVOI EN CASSATION
MEMOIRE AMPLIATIF DU POURVOI forme par les sieurs et dame :
SYLVIO CLAUDE Marie France CLAUDE Gabriel HEARD Jacques
PRICE JEAN Jacques Perard BERTHULIEN Michel FRANCOIS Ernest
BENJAMIN Raoul ACCEAN Georges Lemercier DOMINIQUE Anilus
VERNET Lumemes DOMINIQUE Alvarest CINEUS Yves THEODORE -
Jean Eben EZER Roger NICOLAS Antoine JOSEPH Paul THEODAT -
Clervio CLAUDE Augustin AUGUSTE Berthony PIERRE-PAUL Jacques
SAINT LOT et Frantz DOSSOUS, actuellement detenus au Penitencier
National a Port-au-Prince, Demandeurs en Cassation.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE par Jugement en date du 26 Aout 1981, les nommes que
( dessus ont ete declares coupable- d'incitation a la revolte, d'in-
( cendies volontaires, de complots et d'attendat contre la surete
( Interieure de l'Etat et ont ete condamnes chacun a 15 ans de tra-
( vaux forces.-
PAR NON PRODUCTION DE LA PREUVE DES FAITS REPROCHES.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE le Code d'Instruction Criminelle en son article 275
( instaure le principle de 1'intime conviction.
(.-ATTENDU D'AUTRE PART QUE la doctrine enseigne : "Le Juge doit pui
( ser sa conviction uniquement dans le debate contradictoire; il n'a
( pas le droit de tenir compete dans sa decision de circonstances
( qui sont parvenues a sa connaissance personnelle en dehors des de-
( bats". IN DALLOZ REPERTOIRE DE DROIT CRIMINAL ET DE PROCEDURE PENAL
(Paris, 1954 Tome II P 660 # 19.-
(.-ATTENDU QU'il est constant que ce qui est dit plus haut s'applique
( egalement aux Jures, Juges de fait.-
(.-ATTENDU QU'en matiere penale, 1'oralite des debats est de regle.-
(.-ATTENDU QU'il revient au demandeur de prouver le bien fonde de
(.-ATTENDU QUEen consequent, le Ministere Public est tenu de demon-
trer la culpabilite des accuses.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE la culpabilite des accuses n'a jamais ete etablie a
(.-ATTENDU EN EFFET QUE le Ministere Public a cite trois temoins a
charge. A savoir : les sieurs Alexandre LAMONTAGNE, adjudant
( F.A.D!H ; Frantz PIERRE NOEL, Sergent F.A.D.'H et Wilder ainsi conn
dit Wilder THEODORE.-
PAR VIOLATION DE L'ARTICLE 257 DU CODE D'INSTRUCTION CRIMINELLE.
(.-ATTENDU QUE le temoin a charge Wilder THEODORE a jure de parler
( sans haine et sans crainte, de dire toute la verite rien que la
(.-ATTENDU QUE le temoin Wilder THEODORE a avoue a la Cour d'Assise
( qu'il a lui-meme volontairement allume 1'incendie de la Cour MOUZIN
(.-ATTENDU QU'il a d'autre part avoue avoir denonce a la Police le
( 16 Octobre 1980 le Groupe Sylvio Claude.
(.-ATTENDU QUE le fait par Wilner THEODORE de n'avoir jamais ete in
( quite, ni a-prehende, de n'avoir fait 1'objet d'aucune poursuite
( judiciaire, indique clairement son caractere de denonciateur a ga
(.-ATTENDU QUE 1'Article 257 du Code d'Instruction Criminelle dispose
( "Les denonciateurs pourront etre entendus en temoignage; mais le
( Jury sera averti de leur quality de denonciateurs a peine de nul-
(.-ATTENDU QUE le Jury n'a jamais ete averti de la quality de Wilder
( THEODORE come denonciateur a gages/
(.-ATTENDU QUE DONC CETTE VIOLATION DE L'ARTICLE 257 DU CIC, ENTRAITE
( LA NULLITE DU TEMOIGNAGE DON'T S'AGIT.-
(.-ATTENDU QUEd'a-tre part, le temoin (cic) Wilder THEODORE a parole
( avec haine et malveillance, trahissant ainsi le serment d'usage.
(.-ATTENDU QUE le second temoin Alexandre LAMONTAGNE, adjudant F. A'Hait
( affected au Corps des Pompiers n'a jamais declare pouvoir attribue
( la cause du dit sinistre a une quelconque activity criminelle de
( 1'un des accuses.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE le troisieme temoin, le Sergent Frantz Pierre NOEL
( du Corps de Pompiers a declare que se rendant a la Cite Simone,
( pour y circonscrire un incendie, il aurait entendu quelques sinis-
( tres designer le group (SIC) de Sylvic CLAUDE comme etant respon-
( sable du dit sinistre.
(.-ATTENDU QUE la preuve de pareilles declarations n'a jamais ete
TOUJOURS PAR NON PRODUCTION DE PREUVES CONCLUANTES.
(.-ATTENDU QUE la production de pieces a conviction est un moyen per-
( mettant de motiver son intime conviction.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE 1'accusation a present come piece a conviction deux
( enveloppes contenant des debris de flacons.-
L-ATTENDU QU'il n'a jamais ete demontre que les dits debris aient et
( ete a 1'origine de la perpetration du crime attribue aux pourvoyant
(.-ATTENDU QUE meme dans l'hypothese ou ces debris auraient effective
( ment servis a provoquer un incendie, leur provenance ou leur appar-
( tenance reelle n'a jamais ete etablie.-
(.-ATTENDU ENFIN, qu'au cune preuve des faits rp reproches aux condam-
( nes, n'a ete produite au course de 1'audience publique des 25 et 26
( Aout 1981.
PAR VIOLATION DES ARTICLES 187-188 du CODE D'INSTRUCTION
CRIMINELLE ET EXCES DE POUVOIR-
(.-ATTENDU QUE dans son acte d'accusation, le Commissaire du Gouver-
( nement, poursuivait les condamnes sous les chefs suivants : Incendi
( volontaire, Outrage au President de la Republique et complot contr
( la surete de 1'Etat.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE de son cote, le Magistrat en siege a cru bon devoir
( ajouter aux charges sus-mentionnees, celle de'attentat contre la su-
( rete de l'Etat (Voir Motifs du Jugement).
(.-ATTENDU QUE LE MINISTER PUBLIC EST MAITRE DE L'ACCUSATION.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE meme Maitre de 1'accusation, il ne saurait modifier a
( 1'audience son acte d'accusation.-
(.-ATTENDU QU'en effet l'Article 192 du CIC dispose : "Le Ministere
( Public poursuivra toute personnel mise en accusation suivant les
( forces prescrites auCeapitre premier de la present Loi :" Ii ne
( POURRA PORTER AU TRIBUNAL CRIMINAL AUCUNE AUTRE ACCUSATION A PEINE
( DE NULLITE ET S'IL Y A LIEU DE PRISE A PARTIES "
(.-ATTENDU QUE les Articles 187-188 du CIC definissent limitativement
( les functions du Doyen du Tribunal Criminel.-
.... (3) 87
(.-ATTENDU QUE le Code d'Instruction Criminelle est d'interpretation
(.-ATTENDU QU'en consequence, se revd coupable d'un violent abus de
( pouvoir, le Magistrat, qui, outrepassant ses functions, ajoute au
( Jugement un chef d'accuasation non mentio-ne dans 1'acte d'accusti
PAR NON APPLICATION DE LA LOI DU 5 OCTOBRE 1891 ET FAUSSE
APPLICATION DES ARTICLES 64, 65,'66, 67, et 382 du CODE PENAL
(.-ATTENDU QUE 1'Article 356 du Code Penal punit 1'auteur de l'incen
( die volontaire de la peine de mort.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE LES pourvoyants ont ete declares coupables d'incendie
( volontaire .-
(.-ATTENDU QUE 1'espece est essentiellement politique.-
(.ATTENDU QUE la Constitution de 1889 stipule en son Artile 20 1'
( bolition de la peine de mort en matiere politique; la peine qui 1
( replace devant etre determine par la Loi.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE la Laoi du 5 Octobre 1891 (Moniteur du 14 Octobre 189
( #41 Bis), a comble ce vide en stipulant en son article premier :
( "La peine de mort, dans tous les cas ou elle est etablie et pronce
( cee paur les lois en vigueur pour crime politique, est remplacee
( par celle de detention dans une prison pendant trois a six ans.-
( .-ATTENDU QUE Cette LOI a ete prise en consideration de la "Civili-
( station et des moeurs actuelles".
(.-ATTENDU QUE cette Lois n'a jamais ete abrogee.
(.-ATTENDU QUE la Constitution de 1971 maintenu 1'abolition de la
( peine de mort prescrite dans les textes sus-mentionnes.
(.-ATTENDU QUE LA CONSTITUTION de 1971 en son Article 25 n'a pas re-
( pris le membre de phrase de l'Article 20 de la Constitution de _
( sur 1'elaboration future d'une loi relative a la peine de rempla-
(.-ATTENDU QU'il en result que dans 1'esprit des constituents de
( 1971. la Loi de 1891 est la applicable en la matiere.
(.-ATTENDU QUE L'Article 2 de la Loi du 5 Octobre 1891
( te loi ou disposition de loi, decrets et arretes qui
( res" .-
(.-ATTENDU QUE la Loi de 1891 est posterieure de Code Penal qui date
( de 1835.
.-ATTENDU QUE LES ARTICLES 64, 65, 68, 69, a 78; 356 du Code Penal
( contraires a la lettre de 1'Article 2 de la Loi du 5 Octobre 1891
( sont donc de ce fait abroges en matiere politique .-
(.-ATTENDU QUEil a ete demontre que lorsque 1'attentat etait puni de
( mort le complot etait p-ni de reclusion ce, pour marquer la diffe-
( rence de gravite entire ces deux manifestations de la volonte cri-
( minelle. (Ref: Art: 64-65C.P)
(.-ATTENDU QU'en 1'espece, les pourvoyants ont ete declares coupable
( de complot congre la surete Interieure de 1'Etat et condamnes a
( ans de travaux forces.
(.-ATTENDU QUE le caractere inique d'une telle condemnation s'evi-
( dente par le fait meme que la present condemnation pour complot
( 15 ans de travaux forces)., depasse le maximum de la peine prevue
( enmatiere d'attentat (3 a 6 ans de reclusion d'apres la Loi de 1891
(.-ATTENDU QUE ceci va a 1'encontre de la distinction etablie par le
( Loi, punissant 1'attentat plus durement que le complot.-
.../... (4) .
(.-ATTENDU QUE LE DROIT PENAL est d'ordre public et que nul ne peut
( y deroger sans se prevaloir d'un texte de Loi.-
PAR VIOLATION DE PRINCIPLE : "NULLE PEINE SANS LOI" .
EXCES DE POUVOIR ET FAUSSE INTERPRETATION DE LA LOI.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE L'ARTICLE 317, du Code d'Instruction Criminelle dispose
L'annulation du Jugement pourra entire poursuivie tant par le Minis-
( there Public que par la parties condamnee lorsque la nullite proce-
( dera de ce que le Jugement aura prononce une peine autre que celle
( appliquee par la Loi a la nature du crime.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE meme dans l'hypothese improbable ou la Cour de Cas-
( station deciderait que les articles 64 et 65 seraient d'application
( en l'espece, les sus-dits articles prevoient respectivement la
( peine de mort et la reclusion en cas d'attentat et de complot.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE LES POURVOYANTS ONT ETE CONDAMNES A QUINZE ANS DE
(.-ATTENDU QUE le Code Penal en ses articles 19 et 20 opere une dis-
( tinction entire travaux forces et reclusion, fixant la duree maxima-
( me de la reclusion a neuf ans.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE L'Article 317 sus-cite du Code d'Instruction Criminelle
( commettant ici encore un abus de pouvoir.-
PAR NON APPLICATION DE L'ARTICLE 382 de CODE PENAL.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE meme dans l'hypothese extravagant d'une application
( de la peine des travaux forces, le maximum de la peine sus-mention-
( nee est de 15 ans.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE des circonstances attenuantes ayant ete accordees aux
( condamnes, on ne saurait en aune facon leur appliquer la peine maxi-
(.-ATTENDU QUE aux terms de l'article 382 du Code Penal, toutes les
( fois ou le jury aura reconnu a 1'accuse des circonstances attenuan
( tes, si la peine est celle des travaux forces a temps, le Tribunal
( appliquera celle de le reclusion ou du banissement.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE L'Article 382 stipule en son 6eme alienea :"Dans tous
( les cas ou une Loi prononce le maximum d'une peine afflictive, si'i
( s'il existe des circonstances attenuantes, le tribunal appliquera
( le minimum de la peine ou la Deine inferieure.-
(.-ATTENDU QU'il est enseigne ":"La Cour d' Assise appelee a exercer
( le pouvoir d'attenuation que lui confere une declaration de cir-
( constances attenuantes ne peut sortir des limits qui lui sont tra-
( cees par cet article. Elle est obligee de descendre au moins d'un
( DEGRE dans 1'echelle des peines. Dalloz cite par A. RIGAL IN CODE
( PENAL avec les dernieres modifications EDITION DESCHAMPS, Port-au-
( Prince 1953 P 144.-
PAR VIOLATION DE L'ARTICLE 53 DU CODE PENAL.-
(.-ATTENDU QUE 1'article 53 du Code Penal dispose : "Les peines de
( travaux forces a perpetuite et des travaux forces a temps ne sau-
( ront prononces centre aucun individu age de soixante ans accomplish
. ... 1... (5)
( au moment du Jugement".
(.-ATTENDU QUE aux terms memes de 1'Oronnance de renvoi en date du
( quatre Aout 1981, le nomme Augustin AUGUSTE est age de 65 ans.-
(.-ATTENDU QU'en consequent le Jugement incrimine est donc nul.-
PAR CES MOTIFS : Qu'il Plaise a la Cour de Cassation DIRE ET DECLARE
(. Que le temoignage du sieur Wilder THEODORE est nul
ce, conformement aux dispositions de 1'article 257 du Code d'Instruction
Que les temoignages respectifs des temoins Alexan-
dre LAMONTAGNE et Frant_ PIERRE NOEL ne sont pas conclusants.
Que les pieces a conviction presentees a 1'audien-
ce ne sont pas de nature a former 1'intime conviction du Jury.
Que le Juge en siege a commis un violent abus de
pouvoir et a outrepasse ses droits en se substituant au Ministere Pu-
blic, seul maitre de 1'accusation, en condamnant en vertu d'un chef
d'accusation ne figurant pas sur 1'acte d'accusation.
Que, ce faisant, le Juge a viole les articles 187
et 188 du Code d'Instruction Criminelle.
Que les Articles 65, 68, 69 a 78, 356; du Code Penal
ne sont pas d'application en cette espece parce qu'ayant ete
abroges par la Loi du 5 Octobre 1891, sur la peine de replacement
de la peine de mort em matiere politique.
Que le Jugement don't s'agit est nul, conformement
a l'article 317 du Code d'Instruction Criminelle, pour application
d'une peine autre que "celle prevue par la Loi a la nature du crime.-
Que 1'espece etant politique, seule la Loi du 5
Octobre 1891 (Moniteur # 41 bis du 14 Octobre 1891) Fixe la peine
a appliquer en la matiere.
Que 1'article 53 du Code Penal a ete vide.
QU'EN CONSEQUENCE LE JUGEMENT INCRIMINE SERA CASSE.-
CE SERA JUSTICE.
Me Pierre-Emile ROUZIER Me Guy DALCE
Me Serge REGNIER Me Duplex Jn. BAPTISTE
Avocat Stagiaire Avocat