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Assassination of Nhmie Joseph: Rony Clestin and Mayor Lochard Laguerre sent to criminal court

  • May 7, 2024
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In his order of March 8, 2024 on the assassination of journalist Néhémie Joseph, the investigating judge at the Mirebalais Court of First Instance, Me Edwige Dorsainvil, decided to dismiss the former senator of the Center, Rony Célestin, as well as the mayor of Mirebalais, Lochard Laguerre, before the criminal court to be tried, alongside six other individuals for their involvement in the assassination of journalist Néhémie Joseph.

The investigating judge’s decision follows an in-depth investigation into the tragic assassination of the journalist, who was shot several times on October 10, 2019. His body was found in the trunk of his vehicle at Bayas Park, in entry into the town of Mirebalais, causing a shock wave throughout the country.

In his order, the investigating judge retained sufficient charges and evidence against the suspects, accusing them of being respectively the author, the intellectual author and the accomplices of this abominable act. The other people referred to the criminal court include Juste Chandou Clerjeune, Elionel Casséus, Angelina Fabiola Cameau, Douyon Rosevald.

The investigating judge’s decision marks an important step in the search for justice for Néhémie Joseph and his family, as well as for the Haitian journalistic community as a whole. However, it also highlights the persistent challenges facing the Haitian justice system in combating impunity and protecting human rights.

According to the order, “with regard to the named: Yolette Jeanty and Garry Pierre Paul Page CHARLES, there are no sufficient charges and evidence against them in the acts of assassination to the detriment of the journalist Néhémie JOSEPH; consequently, we send them away from the bonds of indictment and detention; let us further say that the named Yolette Jeanty and Garry Pierre Paul CHARLES will no longer be able, when this order has acquired the authority of res judicata, to be prosecuted for the same fact, unless new charges arise.

In a press release published this Tuesday, May 7, 2024, the FJKL said it appreciates the effort made by the Mirebalais justice system to achieve this order “which represents a hope of seeing justice one day put an end to impunity enjoyed by murderers in this country.

FJKL believes that “the order established that the journalist is a victim of the intolerance of politicians from the central department who hardly appreciated the journalist’s criticism of the corruption that characterizes their action in the exercise of their functions.”

By: Daniel Zéphyr

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Gazette Haiti