[News] Trial to Begin Against Former Haitian Colonel

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Fri Feb 16 19:32:05 EST 2007


Dear CJA Supporters:

Our trial against Colonel Carl Dorélien, former 
member of the Haitian High Command, will begin on 
Tuesday, February 20th in federal court in Miami. 
Colonel Dorélien was a member of the high command 
during the brutal military dictatorship that 
ruled Haiti from 1991 through 1994. Dorélien fled 
Haiti after the dictatorship ended and moved to 
the U.S. in 1995. Human rights groups became 
aware of Dorélien’s presence in the U.S. in 1997 
when he won $3.2 million in the Florida lottery.

CJA filed the suit against Dorélien on behalf of 
two courageous individuals: Lexiuste Cajuste, a 
union leader severely tortured for organizing a 
general strike against the military regime; and a 
woman whose husband was killed in an infamous 
massacre. The suit charges Dorélien with 
extrajudicial killing, torture, arbitrary 
detention and crimes against humanity. Attached 
is a copy of the media advisory issued yesterday.

The trial will likely last a week with testimony 
from CJA’s clients, eye witnesses, and expert 
witnesses. CJA’s Legal Director, Matt 
Eisenbrandt, and Dwayne Williams of Holland & 
Knight will be trying the case. Staff Attorney 
Moira Feeney and Legal Intern Jeff Graham are 
also part of the legal team in Miami.

Please keep our clients in your thoughts.

Visit our website, 
for a copy of the complaint and more information on the case.

Best wishes,

Pamela Merchant
Executive Director

PS: CJA relies on contributions from individuals 
like you to continue our work. Please consider 
making a donation today. 


For Immediate Release
February 15, 2007

Moira Feeney, Staff Attorney, mfeeney at cja.org, (415) 544-0444 x302
Pamela Merchant, Executive Director, pmerchant at cja.org, (415) 544-0444 x307

Susan M. Bass, Marketing Communications Manager 
for Holland & Knight, LLP susan.bass at hklaw.com, (813) 769-4326


What: The trial against former Haitian Colonel 
Carl Dorélien for torture and extrajudicial 
killing is scheduled to begin on February 20, 
2007 in Miami. The underlying lawsuit was filed 
by the Center for Justice & Accountability (CJA) 
on behalf of two survivors of human rights 
abuses. These courageous individuals have come 
forward against Colonel Dorélien to bring to 
light the atrocities that they and thousands of 
others suffered at the hands of the Haitian Armed 
Forces and death squads. CJA is joined by the 
firm of Holland & Knight as co-counsel. The trial 
is expected to last approximately one week.

Where: U.S. District Court for the Southern 
District of Florida, James Lawrence King Federal 
Justice Building, 99 NE 4th Street., Miami, 
Florida, Courtroom 2, 11th floor. Judge James Lawrence King presiding.

When: Tuesday, February 20, 2007, 9:00 a.m.

Who: The defendant, Colonel Dorélien, was a 
member of the high command of the Haitian Armed 
Forces during the military dictatorship in Haiti 
from 1991 to 1994. Dorélien’s presence in the 
U.S. became widely known after he won $3.2 
million in the Florida state lottery in 1997.

The plaintiffs are: Lexiuste Cajuste, head of 
Haiti’s largest workers’ rights organization 
during the period of military dictatorship, who 
was tortured for demanding the return of Haiti’s 
democratic government; and, a woman who lost her 
husband during an infamous massacre in Haiti in 1994.

The plaintiffs are represented by CJA and Holland 
& Knight. CJA is a San Francisco-based human 
rights organization that works to end impunity by 
bringing to justice perpetrators of human rights 
abuses, especially those who live in or visit the 
United States. 
Holland & Knight is among the world's 15 largest 
law firms, providing representation in 
litigation, business, real estate and 
governmental law. 

Why: CJA Executive Director Pamela Merchant 
explains, “After waiting more than 12 years, our 
clients will finally have their day in court; one 
of the many high-ranking members of the Haitian 
Armed Forces who found refuge in the U.S. after 
the restoration of democracy to Haiti, will have 
to answer to a U.S. jury for the allegations of 
widespread and severe human rights abuses.”

For more information and background on the case, 
please visit 

Center for Justice and Accountability

email: <mailto:center4justice at cja.org>center4justice at cja.org
phone: 415-544-0444

The Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110
(415) 863-9977
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