[News] Haitian Death Squad Leader's Plea Agreement Thrown Out

Anti-Imperialist News news at freedomarchives.org
Wed May 23 11:51:59 EDT 2007


Dear Friends of CJA,

We are pleased to announce an unexpected victory in our efforts to 
pursue justice against Haiti's most notorious death squad leader, 
Emmanuel "Toto" Constant. As you may recall, last year CJA, CCR and 
pro bono co-counsel Sonnenschein, Nath & Rosenthal won a $19 million 
civil judgment against Constant for crimes against humanity, 
attempted summary execution, and other torture on behalf of three clients.

Constant was separately indicted by the state of New York for 
mortgage fraud and entered into a one to three year plea agreement 
earlier this year. Last week, CJA learned that the state prosecutors 
and the Department of Homeland Security asked the judge to reduce 
Constant's sentence to time served in order to speed his deportation to Haiti.

Haitian human rights experts were extremely concerned that Constant 
would escape justice if he returned to Haiti and that he might be a 
catalyst for more violence. As a result, CJA and CCR worked quickly 
to submit a series of letters and affidavits to the court which 
detailed Constant's record of human rights abuses as well as 
information about the problems in the Haitian judicial system.

The judge agreed and threw out the plea agreement based on Constant's 
record of human rights abuses. Constant is scheduled to stand trial 
in September.

CJA also arranged to have Haitian human rights attorney Mario Joseph 
testify about Constant and the fragility of the judicial system. We 
are honored to work closely with partners such as Mario Joseph who, 
despite his own heavy caseload responding to the on-going human 
rights crisis in Haiti, dropped everything to travel to New York. 
Below is a copy of the press release.

All the best,

Pamela Merchant
Executive Director

center4justice at cja.org

Freedom Archives
522 Valencia Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

415 863-9977

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