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Originally: Assassination at the High level of the PNH: NCHR questions the rampant chaos within the police force and its impact on this heinous crime

Assassination at the High level of the PNH:


NCHR questions the rampant chaos within the police force and its impact on this heinous crime


 


It was with great sadness that the National Coalition for Haitian Rights (NCHR) learned of the recent vile assassination in Cap-Haitian of Insepctor-General Edner Jeanty on Saturday 10 January 2004, three (3) days after his nomination to the position of Director of the Northern Department Police force. 


 


NCHR strongly wishes that a serious and impartial investigation will lead to the arrest and trial of those responsible for this heinous crime. NCHR would like to point out that this assassination occurs at a moment of near standstill of the Judiciary in the North, which has been provoked by the government?s decision in October 2003 to arbitrarily revoke three (3) Investigating Judges of the First Instance Court of Cap-Haitian. This may well slow down or postpone the preliminary investigations. The authorities need to correct this situation, as well as the standoff in Gonaïves since the nomination of Aslès St-Louis to the State Prosecutor?s Office in violation of the law on the organisation of the Judiciary.


 


While condemning this horrible crime, NCHR cannot but wonder whether this police officer has been a victim of the politicization and manipulation of the police. Are not the higher echelons of the Haitian National Police ? even if unconsciously ? partly responsible for this horrible assassination? As it is difficult to distinguish the attachés from the real police officers during police operations, and promotions are granted on the basis of political loyalties, would not such a destabilization of the police institution be conducive to such incidents?   Since the resignation of Jean Robert Faveur, the name Mr. Edner Jeanty has drawn attention. A level II officer in the Security Unit of the National Palace Guard (USGPNH), Edner Jeanty was promoted to Divisional Police Commissioner in violation of article 60 of the law established on 29 November 1994.  In June 2003, M. Faveur had refused to sign the promotion papers. In a dazzling breakthrough he became an Inspector-General of the Police five (5) months later in November 2003. On 7 January 2004, he was nominated Director of the North Department Police Force, only to be found murdered, alone in his car, on the premises of his new posting, three (3) days later.


 


The nomination of an Inspector-General as a Departmental Director is absurd. Indeed, an Inspector-General has to control, investigate and advise the Director-General of the Police and the Minister of Justice with respect to the general state of the National Police, their efficiency, the relations with the population and the human rights violations. The Inspector-General never participates in police operations (see articles 37, 38 and 39 of the law of 29 November 1994 on the creation, organisation and functioning of the National Police). The Departmental Director, however, has to develop a security plan for his jurisdiction, supervise the police operations and inspect the work of all police precincts within his jurisdiction (see  articles 47, 48, 49 of the above-mentioned law).


 


The functions of implementation and supervision are incompatible resulting in a confusion of roles.  Why was Inspector-General Edner Jeanty nominated to the position of Departmental Director to begin with? Was he alone in his car?  If not, where have his close security guards gone? Is there any administrative correspondence with the Directorate-General which could inform us on the number of police officers that were sent on secondment together with the Inspector-General to Cap-Haitian? If he was alone in his car, how does one explain that a Departmental Director finds himself unaccompanied less than 48 hours after he took up his new position in a new city? What could explain such excessive confidence or carelessness? Mr Edner Jeanty is used to special missions in Cap-Haitian as well as Gonaïves, where he was involved in an incident on 6 December 2003 in front of the Restaurant Exaudus :  his vehicle was set on fire and his briefcase that, according to him, contained various cheques and two hundred and eighty-three thousand dollars ($283 000) in cash, was stolen.  Was Mr Jeanty already on a mission in Cap-Haitian when he was nominated Departmental Director? There are many questions that require clarification through an impartial investigation. 


 


NCHR offers its most sincere condolences to the Director-General of the Police, the Chief Inspector-General and the parents and friends of the Director of the Northern Police Department, Edner Jeanty. 


 


 


 


Port-au-Prince, 14 January 2004


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