The justice department released Louis Jodel Chamblain, former second in command of FRAPH (Revolutionary Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti) yesterday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. After he took up weapons to overthrow Aristide’s regime at the end of 2003 and the beginning of 2004, the former FRAPH member surrendered to the police for various charges of wrongdoing ?including the Raboteau massacre of April 22, 1994 for which he was sentenced? that were brought against him. Lawyer Stanley Gaston, who defended Chamblain, hailed the justice department’s decision to release his client. Gaston believes the decision was made late but he points out that it is very wise. Here he is on Radio Galaxie:
(Gaston) Today at about 4:00 p.m., the authorities decided to release Chamblain in compliance with the March 26 verdict of the Court of Appeals. As requested on July 26, Chamblain has been freed as a citizen.
(Radio Galaxie) Are there conditions? Is it provisional freedom?
(Gaston) No, it is final freedom because Chamblain went to jail to answer for three accusations. There were three trials. This is final freedom. This freedom is not conditioned by anything. We went to the court to plead, and decisions were handed down in his favor. He demanded these decisions to be implemented. The authorities finally decided to release him today.
(Radio Galaxie) How do you as his lawyer and the other lawyers who defended him feel after this release?
(Gaston) Well, this is something we welcome positively insofar as we find that force remains within the justice department because the court ordered his release. We always poorly understood the attitude that wanted to show that the authorities did not want to carry out this decision. But eventually, the men made a wise decision. They followed the path of reason by carrying out the decision. So, I think this is a good thing.
(Radio Galaxie) So, Chamblain is free to do whatever he wants?
(Gaston) Yes, because there is no legal prohibition against him and there are no charges against him. At some point, they were blaming him and there were many comments and people were asking that he go to jail. He went to jail. After more than one year and five months he has been released. The process was really long. He had to fight hard so we could get this result. Today, like all other citizens, he can attend to his businesses normally; he can do whatever he wants in the country.
(Radio Galaxie) You were listening to lawyer Gaston, defender of Chamblain, the second in command of FRAPH or the former second in command of FRAPH whom the justice department decided to release yesterday. According to Gaston, the decision was certainly made late, but it is very wise.