Four Alleged Kidnappers Released:
RNDDH denounces the offensive decision by the President of the National Association of Haitian Magistrates (ANAMAH)
The National Human Rights Defense Network (RNDDH) recalls that for some time the question of issuing ?waiver committal orders? has become a complete joke and one of the key sources of impunity. From March 2004 to May 2005, Investigating Judges at the First Instance Court of Port-au-Prince have issued ninety-two (92) waiver committal orders in comparison to only twenty-six (26) rulings for dismissal.
Several leaders from « Operation Baghdad », drug dealers, kidnappers, hired assassins, and alleged rapists of minors have been released from prison on this pretext. Final rulings in these cases have never been issued. (See rap./N02/A05: ?General Situation of Human Rights in Haiti on the Eve of Elections scheduled for the end of 2005? at www.rnddh.org.)
In August 2005, Nathaël Génélus, employee of the Damien branch of UNIBANK, was arrested by police and taken to the Delmas 62 police station. He has since been reported missing. The case was widely reported in the press as the police proceeded to arrest Inspector, James Bourdeau, the officer in charge of the police station, along with several other police officers all accused of being accomplices in the disappearance of Génélus, all accused organizing the ?kidnapping? for wealthy businessman, Stanley Handal. Since September 2005, the case ? along with a report from the Central Headquarters of the Judicial Police (DCPJ) concerning this network of alleged kidnappers and its implication in organized crime and money laundering ? has been transferred to the Investigating Office of Judge Jean Pérez Paul, president of the National Association of Haitian Magistrates (ANAMAH). At this time, the country is still waiting for the final ruling in the case, despite the long expired deadline as assigned by law.
On 11 December 2005, ANAMAH, under the leadership of Judge Jean Pérez Paul, decreed a strike and close its doors (a period of mourning for the judiciary) in protest of the 9 December 2005 decision of the Executive to dismissed five (5) Supreme Court Justices. Since this time, the judiciary has been paralyzed with even the Special Hearings Court (Chambre des Référés) of the First Instance Court of Port-au-Prince which is not functioning. Criminal trials scheduled for December were also canceled.
RNDDH considers it unacceptable that on 30 December 2005, during this period of complete shutdown of the judiciary, the President of ANAMAH?s decided to grant ?waiver of committal orders? for four (4) of the six (6) alleged kidnappers incarcerated for their implication in the abovementioned Génélus case.
The alleged kidnappers released by the President of ANAMAH are:
Stantley Handal, a wealthy businessman in the Capital;
Wilfrid François, Level 1 police officer ;
Sony Lambert, Level 3 police officer; and
Rénald Cinéus, Level 4 police officer.
RNDDH questions how a judge who ordered a complete stoppage in the functioning of the judiciary could make such a decision during the so-called ?mourning of justice? period. Isn’t it, at the very least, improper to continue to work on “special files?, for “special people”, for “special reasons” while asking the other magistrates to strike without worrying about the right of the people to justice and that of the nation to the truth?
RNDDH believes that it urgent that the State regulate the question of issuing ?waiver of committal orders? which now constitutes a scandalous weapon put in the hands of judges and all too often used with little respect for the security of the population, the memory of those who have disappeared, and those seeking justice.
RNDDH hopes that this ruling to waiver the committal order of these four (4) alleged kidnappers does not result in the closure of this as often is case in such cases.
Port-au-Prince, 5 January 2006
 When a ?waiver of committal order? is issued, the suspect is released from prison while the charges against him/her remain and the investigation into those charges continues. The individual in question is required to remain in the area to respond to judicial authorities whenever required and to attend all judicial hearings pertaining to his/her case. Charges are dropped and/or a sentence rendered upon the completion of the investigation and the holding of a trial. However, in practice, the issuing of a waiver of committal order in Haiti often means the unjust closure of the case.