Criminal gangs, Ariel Henry, and his men have total control over Haiti after the country’s final ten senators’ terms ended just a few days ago. Though, a small glimmer of hope has arrived by the recent decision of Haitian judiciary oversight board.
The judicial oversight board of Haiti i.e. Conseil Supérieur du Pouvoir Judiciaire (CSPJ)has removed more than two dozen judges for misconduct and cleared the way for their dismissal, dealing a historic blow to the Haitian judiciary. The Superior Council of the Haitian judiciary notified that the certification of 30 judges would not be renewed for reasons ranging from intoxication and theft of property to lack of moral character and academic qualifications to abuse of power and helping infamous criminals get off the hook.
The Haitian judiciary doesn’t appear to be any better off based on the list from the judicial oversight body. Two investigative judges who were involved in two of Haiti’s most well-known investigations—the investigation into nearly $2 billion in missing aid from Venezuela’s PetroCaribe oil program and the assassination of President Jovenel Moïse—are among the judges censured by the council and are reportedly also suspended.
The rotten Haitian judiciary
One of the judges who have been reportedly ousted for eternity are Ramoncite Accimé, who has been accused of building a $500,000 house on a salary of less than $400 a month.
Activists and attorneys claim that the arbitrary and illegal preventive detentions have increased in recent years and blame the dysfunction of the legal system on gang violence, delayed judicial appointments, and clerk protests over low pay.
Things in 2020 were so bad that judges didn’t want to even work. Reportedly, the head of a judges’ association went on the radio and warned Haitians: “Don’t let them arrest you, because you don’t know when you will be released from prison.” Things got even worse when a notorious gang took control of the main courthouse in Port-au-Prince.
Even Moise was against Haitian judiciary
Former President Late Jovenel Moïse had once claimed he was forced to appoint the judges under pressure. He even stressed that he has a list of 50 judges who are corrupt to the core. But, sadly, Moise got assassinated and then-Supreme Court Justice Windelle Coq Thélot criticized the statement. Today, She is a suspect in Moïse’s assassination and remains on the run.
What will Henry do?
The CSPJ has now placed Henry in charge of deciding what to do with the 30 judges. This is not the first time judges’ licenses to practice have been revoked. The simultaneous removal of so many judges, however, is a first, according to observers. Ariel can help rid the system of these dishonest judges in a significant way, only if has guts. We think it’s time to streamline the process. This move must determine whether Henry has a sincere political will or he has sympathy for corrupt officials.