Breaking News: Haiti's Supreme Court annuls judgement against Clifford Brandt, wealthy businessman sentenced in 2015 to 18 years in jail for kidnapping
Posted by hougansydney.com on Saturday, March 24, 2018 Under: Corruptions
Haiti’s Supreme court has annulled the judgement against Clifford H. Brandt as well as against the co-accused Carlo Bendel Saint Fort and Ricot Pierre-Val, some 18 months after the Court of First Instance of Port-au-Prince has ruled on the case and sentenced the three defendants to respectively 18, 15, and 19 years of forced labor for kidnapping followed by sequestration of persons, association of criminals, forgery, use of forgery, money laundering, title theft, and illegal detention of firearms.
The ruling was historic for Haiti, because never before, had a powerful and wealthy businessman from one of the most prominent families in the country, been held accountable for their misdeeds. Haitians welcomed the news of Brandt's arrest as vindication that poor Haitians were not behind the country's frequent kidnappings, as the media and officials often led people to believe. Brandt's ring suggested the culprits were more likely rich and powerful Haitians.
Clifford Brandt, now 47, was arrested on October 22, 2012 as part of an investigation into the kidnapping of two siblings of another well-to-do Haitian businessman. Coralie and Nicholas Moscosso who were 23 and 24 at the time.
On the Evening of his arrest, Clifford Brandt, personally led local and international investigators involved in the search to where the brother and sister were being held for a ransom of $2.5 millions.
Brandt said he committed the crime out of hatred for their father, a rival. But it is believed that Brandt was also involved in numerous other cases of kidnapping, including of American citizens.
In their analysis, the judges of the Court of Cassation say that "it is not enough for the president of the criminal court to say that he has found that the legal formalities have been fulfilled, it is necessary that the verbal testimonies record all the formalities prescribed by sections 251 et seq. of the CIC and that the dean of the criminal court shall make note by the clerk of these formalities and any additions, changes or variations that may exist between the testimony of a witness and his previous statements that may occur during the hearings ". Moreover, the Court observes that "the completion of all these substantial formalities must be mentioned in the minutes of the hearing and that their omission constitutes a violation of the right of defense and will render the judgment pronounced null and void, it is right that this means has been proposed, " the judges of the Court emphasized.
Seeing that certain provisions of Article 251 of the Code of Criminal Investigation were not respected during the trial of Clifford H. Brandt and others, the Court, in order to render justice to whom justice is due, has made the judgment on the following operative part: "For these reasons, the Court, the public prosecutor's office in its indictment, breaks and cancels the judgment of the criminal court of Port-au-Prince sitting without assistance of jury on September 13, 2016 and against the named Clifford H. Brandt, Ricot Pierre-Val and Carlo Bendel Saint-Fort.
"And for it to be ruled again, returns the case and the parties before the criminal court of Gonaives sitting without assistance of jury, the defendants will remain under arrest, condemns the clerk Dieuveil Pierre to 100 Gourdes fine; Finally, the present judgment together with the case file will be transmitted to the Government Commissioner at the Court of First Instance in Port-au-Prince to be forwarded to his counterpart in Gonaïves for legal proceedings; this, at the diligence of the prosecution of the Court of Cassation. "
In : Corruptions