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Haitian Senator-elect Guy Phillipe,  who was arrested in February by Haitian Police and extradited to the United States for drug trafficking and money laundering three days before he was due to officially be sworn in, was sentenced earlier today to nine years in federal prison for money laundering, after reaching an agreement with american justice officials that prevented him from being sentenced to drug trafficking.

US Federal District Judge Cecilia Altonaga sentenced the ex rebel turned politicians to nine years in prison for money laundering and fined him $ 1.5 million. His lawyers described the sentence as a good agreement for his client, who may have been sentenced to life in prison if he had gone to trial.

"The government relaxed its stance by dismissing the most serious charges," said Phillipe's lawyer Alan Ross. "We relaxed our stance by giving up our pre-trial motions, by accepting guilt and by not going to court."

Phillipe's lawyer confirms that the agreement did not ask Philippe to cooperate with investigations of other Haitian officials, contrary to what is widely reported in Haiti.

"I know there are people in Haiti who like to speculate and in Haiti there are politicians who like to speculate," co-defense attorney Bozanic said. "But I can tell all those politicians that Mr. Philippe is not cooperating, he's not betraying anyone, he's not a snitch."

In April, Philippe admitted in court that he accepted between 1.5 and 3.5 million dollars between 1999 and 2003, while he was commander of the police in the city of Cap-Haitien. Prosecutors say the 49-year-old convict and other police officers accepted money in exchange for ensuring that cocaine shipments passed peacefully through Haiti. These cargoes would come from Colombia and other countries to Miami and other parts.

In 2004, Philippe led an uprising that ousted President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In 2005 he was charged with drugs in the United States, along with others, but escaped capture for more than a decade, including at least 10 attempted arrests in Haiti involving military operations and a field chase.