July 1, 2022

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Haitian public prosecutor asks for police help to save the Palace of Justice

La Fontante wrote to the county’s law enforcement department and requested an escort with at least two armored vehicles to enter the establishment, which has been in the hands of armed groups since Friday.

“The visit to the headquarters will not only allow the recovery of files from the offices of the deputy commissioners, but also to launch an investigation against the perpetrators of the attack on the Palace of Justice,” the message, which was circulated on social media, stated.

At dawn on Friday, an armed group violently evacuated the judicial authorities and took over the headquarters.

Meanwhile, judges, lawyers and the prosecutor’s office staff were only able to get out by climbing the walls of the institution and thanks to the urgent intervention of the police, he submitted a detailed report from the Je Klere Foundation, a human rights organization.

La Fontaine confirmed that he intended to prosecute those responsible and fulfill his obligations and announced the temporary transfer of some services of the Office of the Prosecutor to the Peace Court in South Port-au-Prince to allow access to justice.

According to the Foundation’s report, at least seven cars were seized by armed groups and one person was injured during the robbery.

The platform also criticized that the equipment stolen from the Palace of Justice has been on sale since Monday on the Champs de Mars, a few meters from the National Palace, without the intervention of the authorities.

This was the second attack in less than a week and the third since October when hackers broke into the offices of Judge Gary O’Realen, who was then investigating the assassination of President Jovenel Moyes (2017-2021).

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The National Association of Haitian Judges said it was concerned but not surprised that the Court of First Instance in Port-au-Prince had been ransacked by bandits, and reiterated its request that the court be moved from the area in which it is located.

The Palais de Justice is located in Martisan, at the southern exit of the capital, an area controlled by gangs from which more than 20,000 people were forced to flee in June 2021 due to clashes between gangs.

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