Haiti

Executive Summary

Haiti is a constitutional republic with a multiparty political system. The most recent national legislative elections were held in November 2016; international observers considered the elections free and fair. In January 2020 the terms of the majority of parliamentarians expired due to a failure of the country to conduct elections in 2019. Only 10 elected members of 30 remained in the upper house, while the lower house had none. As a result, parliament was unable to reach a quorum and ceased to function. Nearly 400 unelected mayors served at the pleasure of the executive.

Jovenel Moise was elected as president for a five-year term and took office in February 2017. Controversy arose early in the year regarding the length of his mandate and whether it expired in February 2021 or 2022, due to ambiguities in the constitution. Despite opposition from most political actors and civil society, President Moise remained in power until his assassination on July 7. Three days before his death, Moise had named, but not yet sworn in, Ariel Henry to replace Joseph Jouthe as prime minister. On July 20, after a short power struggle, Henry became the prime minister, and on September 11, he signed a political accord with a large number of opposition parties and civil society organizations. Planned 2021 presidential and legislative elections had already suffered logistical difficulties and delays; Moise’s assassination and an ensuing lengthy process to negotiate a political accord resulted in an agreement to delay elections until 2022 or later.

The Haitian National Police, an autonomous civilian institution led by a director general under the authority of the minister of justice, is responsible for maintaining public security. The Haitian National Police includes police, corrections, fire, emergency response, airport security, port security, and coast guard functions. The Ministry of Justice and Public Security, through its minister and the secretary of state for public security, provides oversight to the Haitian National Police. The Superior Council of the National Police, chaired by the prime minister, provides strategic guidance. The Superior Council includes the director general and the chief inspector general of the Haitian National Police, the minister of the interior, and the minister of justice. Civilian authorities at times did not maintain effective control over security forces. There were credible reports that members of the security forces committed abuses.

Significant human rights issues included credible reports of: unlawful and arbitrary killings by gangs allegedly supported by government officials and private-sector actors; torture or cruel and degrading treatment by government agents; harsh and life-threatening prison conditions; arbitrary arrest; serious problems with the independence of the judiciary; violence or threats of violence against journalists; serious government corruption; lack of investigation of and accountability for sexual and gender-based violence; crimes involving violence or threats of violence targeting persons with physical, mental, and developmental disabilities; and forced child labor.

The government rarely took steps to prosecute government and law enforcement officials accused of committing abuses and corruption, and civil society groups alleged widespread impunity regarding these acts.

Gang violence escalated throughout the country, particularly in metropolitan areas, and the gangs allegedly received support from political and economic elites. Kidnappings for ransom by armed gangs increased and affected all sections of society. Armed gangs were also responsible for armed conflicts resulting in approximately 20,000 displaced persons, for capturing up to 10 police stations and substations, and for blocking fuel supplies in October and November, bringing economic life and freedom of movement to a virtual standstill.

Section 1. Respect for the Integrity of the Person

a. Arbitrary Deprivation of Life and Other Unlawful or Politically Motivated Killings

There were numerous reports of arbitrary and unlawful killings perpetrated by armed gangs allegedly supported and protected by the government.

Young men from the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Ravine Pintade alleged police killed 11 of their peers on September 21 as they were recording a music video with fake weapons. During a press conference on September 22, police spokesperson Inspector Marie Michelle Verrier stated police had heard gunfire and that an investigation was underway. According to an investigation of the incident by the Center for Advocacy and Research in Human Rights (CARDH) released in October, at least 11 persons were killed, including the son of a Haitian National Police (HNP) divisional inspector. According to CARDH, police killed three at the scene, wounded and then killed two others, carried away four others later found dead in a second location. Three more were found dead the following day. The official investigation remained open as of November.

The HNP reported 1,352 homicides between January and October 31. The Catholic Commission for Peace and Justice blamed most of these deaths on gang warfare and called on the government to investigate the “hidden forces” behind the violence, including political and economic actors bankrolling gang activity. In June the Eyes Wide Open Foundation (FJKL) reported the existence of more than 150 active gangs in the country and alleged the government actively supported certain gangs.

The National Network for the Defense of Human Rights reported the government weakened the HNP during the year through politicization and exploitation of the institution. It further reported the government did not provide sufficient resources for police officers to carry out their duties but used government funds to strengthen chosen armed gangs instead. In 2020 armed gangs were invited by the National Commission for Disarmament and Reintegration to federate with the support of the government, ostensibly with the intention of reducing intergang violence and providing the commission with a negotiating partner. As a result, the G9 federation of gangs, formed in May 2020 and led by Jimmy “Barbeque” Cherizier, emerged as one the largest criminal organizations in the country. Following the G9’s formation, the country witnessed a spike in attacks against the HNP, including the killing of 36 police officers between January 1 and September 1, kidnappings for ransom of police officers, the takeover of police stations by armed gangs, and police officers fleeing for their lives.

On March 12, the HNP attempted to conduct an antigang operation in the Port-au-Prince neighborhood of Village de Dieu. The offensive led to the deaths of at least four HNP officers, whose bodies were not recovered. Two of the officers were publicly mutilated. The gangs also captured one police armored vehicle and destroyed a second in an operation that yielded no arrests.

The government and judiciary made minimal progress on a growing list of emblematic human rights cases. While authorities stated they continued to investigate large-scale attacks in the Port-au-Prince neighborhoods of Grande Ravine (2017), Bel Air (2018), La Saline (2019), and Cite Soleil (2020), each of which left dozens dead, the government had yet to bring any of the perpetrators to justice. In January President Moise declined to renew the mandate of the investigative judge in the La Saline case, despite a positive vetting record and recommendation by the Superior Council of the Judiciary. Among those implicated in La Saline and Bel Air were Jimmy Cherizier, Fednel Monchery, and Joseph Pierre Richard Duplan, all of whom were government officials at the time of the La Saline attacks. On February 13, Monchery was arrested for a traffic violation, yet despite an active warrant against him, authorities released him within hours of his arrest. Progress also ceased in the judicial investigation into the 2020 killing of Port-au-Prince Bar Association president Monferrier Dorval, as the judge responsible for the case resigned his position in September due to persistent threats on his life and a lack of cooperation from the government. On October 5, a new judge took over the Dorval investigation. A judge continued to investigate the assassination of President Moise; however, many members of civil society organizations and the government did not believe the judiciary had the capacity to handle such a complex, sensitive, and politicized crime.

The UN Integrated Mission in Haiti (BINUH) and numerous civil society organizations reported that gang violence in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area and Artibonite Department increased as gangs attempted to expand their spheres of control, resulting in 1,352 homicides as of October 31.

There were no reports of disappearances by or on behalf of government authorities.

c. Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading Treatment or Punishment

While the law prohibits such practices, there were several reports from nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) alleging that HNP officers beat or otherwise abused detainees and suspects.

On May 12, a widely circulated video showed four departmental public order unit officers from Nord-Est Department forcibly removing Peguy Simeon from the roof of a public bus, after which they threw him to the ground and beat him. Simeon, on his way home from the Dominican Republic following his recent deportation, was taken to a local hospital, where he died due to his injuries. The HNP Office of the Inspector General placed the four officers involved in isolation, took precautionary measures (e.g., removal of firearms, assignment to desk duty, or both) against three more, and transferred the case to the local prosecutor for legal proceedings.

Impunity was a significant problem in the security forces. From September 2020 to June, BINUH documented 213 human rights violations, of which 126 were further investigated by the HNP Office of the Inspector General. During the same period, the General Inspectorate completed 131 investigations, many of which had been initiated previously. None of the eight cases transferred to prosecutors had gone to trial as of October. Civil society representatives continued to allege widespread impunity, driven largely by poor training and a lack of professionalism, as well as rogue elements within the police force allegedly maintaining gang connections.

Prison and Detention Center Conditions

Conditions in prisons and detention centers throughout the country were life-threatening. In June, BINUH and the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) jointly reported prisoners were subject to torture and other cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment in prisons and makeshift detention centers.

Physical Conditions: Overcrowding at prisons and detention centers was severe. The June OHCHR/ BINUH report found the average amount of space per prisoner was six square feet for men and 9.5 for women, although in some prisons space per prisoner was limited to as little as 2.5 square feet. In many prisons detainees slept in shifts due to the lack of space. Some prisons had no beds, and some cells had no natural light. In other prisons the cells were either open to the elements or lacked adequate ventilation. Prison facilities generally lacked adequate basic services such as plumbing, sanitation, waste disposal, medical services, potable water, electricity, ventilation, lighting, and medical isolation units for patients with contagious illnesses. BINUH and the OHCHR found the use of cruel, inhuman, and degrading treatment, sometimes amounting to torture, was widespread as a disciplinary measure throughout the prison system.

As of July approximately 270 prisoners were being held in makeshift and unofficial detention centers such as police stations in Petit-Goave and Miragoane. Local authorities held suspects in these facilities, sometimes for extended periods, without registering them with the HNP’s Directorate of Prisons.

Corrections authorities in Port-au-Prince maintained separate penitentiaries for adult men, women, and minors. In Port-au-Prince all male prisoners younger than 18 were held at the juvenile facility, but due to the lack of documentation, authorities could not always verify the ages of detainees. At times authorities mistakenly detained minors whose ages they could not confirm with adult inmates. Outside Port-au-Prince, due to lack of prison space and oversight, authorities did not always separate juveniles from adult prisoners or separate convicted prisoners from pretrial detainees, as the law requires.

There are specific provisions for juvenile offenders. Children younger than 13 are not held responsible for their actions. Until age 16, children cannot be held in adult prisons or share cells with adults. Juvenile offenders (anyone younger than 18) are placed in one of the country’s two re-education centers with the objective of having the offender successfully rejoin society.

Because of poor security, severe understaffing, and a lack of adequate facilities, many prison officials did not allow prisoners out of their cells for exercise. In the National Penitentiary, prisoners spent approximately one hour per day outside of confinement, but in all other facilities, prisoners had 15-20 minutes to use the toilet and bathe before returning to their cells.

On February 25, nearly 400 prisoners escaped from the Croix-des-Bouquets Prison in Port-au-Prince, which held approximately 1,550 inmates prior to the escape. The prison warden was killed during the incident. Gang leader Arnel Joseph escaped but was later killed by an HNP patrol unit. There were indications HNP officers both inside and outside the prison may have been complicit in the escape. The HNP recaptured 68 of the fugitives and initiated two investigations into the incident.

International and local observers said prisoners and detainees continued to suffer from a lack of adequate nutrition. According to the NGO Health Through Walls, approximately 3,700 prisoners in the penitentiary system were acutely malnourished. The HNP is responsible for the delivery of food to prisons, but Food for the Poor, Health Through Walls, the National Network for the Defense of Human Rights, and OHCHR/BINUH reported that delays in fund disbursement and payments to contracted food suppliers reduced the number of meals fed to prisoners. Some prisons had kitchen facilities and employed persons to prepare and distribute food. Prison authorities generally gave prisoners one to two meals a day, consisting of broth with flour dumplings and potatoes, rice and beans, or porridge. None of the regular meals provided the recommended caloric intake per day, and authorities allowed regular deliveries of food to prisoners from relatives and friends. According to Health Through Walls, approximately 500 prisoners suffered either minor or major episodes of malnutrition during the year.

International and local observers also reported a lack of hygiene and health care provision in the prison system. Health Through Walls reported that unsanitary conditions and overcrowding led to high rates of waterborne illnesses as well as tuberculosis and other communicable diseases. Most detention facilities had only basic clinics and lacked medications. Many lacked medical isolation units for patients with contagious illnesses. Few prisons had the resources to treat serious medical situations. Some very ill prisoners were treated at hospitals outside of prisons, but many hospitals were reluctant to accept prisoners as patients since there was no formal arrangement between the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Health regarding payment for treatment. Prisoners who died in the care of hospitals were not counted in official statistics of deaths in custody, which as of September 1 stood at 117.

Administration: The country’s independent human rights monitoring body, the Office of Citizen Protection (OPC), investigated credible allegations of inhuman conditions in prisons. The OPC regularly visited prisons and detention facilities and worked closely with NGOs and civil society groups.

Independent Monitoring: The corrections authority permitted the United Nations, local human rights NGOs, the International Committee of the Red Cross, and other organizations to monitor prison conditions. These institutions and organizations investigated allegations of abuse and mistreatment of prisoners. One human rights organization complained of a guard taking their photographs as they interviewed detainees.

The law prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention, but it does not provide an explicit right to challenge the lawfulness of an arrest in court. The government generally failed to observe these requirements.

The constitution states that authorities may arrest a person only if that person is in the act of committing crime or if the arrest is based on a warrant issued by a competent official such as a justice of the peace or magistrate. Authorities must bring the detainee before a judge within 48 hours of arrest. By routinely holding prisoners unlawfully in prolonged pretrial detention, authorities failed to comply with these requirements.

The OPC’s national and 12 regional offices worked to verify that law enforcement and judicial authorities respected the right to due process. When authorities detained persons beyond the maximum allotted 48 hours and OPC representatives learned of the case, they intervened on the detainee’s behalf to expedite the process. The OPC was unable to intervene in all cases of unlawful detention.

The law provides for an independent judiciary; however, the government did not respect judicial independence and impartiality. Judicial independence eroded severely during the year, according to all major national magistrate and judges’ associations as well as human rights activists. Of the country’s three paramount courts – the Supreme Court, Constitutional Court, and High Court of Justice – the Supreme Court lost its quorum in June with the death of the chief justice, while the Constitutional Court remained unestablished, and the High Court of Justice could not function without a parliamentary quorum. Similarly, a constitutionally mandated independent body for judicial oversight was dissolved on July 4 but restored by Prime Minister Henry on October 1; some lawyers and civil society actors doubted the legitimacy of the revived body. The Office for the Protection of Citizens and the Superior Court of Accounts and Administrative Litigation remained the only independent government bodies outside of direct executive control.

Senior officials in the executive branch exerted significant influence on the judicial branch and law enforcement, according to local and international human rights organizations. Human rights organizations alleged politicians routinely influenced judicial decisions and used the justice system to target political opponents. Detainees reported credible cases of extortion, false charges, illegal detention, physical violence by police, and judicial officials refusing to comply with basic due-process requirements. The executive has the power to name and dismiss public prosecutors and court clerks at will. Judges faced less direct executive pressure, since they served for fixed-term mandates, but civil society organizations and judges themselves reported a fear of ruling against powerful interests due to concern for personal safety. Furthermore, the president has the power not to renew judicial mandates once expired or to divest judges of their investigative mandates.

A conflict between the executive and the judiciary arose when the Superior Council of the Judiciary published a note siding with those who believed President Moise’s term of office ended in February. Following the alleged February 7 conspiracy to replace him, President Moise forcibly “retired” three Supreme Court Justices: Izykel Dabrezil, Joseph Mecene Jean-Louis, and Windelle Coq-Thelot. The February 8 forced retirements were considered unlawful by civil society and the press, but on February 11, the president published a decree naming three new replacement justices to the court. The Superior Council vetted and recommended numerous judges for renewal, but the president in certain instances chose not to follow its recommendations. Among those recommended but not renewed was Judge Chavannes Etienne, who had been leading the judicial investigation of the 2018 La Saline attacks, implicating notorious G9 leader and then police officer Jimmy Cherizier that left up to 71 persons dead. Regis Renord, the judge investigating the Monferrier Dorval assassination, resigned from the judicial system in September 2020 citing political influence and a lack of protection for his family and judicial facilities. In his investigation he had cited numerous persons for judicial questioning, including former first lady Martine Moise, but few appeared in court. In many cases the court prosecutor unlawfully refused to serve subpoenas ordered by the judge. Moreover, while the HNP had been maintaining a security detail for Renord, police authorities ordered that detail to surrender its weapons in what the director general described as an administrative error, which the judge saw as a clear signal from the government and subsequently resigned. In October the HNP removed the protective detail from Judge Jean Wilner Morin as well, one day after he publicly criticized the former chief prosecutor and the HNP director general as impediments to the rule of law.

The government sought to influence other judicial actors. For example, 23 persons were arrested in the alleged February 7 attempt to depose the president and install a transitional government. Four of the 23 detainees were released the following day when police concluded they had not been involved in the alleged conspiracy, and the remaining 19 argued their arrests were unconstitutional and sought immediate relief in the form of release. By law there can be no court sessions without the presence of a recording clerk (akin to a court reporter), and the government ordered all clerks to return home as a way of preventing the hearing. The judge in question managed to find an alternative clerk to assist her, after which the then minister of justice Rockefeller Vincent fired that clerk.

Although there were fewer judicial strikes than in 2020, labor actions hobbled the system. After the president summarily named three new justices of the Supreme Court, judges announced an indefinite strike, which lasted from February 15 to April 19. Court clerks also announced a strike following the decision to dismiss the clerk in the Petit-Bois affair. The Ministry of Justice reinstated the clerk in April.

The law requires each of the country’s 18 jurisdictions to convene jury and nonjury trial sessions twice per year, usually in July and December, for trials involving major, violent crimes. During a jury trial session, the court may decide for any reason to postpone the hearing to the next session, most often because witnesses are not available. In these cases defendants return to prison until the next jury trial session. Human rights groups highlighted poor treatment of defendants during criminal trials, saying defendants in some jurisdictions spent the entire day without food or water.

Corruption and a lack of judicial oversight severely hampered the judiciary. Human rights organizations reported several judicial officials, including judges and court clerks, arbitrarily charged fees to begin criminal prosecutions. The organizations also claimed judges and prosecutors ignored those who did not pay the fees. There were credible allegations of unqualified and unprofessional judges who received judicial appointments as political favors. There were also persistent accusations that court deans, who are responsible for assigning cases to judges for investigation and review, at times assigned politically sensitive cases to judges with close ties to the executive and legislative branches. Many judicial officials reportedly held full-time jobs outside the courts, although the constitution bars judges from holding any other type of employment except teaching.

Judges frequently closed cases without bringing charges and often did not meet time requirements. By law the chief prosecutor launches criminal investigations by transferring a case to the chief judge of a jurisdiction, who then assigns it to an investigative judge who takes control of the case. The investigative judge must order a trial or dismiss the case within six months. Judges and other judicial actors frequently did not meet time requirements, resulting in unlawful and prolonged pretrial detention for many detainees.

The law prohibits such actions, and there were no reports the government failed to respect these prohibitions. President Moise signed an executive order in 2020 ordering the creation of a National Intelligence Agency with nearly unlimited jurisdiction and agent anonymity, but it was unclear if the executive order was implemented.

Section 2. Respect for Civil Liberties

a. Freedom of Expression, Including for Members of the Press and Other Media

The constitution provides for freedom of expression, including for members of the press and other media. Civil society observers noted this right was not always upheld or respected.

Violence and Harassment: Journalists reported a deteriorating security climate and said some journalists resorted to self-censorship to avoid being publicly targeted by political or gang leaders.

On June 29, a journalist and an activist radio presenter, Diego Charles and Antoinette Duclair, were killed in the Port-au-Prince metropolitan area. The acting HNP director general issued a statement the following day claiming the police union, SPNH-17, was behind the double killing and others in retaliation for the earlier killing of the SPNH-17 spokesperson, although many observers in civil society failed to understand the connection between the two incidents or how police were able to draw their conclusions so rapidly.

Local media reported a prominent photojournalist fled the country in June due to death threats from gang members. He had reportedly taken photographs of the gang looting a private business.

Internet Freedom

The government did not restrict or disrupt access to the internet or censor online content, and there were no credible reports that the government monitored private online communications without appropriate legal authorization.

Academic Freedom and Cultural Events

There were no reports of the government restricting academic freedom or cultural events.

b. Freedoms of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The constitution provides for the freedoms of peaceful assembly and association, and the government generally respected these rights. Gangs believed to have ties to the government sometimes issued threats against antigovernment protesters.

Freedom of Peaceful Assembly

Under the constitution citizens have almost unlimited rights to peaceful gatherings. Police must be informed in advance of planned gatherings but cannot prevent them. As in previous years, many groups exercised that right. According to UN police statistics, the country witnessed 94 peaceful and 565 violent incidents of civil unrest between January 1 and August 1. There were accusations of heavy-handed tactics by police to suppress protests. In addition to the conduct of inspections and training, the HNP General Inspectorate launched several investigations into allegations of excessive use of force during protests, particularly against journalists, which continued as of year’s end.

The Fantom 509 group, composed of a mix of rogue and former police officers, took to the streets on motorbikes and discharged their firearms on several occasions. In the aftermath of the March 12 failed police operation in Village de Dieu, Fantom 509 capitalized on rank-and-file officers’ discontent with the institution’s leadership and instigated incidents of street violence and vandalism. During these episodes of unrest, three police stations in West Department were stormed to free 12 detained officers, killing two police officers in the process. Following these incidents, the interim HNP director general reformed his senior leadership and initiated legal action against Fantom 509, now officially designated a criminal organization. The HNP reported that it was searching for Fantom 509 members suspected of various crimes.

See the Department of State’s International Religious Freedom Report at https://www.state.gov/religiousfreedomreport/.

The law provides for freedom of internal movement, foreign travel, emigration, and repatriation, and the government generally respected these rights. Married women must present their marriage certificate to apply for a passport, but married men do not.

In-country Movement: On March 16, the government declared a limited state of emergency due to a botched March 12 police operation in Village de Dieu in which gangs killed several HNP officers, captured one armored vehicle, and destroyed another. The state of emergency, which only directly affected government-designated “red zones,” limited freedom of movement and allowed the government to order the suspension of certain essential services such as road, maritime, air, and telephone communication. Human rights leaders criticized the decree for its perceived illegality, disproportionality, and apparent lack of regard for individuals and their property rights. Human rights groups reported the curfew was sometimes applied arbitrarily. On April 24, police stopped a man going to the pharmacy to buy medication for his wife, fined him, and threatened to kill him, according to the NGO Haitian National Human Rights Network. Activists also reported the circulation of a video showing police beating a woman, allegedly because she was violating the curfew. On April 28, police officers stopped journalist Georges Allen for supposedly violating the curfew and allegedly assaulted him. The NGO reported police made verbal threats against citizens for violating the state of emergency, reportedly including multiple threats of death.

During the year an increase in intergang clashes caused the displacement of more than 19,000 civilians in the metropolitan area of Port-au-Prince. The violence particularly affected the populations of three neighborhoods: Cite Soleil, Lower Delmas, and Martissant. Frequent shootings and regular roadblocks, whether by gangs or police, also limited access to neighborhoods and spread fear among citizens. Activists leveled allegations of human rights violations against police and decried its apparent reluctance or inability to intervene in the violence.

According to data gathered through the International Organization for Migration’s Displacement Tracking Matrix at three major shelters for internally displaced persons (IDPs) – Carrefour Sports Centre, Delmas 103, and Saint Yves Church – six of 10 IDPs were women or girls, and more than 15 percent of IDPs were older than 60. Approximately 20 percent of the IDPs were younger than age five.

On June 7, armed men burned down Camp Lapiste, where hundreds of persons with disabilities found refuge after the 2010 earthquake. Dozens of persons with disabilities sought refuge in the Saint Yves Church, a temporary shelter lacking accessibility, adequate space, ventilation, or sanitation facilities.

Access to Asylum: The law provides for granting refugee status or asylum through Haitian missions or consulates abroad, and the government has established a system for providing protection to refugees. Third-country nationals may petition for asylum through the local office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees.

Section 4. Corruption and Lack of Transparency in Government

The law criminalizes a wide variety of acts of corruption by officials, including illicit enrichment, bribery, embezzlement, illegal procurement, insider trading, influence peddling, and nepotism. There were numerous reports of government corruption, and a perception of impunity for abusers. The judicial branch investigated several cases of corruption during the year, but there were no prosecutions. The constitution mandates the Senate (vice the judicial system) prosecute high-level officials and members of parliament accused of corruption, but the body had never done so. The government’s previous anticorruption strategy expired in 2019, and as of October there was no formal anticorruption strategy.

Corruption: There were many reports of widespread corruption associated with the Petro Caribe petroleum importation program, a strategic oil alliance signed with Venezuela in 2006 under which Haiti was able to save U.S. dollar reserves, borrowing fuel from its oil-rich neighbor and deferring payment for up to 25 years. The agreement mandated the government of Haiti to use any money saved for the development of the economy and social programs. Instead, between two billion dollars (equivalent to almost a quarter of the country’s total economy for 2017) and six billion dollars went missing, and citizens saw few of the promised benefits, according to protesters and local media. The Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes reported that more than two billion dollars in Petro Caribe funds had been embezzled or wasted in worthless projects. On June 26, Investigative Judge Ramoncite Accime announced his decision to suspend the investigation indefinitely and unfreeze the defendants’ assets due to what he termed a lack of evidence. Judge Accime also ordered the release of the frozen assets of six businesses, including President Moise’s energy company Comphener, Inc. Despite these actions, however, the judge did not explicitly absolve the defendants of guilt.

On April 26, the FJKL published a report on HNP’s financial mismanagement between 2016 and 2019, based on a decision rendered on March 25 by the Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes. According to the FJKL, the poor management of HNP finances posed a danger to public security by limiting the organization’s operational capacity. The FJKL also highlighted errors in the High Court’s judgments and recommended strengthening the institution, which plays a fundamental role in the fight against corruption.

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