US trial of Haitian senator postponed

US trial of Haitian senator postponed

MIAMI, USA — The trial in Miami, Florida, of the elected Haitian Senator Guy Philippe, who was arrested in Haiti on January 5 and “extradited” to the United States on the same day, initially set by a federal judge for April 3, has been postponed at the request of the defence.

Guy Philippe at an arraignment hearing in Miami in January

On Thursday, Philippe’s lawyers filed a motion with the court to postpone the trial for several weeks. The reason given by the defence is the time required to analyze numerous documents handed over in recent days by the government’s lawyers, including several Philippe-related records, as well as nearly 20 years of trial-related documents that the Justice Department intends to file as evidence in the trial, HaitiLibre reported.

Lawyers for the US government did not object to the request and the court therefore granted the defence motion, setting a new trial date of May 1.

In its decision, the court explained that “…a continuation is justified by our quest to offer a fair trial to the accused … and the right of the accused to have an expeditious trial. The delay for the accused to plead guilty, if he wishes to plead guilty, is postponed to April 17, 2017. The trial will begin on May 1, 2017, and will last for two weeks.”