Monday, April 12, 2004

Hti: Jean-Bertrand Aristide, you have the right to remain silent, anything you say...

A suggestion by Colin Powell, the US secretary of state, that the US might charge Jean-Bertrand Aristide, the ousted Haitian president, with corruption appears to further a US effort to dissuade Mr Aristide from attempting to regain power in Haiti.

"There are inquiries being made by our judicial authorities in the US to see if there is any evidence of wrongdoing on his part," Mr Powell told reporters while visiting Port-au-Prince this week.

But before Mr Powell's visit to the Haitian capital, Ira Kurzban, Mr Aristide's Miami-based lawyer, said he believed US officials were considering indicting Mr Aristide as part of a "continuing disinformation campaign" by US intelligence agencies. A spokesman for the US Justice department declined to comment on the possibility of a case against Mr Aristide.

A Drug Enforcement Agency official in Miami also refused to confirm or deny any investigation of Mr Aristide. But the official pointed to an arrest warrant issued in March for Oriel Jean, described as the chief of Mr Aristide's presidential palace security unit.
One might then see Aristide's kidnap claims as a pre-emptive strike against the U.S. Whatcha wanna bet that Aristide now declares that Uncle Sam is trying to shut him up by arresting him?


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