Friday, June 25, 2004

Hti: No bail for his tail, the hooligan

MIAMI: The former director general of Haiti’s national police was ordered held until trial on charges he took bribes to protect Colombian cocaine heading to the United States.

Despite pledges of more than $500,000 in bail money from relatives, U.S. Magistrate Judge Andrea Simonton said Tuesday that Jean Nesly Lucien’s wealth and a potential 30 years to life sentence upon conviction were "a powerful incentive for him to flee."

The drug conspiracy charge filed against Lucien last month was based on information from a convicted drug trafficker and two former Haitian officials who allege Lucien profited by keeping U.S. drug agents from intercepting planes filled with Colombian cocaine. Lucien’s lawyer dismissed the reports as sketchy and unreliable.

Lucien, 33, was arrested May 28 after flying to Boston for his daughter’s high school graduation.

He worked for Haitian President Jean-Bertrand Aristide before he was ousted in 1991, and again after Aristide returned to power. He’s one of five Aristide loyalists held on U.S. charges since Aristide went into exile Feb. 29.

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