The Miami federal judge presiding over the case of Guy Philipe, has delayed for a month the trial of the Senator-elect who was arrested on January and extradited to the United States, on drug trafficking and money laundering charges.
The judge granted the delay Thursday for Guy Philippe, whose lawyer says she needs more time to go over prosecution evidence. The trial which was scheduled to begin April 3 has now been postponed to May 1.
Philippe has pleaded not guilty to drug smuggling and money laundering conspiracy charges that carry a maximum life prison sentence.
Philippe led a 2004 uprising that ousted then democratically elected President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In November 2016, he was elected to the Haitian Senate but was arrested and brought to the U.S. in January, four days before officially taking office.
The arrest and extradition of the infamous Senator-elect have not only caused unrests and protests in Haiti for his return, but the whole affair has caused great damage to the bilateral relations between Haiti and the United States.
The Haitian Senate two weeks ago approved an unusually strong-worded resolution, formally condemning the arrest and extradition of Guy Philippe, and threatened to pursue the then Minister of Justice for high Treason for having authorized the process without clarifying with any Haitian Court.
Haitian Senate wants to charge Minister of Justice with High Treason after deporting elected-Senator to the US
Lawmakers who voted in favor of the resolution argue that Guy Philippe enjoyed immunity granted to legislators under Haitian laws, even though his arrest occurred prior his official inauguration.
Last week, the judged had ruled against the immunity claims of Guy Philippe as well as allegations that he was kidnapped.
In : Crimes