Newton Louis St Juste & Andre Michel
Translated from the French by Dady Chery for Haiti Chery
Attorneys Newton Louis St Juste and André Michel have filed a legal challenge with the General Secretariat of the United Nations to clarify the legal status of former United States President Bill Clinton, U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti to the Secretary General and Co-Chair of the Interim Haiti Recovery Commission (IHRC) from 2009 to 2011.
In a letter addressed Monday, January 5, 2015 to U.N. Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Messrs Newton Louis St Juste and André Michel informed him that an action was initiated on April 10, 2014 against former U.S. President William Jefferson Clinton at [Haiti’s] Superior Court of Auditors and Administrative Disputes, to shed light on the destination and uses of funds transferred by the international community through the IHRC to help the Haitian people after the January 12, 2010 earthquake.
The two lawyers bring to the attention of the U.N. Secretary General a worrying confusion regarding the status of Bill Clinton. On May 19, 2009 the former U.S. President was appointed U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti to the Secretary General, an appointment that confers diplomatic status as established by the U.N. Charter, the Vienna Conventions of April 18, 1961 on Diplomatic Relations, of April 24, 1963 on Consular Relations; the New York Convention of December 8, 1969 on special missions, as well as the Convention of February 13, 1946 on U.N. privileges and immunity. A few months later, on April 21, 2010, the former U.S. President was also named in Haiti, by presidential decree, the Co-Chair of the IHRC, an organization created by the Act of April 15, 2010 [in Haiti], thus making Bill Clinton, the U.N. Special Envoy to the Secretary General, a civil servant in Haiti subject to accountability in accordance with Haitian Laws.
The two attorneys remind Ban Ki-moon that the uses and destinations of these funds for Haiti’s reconstruction have caused great concern in the international public opinion for more than two years:
– An article published on December 23, 2012 in the New York Times titled “Where Did the Money Go?” specifies that the funds raised after January 12, 2010 by the international community in Haiti are estimated at around $9.5 billion, and U.S. journalist Tim Padgett, in his January 12, 2014 broadcast, talked about $11 billion transferred to Haiti after January 12, 2010.
– An article by Mary Anastasia O’Grady, “Bill, Hillary and the Haiti Debacle,” published in the Wall Street Journal on May 18, 2014, further reported suspicions of favoritism, or corruption, in the allocation of certain contracts financed by these funds.
– The categorical refusal by Bill Clinton, U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti to the Secretary General, to submit a report on his 18-month tenure as IHRC Co-Chair, despite being summoned to do so on October 13, 2014, constitutes an action that continues to increase the presumptions of corruption and favoritism and that does not honor the U.N.’s reputation. It is the same for an account of the progress of the last five years in Haiti after the massive support of the international community.
For all these reasons, Messrs Newton Louis St Juste and André Michel ask the U.N. Secretary General to:
– Clarify whether Bill Clinton has spent his 18 months heading the IHRC also as a U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti to the Secretary General and if he is entitled to the privileges and immunities established by the aforementioned international legal bodies with regards to prosecutions against him, for actions as IHRC Co-Chair, being considered in Haitian courts and those of other countries, including the United States, Canada, France and Germany, whose citizens intended, by their donations, to rush to the aid of the Haitian people and not to enrich profiteers of all kinds.
– Specify in the press or by any other means if William Jefferson Clinton still had the status of U.N. Special Envoy for Haiti during his 18 months of tenure as IHRC Co-Chair and communicate all documents pertaining thereto.
Recall that on July 31, 2014 lawyers Newton Louis St Juste and André Michel legally served the Canadian, U.S., and French parliaments with a letter addressed to the honorable members: Noël A. Kinsella, Speaker of the Canadian Senate; Andrew Scheer, Chairman of the House of Commons of Canada; Patrick Leahy, President Pro Tempore of the U.S. Senate; John Boehner, Speaker of the US House of Representatives; Jean-Pierre Bel, Speaker of the French Senate; and Claude Bartolone, Speaker of the French National Assembly, asking them to form an investigative committee to inquire into the tax records of Canadian, U.S. and French citizens whose donations were managed by former U.S. President Bill Clinton and former Haitian Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive via the IHRC.
Sources: Haiti Chery | Avokapepla (French)