Haiti’s Martelly Suspends Advisor Arrested in Shooting of Merchant

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - April 21, 2012

Above: Haitian President Michel Martelly

By the Caribbean Journal staff

Haitian President Michel Martelly has temporarily suspended advisor Calixte Valentin, following his alleged involvement in the shooting of a young Haitian merchant.

Valentin was arrested by police yesterday for his alleged role in the incident.

Octanol Derissaint, a young merchant in his 30s, was shot and killed during a gunfight in the border town of Fonds Parisien on Wednesday.

While Martelly said through the National Palace that the circumstances were not yet clear, the President said he was “very concerned” by the alleged involvement of Valentin in the case, and hoped that light would soon be shed on the circumstances of the incident.

Martelly’s position is that under the law, the accused is innocent until proven guilty, and that it was still not clear who committed the murder, a spokesperson for the National Palace told Caribbean Journal.

Valentin has reportedly denied the charges and alleged that the incident was an assassination attempt on him.

Martelly said his office was concerned about respecting human life and the establishment of the Rule of Law in Haiti, calling for calm to the Fonds Parisien area and for the victim’s family. He extended his sympathies to the family of Derissaint.

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