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Haiti – Fight against corruption: No one is above the law, says leader

Michel Matrelly1PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti (HCNN) – Haitian President Michel Martelly, on Thursday, Sept. 11th reiterated his full support to the ongoing efforts to fight corruption in Haiti, calling on relevant authorities not to hesitate to apply the provisions of the anti-corruption law, identically, against violators, while stressing that “no one was above the law.”

The Head of State, who was speaking Thursday at a gala event to mark the tenth anniversary of the anti-corruption Unit, called on various stakeholders and sectors of society to come together behind ULCC to help combat overflowing corruption he called a cancer.

Congratulating the promulgation, by his administration, of the anti-corruption law and also congratulating efforts, by his government, to pass the law against money laundering and the legislation on the financing of terrorism, President Martelly urged relevant authorities to fully enforce the provisions of these laws.

“I expect these legal instruments to be used and implemented as appropriate. Feel free to apply them!” Martelly said. “Do not be afraid … You have all my support and all the support of the government,” he assured.

“No one is above the law and nobody is above the law …,” insisted Martelly. “Everyone is equal under the law and should be treated the same way,” he said, during the evening held in a hotel in the haitian capital, before Haitian dignitaries and members of the diplomatic corps.

In 10 years, the ULCC, which, according to President Martelly, is spearheading his government’s anti-corruption program, has worked on 200 cases of alleged corruption, of which 29 were sent to the prosecution for legal action.

“It was under my administration that reports mouldering in the drawers of the Justice system found fair consideration with the judiciary,” explained Martelly.

“I strongly support your efforts because I want to see Haiti out of the back of the pack it occupies, placing it among the most corrupt countries in the world,” stating Martelly, addressing the judiciary and officials at the ULCC.

The Haitian leader, who welcomed the improvement of Haiti’s position in the global ranking on the corruption perception, emphasized that this problem was not confined to the agents of the public service, but it concerns everyone, including those in the private sector.

The Director General of ULCC, Col. Antoine Atouriste, pledged to redouble efforts and to fully implement the zero tolerance formula promoted by President Martelly and Prime Minister Laurent Lamothe.

The Martelly/Lamothe government substantially increased the budget of ULCC to better enable it to fulfill its mission, according to Col. Atouriste who, however, lamented the lack of convictions in cases forwarded, for years, to judicial authorities.

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