News24

7 police jailed over Haiti prison deaths

2012-01-20 13:58

Port-au-Prince - A Haitian judge on Thursday jailed seven police officers implicated in the killing of a dozen inmates during a prison riot in the southern city of Cayes, court sources said.

Charges of murder and abetting murder had been brought against 13 officers who had participated in putting down the prison uprising, but a criminal judge found six of them not guilty and ordered their release, a prosecutor said.

A Haitian police inspector was given seven years hard labour, while six officers were sentenced to between two and 13 years, government prosecutor Jean Marie Salomon said.

"It is the biggest trial undertaken in Haiti. My greatest satisfaction is that this trial which lasted two months could be brought to a conclusion," he said.

The prison riot broke out in Cayes a week after a catastrophic earthquake struck Haiti on January 12 2010.

The UN High Commissioner on Human Rights and the UN Mission in Haiti recently urged local authorities to conduct thorough investigations into nine torture deaths at the hands of the police between October 2010 and June 2011.