|“Jacques” Ketant’s sentence decision delayed|
|Thursday, 23 February 2012 13:39|
U.S. District Judge Federico Moreno has delayed his decision on the request by federal prosecutors to cut the 27-year prison sentence of notorious Haitian drug lord Beaudoin "Jacques" Ketant this past week in a Miami federal court.
Federal prosecutors, including Assistant U.S. Attorney Lynn Kirkpatrick, recommended that Ketant's sentence be reduced due to his "substantial assistance in the prosecution of other persons who have committed offenses."
Judge Moreno however requested more details on federal efforts to recover Ketant's $15 million in drug profits and a valuable collection of more than 200 paintings, including a piece by French painter Claude Monet. The judge also wanted a further investigation into a recent murder allegation sent to him from an unnamed source.
Kirkpatrick argued that the recovered property in question was already accounted for and jointly seized by both American and Haitian authorities. Addressing the murder brought up by Judge Moreno, Kirkpatrick also stated that they were unaware of the murder allegation, while Ketant's defense attorney, Ruben Oliva, argued that the accusation was unfounded.
Judge Moreno ordered that both sides attend to the two issues brought into question within two weeks before making a decision on Ketant's sentence reduction.
Once a powerful drug kingpin of Port-au-Prince, Ketant was extradited to U.S. authorities by then President of Haiti, Jean-Bertrand Aristide. He was charged with transporting extensive amounts of cocaine into South Florida and New York through Haiti since the 1980s. He pled guilty to the charges in 2003. Since then, according to federal officials, information provided by Ketant has led to the conviction of several drug smuggling and money laundering criminals.
During his 2004 trial, Ketant accused former President Aristide of accepting bribes in exchange for facilitating Ketant's drug trade. No evidence however was recovered by federal authorities to support his claim.
|Last Updated on Thursday, 23 February 2012 16:29|