Sun | Dec 3, 2023

Haitian politician, former coup leader seeks immunity from US case

Published:Friday | March 3, 2017 | 12:00 AM

A former Haitian coup leader who was recently elected to that country's Senate is seeking immunity from US prosecution in a drug case.

Court documents recently filed by Guy Philippe's attorney contend he cannot be prosecuted because he's a foreign state official due to his November 20 election to the Haitian Senate.

Philippe was arrested four days before he was to officially take office on January 9.

IN PHOTO: Guy Philippe

The filing says Philippe should be immune from the US charges for his six-year Senate term.

US prosecutors say Philippe cannot use the political immunity defense.

Philippe has pleaded not guilty to drug smuggling and money laundering conspiracy charges that carry a maximum life prison sentence. Trial is set for April 3.

Philippe led a 2004 uprising that ousted then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide.