OTTAWA, Canada (CMC) – Former Haitian prime minister, Laurent Lamothe, has initiated legal proceedings before the Federal Court of Canada seeking to have a decision by the Canadian government to include his name on the list of people subject to special economic measures overturned and annulled.
Lamothe, who served as prime minister from 2012-2014, is among a number of “Haitian political elites” that Canada alleges provide illicit financial and operational support to armed gangs in the French-speaking Caribbean country in a bid to destabilise the country and remove Prime Minister Dr. Ariel Henry from office.
In the legal proceeding, Lamothe argues that “the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Canada, Mélanie Joly, arbitrarily included his name on the sanctions list without providing any evidence or due process”.
He claims that the allegations that he provided financial and operational support to armed gangs in Haiti are wholly unfounded and contrary to the actions taken by him during his term as prime minister.
Lamothe said he promoted law and order as a top policy priority for the people of Haiti and made the “fight against insecurity in the country one of his main objectives by implementing a zero-tolerance policy against armed gangs.
“The Minister of Foreign Affairs’ recommendation is capricious, irresponsible, and not based on any verifiable facts. Her allegations contradict Lamothe’s public record and actions he took during and alter his term in office as Prime Minister of Haiti,” his lawyers argued.
They have also criticised the Canadian government for “a complete lack of transparency and failing to provide an account of the reasons his name was added to the list of special economic measures.
“Further, the Government of Canada never informed Mr Lamothe of its actions nor gave him the opportunity to refute the unfounded accusations,” they added.
They said that upon learning of Canada’s decision via social media, Lamothe sent a formal notice to the Minister of Foreign Affairs office requesting information on its actions, but received no response.
In his legal application, Lamothe describes the decision by Canada to impose economic sanctions on him as “unreasonable” saying it is predicated on blind credence of unfounded allegations.
Lamothe said he remains resolute in obtaining justice since he believes “the actions of the Canadian government against him to be defamatory, baseless, and unjust, and he will not stop fighting until he is cleared”.