Revealed Haiti deal boosts embezzlement case against Senator
Santo Domingo.- Executives of the construction companies Hadom and ROFI, whose main shareholder is beleaguered senator Felix Bautista, denied Thursday that Haiti’s government has stripped them of the works for alleged breach of contract, as reported by a local newspaper.
The announcement adds fuel to the prosecution’s case against Bautista, who once admitted signing contracts with Haiti’s government, despite being a senior government official during former president Leonel Fernandez’s second and third terms in office.
“I wish they would give me all the works in Haiti, I’ll build that entire country,” said the lawmaker, who faces charges he embezzled hundreds of millions of dollars while head of the powerful State Works Supervisory Engineers Office (OISOE).
They denied the contract was cancelled and affirm instead ROFI will outsource the completion of the buildings of the interior and commerce ministries to the Taiwanese company OECC, at the request of Haiti’s Planning Ministry.
José Elías Hernández, representative of the contractors in Haiti, said ROFI and Hadom have adhered to contract obligations with the Haitian state, noting that they’ve delivered and opened 12 of the works 20 contracted. "We’ve complied with the contracts with Hait’s government and delivered 60% of the contracted works to date, which have been inaugurated by president Michel Martelly and the rest are under construction."
He listed numerous works built by ROFI and Hadom and inaugurated by Haiti’s President, sports facilities government offices and even a Malecon on the tourist city of Jacmel among them.