Haiti launches ‘graft’ probe of Dominican lawmaker: NCDN
Santo Domingo.- Haiti’s Senate opened an investigation againstDominican lawmaker Felix Bautista, who allegedly funneled millions to former presidentMichel Martelly, when he was campaigning and after his election, allegedly to securemajor contracts from Port-au-Prince, NCDN reports Tuesday.
Investigative journalist Nuria Piera disclosed documents in2012, with alleged deposits made by companies and associates of the senatorfrom San Juan province, totaling US$2.6 million, more than RD$100 million.
“I wish they would give me all of Haiti so I can build it,”Bautista said then when asked about Piera’s report.
Among the lawmaker’s companies linked to the scandal figureHadom, Diseño de Obras Civiles (DOCE), and Constructora ROFI, which also made allegedpayments of US$250,000 to then Haiti presidential candidate Mirlande Manigat.
Haiti congress Anti-Corruption Commission chairman senatorYouri Latortue recently revealed details of the probe targeting the Dominican lawmaker.
Bautista’s contribution likely secured the contracts inHaiti, while former Haiti Prime Minister Jean Max Bellerive revealed that Bautistaalso approached him to offer his companies’ services to build infrastructure.
“There’s concern in Haiti over six contracts for more thanUS$324 million which Bellerive signed with Bautista companies a few days beforestepping down from the post on May 14, 2011,” NCDN reports.
Haiti authorities revealed that they had stripped Bautista ofthe works in 2015, because "he worked very slowly and the constructions werebehind" schedule despite having begun in 2011.
"We have testimonies of people who’ve told us that themoney was given, the purpose of this probe is to unmask it all, since thecontracts weren’t terminated, some company employees said the fact that the moneywas handed over to the authorities is the reason why the works haven’t been completed.Through this investigation we want to know everything, how much money wasgiven? Why they didn’t terminate the contracts? Who gave that money?," Latortuetold Piera. “Two of the contracts are still in the hands of companies of theDominican senator, the report adds.