July 25, 2008, New York – The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR) today welcomed the conviction of the former Haitian paramilitary leader Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, who was found guilty for all counts on grand larceny and mortgage fraud in New York’s Supreme Court in Brooklyn.
According to the U.S. State Department’s own reports, as the leader of the paramilitary group, Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti (FRAPH), Constant was responsible for murder and rape and other torture of thousands of Haitians in the early 1990’s.
Said CCR Senior Attorney Jennie Green, “Today’s conviction showed Constant to be the crook that he is. That a jury of his peers has found Constant guilty of his serious economic crimes against the people of New York gives CCR and his victims hope that he will soon be brought to justice for his crimes in Haiti that included the murder and rape and other torture of thousands more. We hope that after he serves a stiff sentence in New York, he faces trial for those crimes.”
Constant fled Haiti to the U.S. in 1994 when a Haitian court issued a warrant for his arrest for murder and torture. From 1996 until his arrest for mortgage fraud in 2006, Constant lived freely in Queens, despite international outcry and extradition requests from Haiti for his crimes against humanity. In 2004 CCR and the Center for Justice and Accountability filed a federal suit against Constant on behalf of three women who survived FRAPH’s campaign of violence against women. The court found Constant liable for torture, including rape; attempted extrajudicial killing; and crimes against humanity, and he was ordered to pay $19 million in damages. Nevertheless, Constant has continued to deny culpability and refuses to comply with the order. For more information, see the Doe v. Constant case page.
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.