HAITI: Two gang members sentenced to life in prison for journalist murder

 UPDATE August 30, 2007
Original case: July 14, 2005

Jacques Roche, Le Matin

On August 30, Port-au-Prince judge Jean Claude Rigeur sentenced Alby Joseph and Chéry Beaubrun, members of the local Solino gang, to life in prison for the 2005 kidnapping and murder of Haitian journalist Jacques Roche, reported the Haitian press.

Joseph, 22, and Beubrun, 16, said they had been hired to watch Roche from July 10, the day of his kidnapping, to July 14, 2005, the day he was killed, according to press reports. The men said they killed Roche when they didn’t receive the full ransom that had been requested, Port-au-Prince-based Radio Kiskeya reported.

According to the Haitian news service AlterPresse, Joseph and Beaubrun declared that three other Solino gang members, currently in police custody for arms possession, were also involved in Roche’s murder.

Roche, cultural editor with the Port-au-Prince-based daily Le Matin, was taken from his car on July 10 and was found dead four days later in a slum in Haiti’s capital. According to The Associated Press, his captors demanded US$250,000 in ransom. His body was handcuffed, riddled with bullets and mutilated, according to international press reports.