Michel was arrested late Tuesday night after he offered continued resistance to a police patrol that wanted to do a routine check of the vehicle he was riding in. The driver of the car, Jean David Colin, was also taken to police custody for resisting police orders.
The president of the lower house of Parliament, Tholbert Alexis, accompanied by several other lawmakers and lawyers seized Michel and took him away as the prosecutor was trying to enforce the warrant for arrest issued against him 3 months ago.
“Andre Michel is now free and the prosecutor Francisco Rene must be fired,” Carlos Hercule, the chairman of the bar association, told HCNN on Wednesday.
Michel was taken for refuge to the Parliament building which is inviolable by security forces. It is not clear now whether Michel remained inside the Parliament or whether he has left.
Haiti’s Port-au-Prince prosecutor, Francisco Rene, said Michel was not arrested in enforcement of a pending arrest warrant, as he tried to prove wrong those who called the arrest arbitrary, given that the constitution prohibits the execution of such a warrant beyond 6 o’clock in the evening and before 6 o’clock in the morning. “Andre Michel was not arrested on the basis of an existing arrest warrant, but he was arrested because he refused to comply with duly issued police orders,” Rene told HCNN in an interview on Wednesday.
When the police stopped the vehicle, in which Michel was riding, the lawyer and political activist and his driver openly refused to open the doors of the vehicle, requesting the presence of a judge before allowing police officers to search their vehicle.
“We sent for the judge who actually arrived on the scene, but Andre Michel and the driver continued to block the police and the judge from performing their legal duty,” Rene said. “I had no choice but to order the arrest of the vehicle and its occupiers,” said Rene.