US drug trial delayed for Haitian politician, coup leader

AP News
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Posted: Mar 24, 2017 5:10 AM

MIAMI (AP) — A trial on U.S. drug trafficking charges has been delayed a month for a former Haitian coup leader and recent senator-elect in that country.

A Miami federal judge granted the delay Thursday for Guy Philippe, whose lawyer says she needs more time to go over prosecution evidence. The trial was reset from April 3 to May 1.

Philippe has pleaded not guilty to drug smuggling and money laundering conspiracy charges that carry a maximum life prison sentence.

Philippe led a 2004 uprising that ousted then-President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. In November, he was elected to the Haitian Senate but was arrested and brought to the U.S. in January, four days before officially taking office.

Philippe unsuccessfully claimed his status as an elected official gave him immunity from the U.S. charges.