Guilty plea set for Haitian politician, coup leader

AP News
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Posted: Apr 22, 2017 9:54 AM

MIAMI (AP) — A guilty plea in a U.S. drug case is set for a former Haitian coup leader who was recently elected to the Senate in that country.

Federal court records in Miami show Guy Philippe is scheduled to plead guilty Monday. Philippe had been scheduled to stand trial May 1.

Philippe faced a potential life prison sentence if convicted of drug smuggling and money laundering conspiracy charges. His attorney, Zeljka Bozanic, confirmed he will plead guilty in a deal with prosecutors that avoids a life sentence.

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

Philippe unsuccessfully claimed he was immune from U.S. charges as a senator.