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Was the Silsby team’s current lawyer in Haiti, Aviol Fleurant, arranged by Jorge Puello?

First, go read this introduction and this, Special Report: Puello Says Other Dominicans Helped Silsby written by Anne-christine d’Adesky on her Haiti Vox blogs.


Back on Feb 13th, on twitter I posted this intriguing observation from the linked article-

via @TriniWarao “He helped us find the lawyer we have now” Detained Americans seek distance from adviser. #Haiti

The article itself was ironically enough entitled Detained Americans seek distance from adviser. It spoke to how the New Life missionary team was at the time desperately attempting to distance itself from Jorge Puello. This was all happening just after the allegations of Puello possibly being a sex-trafficker hit on the 12th. Emphasis is my own:

They thought Puello, who is Jewish and from the Dominican Republic, was a good Samaritan and had no reason to doubt his intentions, said Lankford.

He helped us find the lawyer we have now. He helped us gather evidence. Before him, we really were having a hard time finding anyone at all” to represent the missionaries in neighboring Haiti, said Lankford.

Sean Lankford of course, being the relative back in Idaho who most closely dealt with Puello on behalf of the missionary team.

Now, via personal email correspondence between Anne-christine d’Adesky and a person whom she believes to be Puello, she comes up with this quote (again emphasis is my own):

Puello: Sean, I am very sorry for all this troubles but G-d has a plan for this, I did not mean to hurt your people or family, and I never represented your people I always got Lawyers to do so, At the begining it was Mr. Patrick Laurant and after that it was Aviol Fleurant.

So let’s be clear here, this is someone claiming to be Puello claiming he got multiple lawyers, including Fleurant to represent the group.

Now let’s return to the article above in which Mr. Fleurant, the lawyer possibly arranged by Puello has this to say about Puello and the outstanding charges against him to the media:

“The Puello case has no relation to this one,” said Aviol Fleurant, who was hired last week to represent nine of the 10 Americans. “If Puello is wanted in El Salvador, that’s another case.”

At the time, none of the allegations in relation to Mr. Puello had been shifted off to the side as if they were in any way separate. It was Fleurant’s assertion that Puello’s pre-existing difficulties had nothing to do with the American missionaries that led to both the media and perhaps the court coming to view them as distinct.

Naturally Mr. Fleurant would want the charges against Mr. Puello kept at arms length from his current clients. Otherwise, people might begin to realize that a man wanted for sex-trafficking played a key role in connecting him to his current American missionary clients who were also facing questions pertaining to child trafficking.

The mind truly boggles.

It would seem the bare minimum the Americans would want would be a lawyer not connected with the likes of Puello. But no, here we are.

Rather than taking Mr. Fleurant’s word for it, and simply accepting that Puello’s troubles are somehow distinct, a simple re-examination of the facts to date show that even as the Missionaries were publicly attempting to distance themselves from Puello, they had come to rely upon the legal representatives that Mr. Puello had apparently arranged for them.

Once again, I’m still back on how the missionaries rejected the American embassy’s recommendations for counsel in Haiti and went with this cast of characters instead.

Seems like you scratch any one of a number of people in close proximity to the New Lifers and just below the surface are some terribly questionable associations.

Return to the Table of Contents of my Haiti series.

2 Responses to “Was the Silsby team’s current lawyer in Haiti, Aviol Fleurant, arranged by Jorge Puello?”

  1. Baby Love Child » Introduction to the Haiti series- “It is madness. It is insane…” Bribes, Bullies, and Traffickers extract kids Says:

    […] Was the Silsby team’s current lawyer in Haiti, Aviol Fleurant, arranged by Jorge Puello? […]

  2. joe Says:

    I’ve wondered about the lawyers issue as well.

    Why reject the Embassy’s attorney recommendations? The church in Idaho says they couldn’t get hold of anyone. Phone communications at that time were certainly unreliable, but given the media hype I doubt the consular officers did not offer assistance in that respect.
    Unless Silsby told them: “We have our own connections, thank you.”
    That would explain why the State Dept exhibited a concerned, yet ‘wait-and-see attitude’ the first days.

    Why did they keep Aviol Fleurant although he was hired by Puello? He is reputable and multilingual. I presume that, after Puello was exposed, they were advised not to change lawyers midstream (a second time), not to delay matters. The fact that Puello acted as money transfer middleman did not affect Fleurant’s credentials. Fair enough.

    Now Puello brings up a brand new name: Patrick Laurant. Most likely he means Patrick Laurent, a known attorney in Port-au-Prince. He’s never even been mentioned in this case.
    But we do know Puello loves to distract attention and drop names.

    The most crucial question is: Who hired the first lawyer, Edwin Coq, who doesn’t speak English? And why?
    Puello was quick to smear him about alleged bribes, which (briefly) increased Puello’s standing as the honorable defender of the law.
    But Coq hasn’t been heard of since…

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