Rape case dropped against police

GEORGETOWN — Chief Justice Ian Chang dismissed rape charges against Police Chief Henry Greene.

Chang ruled that prosecutors did not have sufficient evidence for the case to proceed.

Greene had previously obtained a court order that temporarily barred anyone from charging him with a crime.

He was placed on leave in December after a 34-year-old woman accused him of raping her at a hotel in late November and said officers refused to take her complaint. Greene has denied the allegation, saying the sex was consensual.

Chang said prosecutors could file new charges if they found more evidence in the case.


In reversal, rebel backs Aristide

CAP-HAITIEN — Fugitive rebel Guy Philippe made a rare public appearance March 29 and urged Haitians to seize the streets if foreigners tried to arrest the former president he helped topple eight years ago, Jean-Bertrand Aristide.

It was an odd twist to the recent political drama as crowds of people marched in the country’s biggest cities to mark the 25th anniversary of the signing of Haiti’s constitution.

In an interview with the Associated Press Television Network and other journalists, Philippe said Haitians should defend Aristide if outsiders move into Haiti to arrest Aristide. Rumors had circulated in recent weeks that Aristide was wanted on various criminal charges, a claim denied by the United States government and Haitian officials.

Unlike Aristide, Philippe is wanted on a U.S. indictment charging him with drug offenses. He was at the helm of a band of former soldiers that ousted Aristide during Aristide’s second term in 2004.


Miller’s ruling party victorious

KINGSTON — Officials said the ruling People’s National Party (PNP) dominated recent local government elections.

The state-run news agency Jamaica Information Service said the PNP won 12 of the island’s 13 parish councils. Voter turnout was just over 34 percent.

Nearly 500 candidates competed March 26 for council seats in municipal elections seen as a political litmus test for Prime Minister Portia Simpson Miller’s administration.

It was the second time in three months that the main opposition Jamaica Labor Party was drubbed in a vote. Simpson Miller’s faction won a 2-to-1 margin in Parliament over Labor in general elections in late December.

Parish councils handle a range of municipal issues from road repairs to waste management.


Puerto Rico

Ex-prison guard guilty in deaths

SAN JUAN — Hector Cruz Santiago, a former prison guard, was convicted of negligent homicide in the drowning deaths of eight inmates.

Santiago was driving a van carrying 10 inmates back to prison in November when he tried to take a shortcut to avoid a flooded area. The van was swamped by floodwaters and eight of the inmates drowned. People living nearby rescued the two others.

A jury convicted him in a 9-3 verdict. Sentencing is set for May 23.  Prosecutor Wilson Gonzalez said he will seek the maximum sentence of three years and seven months in prison.

The family of one inmate scheduled to be released the day he drowned has filed a lawsuit against the government seeking $1 million in damages.

Trinidad and Tobago

REDjet’s license revoked again

PORT-OF-SPAIN — The government revoked the license of the Caribbean’s first discount airline as it struggles to survive.

Transport Minister Devant Maharaj said the Civil Aviation Authority believes REDjet cannot provide reliable service.

The announcement came nearly two weeks after Barbados suspended the airline’s license.

REDjet halted its flights in March amid financial woes and says it is seeking government subsidies to help resume service.

The Barbados-based airline company began serving the Caribbean in May.

U.S. Virgin Islands

Unions’ lawsuit against wage cuts dismissed by chief judge

CHARLOTTE AMALIE — Chief District Court Judge Curtis Gomez struck down a lawsuit filed by a group of unions trying to block an 8 percent salary cut for civil servants.

Legislators approved the cuts last June to offset a $17.4 million deficit.

Gomez said the cuts were necessary and unavoidable and that union leaders failed to prove the reductions violated labor contracts. He also dismissed all motions related to the case.

Education Administrators Association President Carver Farrow said he disagreed with the ruling but accepted it.

The following news briefs were compiled from reports by The Associated Press