Suspended Haiti FA official denies plot to kill journalist

Head of referees Rosnick Grant is currently suspended over sexual abuse allegations

Suspended Haiti FA official Rosnick Grant has denied being involved in a plot to kill a journalist. Photograph: Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

Suspended Haiti FA official Rosnick Grant has denied being involved in a plot to kill a journalist. Photograph: Martin Rose - FIFA/FIFA via Getty Images

 

The suspended vice-president and head of referees at the Haitian Football Federation has denied claims of attempting to arrange the killing of a journalist.

Rosnick Grant, a former international referee who was provisionally suspended from all football-related activities by Fifa’s Ethics Committee in February as it continues to investigate allegations of sexual abuse, was summoned by the local magistrate in Croix-des-Bouquets after a complaint was made against him.

According to court papers seen by the Guardian, he has been accused of trying to arrange the killing of a radio journalist who had been attempting to uncover alleged corruption at the FHF.

Grant, who appeared in court on Monday without a lawyer, has denied the claims and will return next week to discover whether he will face charges.

A letter sent to the local magistrate on June 14th by the journalist’s lawyers sets out the allegations against Grant in detail. He is said to have arranged a meeting with three local gangsters on June 2nd at the Rue Falaise in Croix-des-Bouquets, although they refused.

“If you don’t want to do it, I will find someone else to do it,” Grant is alleged to have responded in reference to the killing.

Grant spent 16 years as a referee before being appointed as president of the FHF’s referees’ commission in 2009 and had been responsible for the appointment of referees in Haiti’s domestic leagues until his suspension in February for an initial 90 days. In a Guardian investigation last year, some referees claimed that he intimidated young officials by threatening to end their careers if they did not have sex with him.

In September Grant said he did not want to respond to questions from the Guardian detailing the allegations made against him.

Grant’s ban from football was extended in June as Fifa continues to investigate. The former FHF president Yves Jean-Bart was banned for life in November after the ethics committee found him guilty of having abused his position and sexually harassed and abused female players, including minors. – Guardian

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