Accusations determine guilt in Honduras, democracy has failed

In a democracy, accusations are not sufficient to determine guilt. A trial, where the accused has the opportunity to defend him or herself against the accusations, is essential. If, after a trial where both the accused and the accuser are given the opportunity to present the facts as each sees them, a verdict of guilt or innocence is reached by a competent and impartial judge and/or jury, then consequences will follow. Merely making an accusation is not sufficient in a democracy to determine guilt.
In his July 2, 2009 article in the Christian Science Monitor, Octavio Sanchez puts forth his position that no coup occurred in Honduras in regard to the arrest and expulsion of the president. Mr. Sanchez states that is was simply a matter that “Soldiers arrested and sent out of the country a Honduran citizen who, the day before, through his own actions had stripped himself of the presidency.” But the president in question, Manuel Zelaya, denies his guilt. Since President Zelaya has a different opinion of what took place prior to his expulsion from Honduras, he should be provided an opportunity to defend himself against such accusations in a court of law prior to any punishment being applied. Without such opportunity democracy has failed.
In a democracy, soldiers do not arrest an accused citizen, president or not, and exact punishment without a fair trial. Democracy has failed in Honduras and President Zelaya should be allowed to resume his presidency and defend himself against the accusations in a court of law. There is no doubt a coup has taken place in Honduras. No citizen is safe in such a ‘legal’ system.