Saturday, February 06, 2010

Haitian Missionary Kidnapping Case Takes a Turn Into the Weird

Just when you thought that the case of the 10 members of the New Life Children's Ministries who are charged with kidnapping and criminal association in connection with trying to take 33 Haitian kids into the Dominican Republic couldn't get weirder, it just did:
The Haitian lawyer for 10 U.S. Baptists charged with child kidnapping tried to bribe the missionaries' way out of jail and has been fired, the attorney who hired him said Saturday night.

The Haitian lawyer, Edwin Coq, denied the allegation. He said the $60,000 he requested from the Americans' families was his fee.

Jorge Puello, the attorney in the neighboring Dominican Republic retained by relatives of the 10 American missionaries after their arrest last week, told The Associated Press that he fired Coq on Friday night. He had hired Coq to represent the detainees at Haitian legal proceedings.

Coq orchestrated "some kind of extortion with government officials" that would have led to the release of nine of the 10 missionaries, Puello charged.

"He had some people inside the court that asked him for money, and he was part of this scheme," Puello said.

Coq denied the requested $60,000 payment amounted to a bribe.
Eight of the 10 arrested passed a signed note saying that they were just volunteers and had nothing to do with actual arrangements with the "adoptions". They pretty much say that Laura Silsby is lying.

At the same time, Laura Silsby claims that she had all the papers in order. That clearly wasn't the case as she was stopped and arrested.

Former President Bill Clinton is trying to work out a deal that would release all but Silsby from a Haitian jail.

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